Political differences aside, one would have assumed that everybody who values transparency and government accountability would applaud President Donald Trump for the memorandum he issued on the evening of May 23, 2019. In the two-page document, Trump compels several federal departments and agencies to “quickly and fully cooperate” with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s 2016 counterintelligence operation targeting the president’s campaign over alleged suspicions of a conspiracy involving the Russian government.
Democrats accused Trump of a cover-up for asserting executive privilege over classified information examined by the office of special counsel during its Russia investigation. They are now angry with the president because he has authorized Barr to declassify materials related to the FBI operation.
Barr’s Extensive Mandate
In a sign of how extensive the scope of Barr’s investigation will be, the presidential memorandum was sent to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the Defense Department, the Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Energy Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
A statement put out by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders read in part: “The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information.”
The Department of Justice is in the process of furnishing congressional committees with the special counsel material they have requested. House Democrats appear to believe that, by examining this material, they will uncover evidence somehow missed by Robert Mueller and his team of crack prosecutors during their 22-month, multi-million-dollar investigation.
… being told only one side of the story should never be acceptable.
The Mueller report answered the one question everyone in Washington – as well as all concerned citizens – wanted to be answered: Did Trump or anyone on his campaign team conspire with the Russians to influence the course of the 2016 election. The answer was no, despite multiple approaches to Trump associates by the Russians.
The second most important question, then, is why the FBI believed such a conspiracy was taking place; how much real evidence, if any, did the Bureau have to justify spying on a political campaign? How thoroughly was that evidence vetted, if at all? Surely, these are questions to which the president’s opponents would want answers.
They do not want those answers, however, because according to multiple sources – including current and former Republican members of the congressional committees that looked into this affair – there exists a significant amount of exculpatory evidence. Even more serious, the material now made available for declassification may well prove that the FBI ignored and even concealed that exculpatory evidence when it submitted affidavits to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
Time to Tell the Other Side of the Story
Democrats, still smarting from their disappointment over the conclusions of the special counsel, have demanded all the underlying documents and materials relating to the Russia investigation. At the same time, they are outraged that the president has authorized the release of information that tells the other side of the story.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who for two years has been saying that he had seen conclusive evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, is furious that the American people will soon know the truth behind the collusion story. “While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice,” Schiff wrote in a tweet, shortly after hearing about the memorandum, “Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies. The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American.”
The congressman is claiming the exact opposite of what has actually happened. With the exception of grand jury testimony, all the information pertaining to alleged obstruction by the president is available. Weaponizing law enforcement and classified information for political purposes is exactly what the Obama administration did in 2016. Schiff is now terrified at the prospect of the American people being exposed to the truth.
Regardless of one’s political persuasion, being told only one side of the story should never be acceptable. Since Trump came to power, only one side of the story has been told; indeed, it has been obsessed over by Democrats and their media stooges. Having promised for some time that he would do so, the president has now set the stage for the other side to be told.
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