Opinion Asks: The Mueller Report

Opinion writers respond to the release of the Mueller Report

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 3/26/19 2:10am

On March 22, special counsel Robert Mueller released to the U.S. Attorney General the results of his investigation into collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign. While the report found no evidence of collusion, it neither recommended charges nor exonerated the president on charges of obstruction of justice. We asked opinion writers for their responses to the release.

The conclusion of the collusion investigation is a good thing for everyone in American politics and all who are affected by government functions. Trump presents a far greater threat through actual policy platforms, and dragging the legislature through more investigations and impeachment proceedings takes away the opportunity to focus on the legitimate reasons to vote against him in 2020. Feasting on scandal and short-term problems is a terrible way to mobilize long-term and large-scale opposition to Trump’s re-election. Democrats should be thankful that they can now turn their attention to fundamentally more pressing issues surrounding the administration’s conduct. Democrats can develop their own serious policy goals beyond removal and strategize about who and what to bring into the new era of opposition to the Trump administration. Only serious plan of action can draw in the voters needed to prevent another round of the Don. -Teddy Hill-Weld ’20

The Mueller report summary found no evidence of collusion, though it did not exonerate President Trump from obstruction of justice. The conclusions are frustratingly vague — though perhaps that’s only relative to how the probe has been sensationalized since the beginning of the Trump presidency. But more importantly, I doubt the report will actually change anyone’s mind . Trump’s opponents are still likely to see him as guilty and may continue to think that there is something the investigation missed or failed to bring to light, while his supporters might buy into Trump’s “witch hunt” antics even further and continue to sympathize with him. Sadly, for many Americans, I think that the results of the Russia investigations were etched into their minds long before this week. - Ioana Solomon ’19

The Mueller report is not the last word on Trump’s presidency. Presented in front of a Senate gripped by Republicans who value keeping their office over American law, it was bound to prove almost inconsequential. Although conservatives seem to gleefully take Trump’s “exoneration” as a victory, it doesn’t make up for Trump’s fundamental flaws. Trump was elected by Americans who either espoused his ideology of bigotry or were complacent in the face of it. Of course, the fact that the public has yet to see the Mueller report makes it impossible to take the report seriously — the lack of transparency from our government would be laughable if it weren’t so appalling. But Trump has been in office for over two years now, and we have more than two years’ worth of actions by which to judge his presidency. Anyone who’s kept up with Trump’s action as president will know that it hardly matters to him if he was elected legitimately. And consider his continued attacks on Muslims, the LGBT community, women, the poor and other minorities, or the irresponsible actions taken against the American economy, environment and foreign relations. Trump is a terrible president, and that fact overshadows the conclusion of a report the public can’t even see. -Raniyan Zaman ’22