Views on the News: Collusion
On Sunday, Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, released his final report stating that no collusion between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government had occurred, but did not reach a conclusion on the issue of obstruction of justice, instead allowing Attorney General William Barr to do so. Barr concluded that the President did not obstruct justice, and Democrats are calling for Muller’s full report to be released to the public. What do you think this means for the country, and how should the Democrats handle this situation?
Isaac Graber ’19
I believe Democrats are justified in their request to see the Mueller report immediately. According to Congressman Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, reports from all similar investigations in the past have been released to the House Judiciary Committee, and this one should be released as well. Democrats and Republicans alike have the right to view this document and express their sentiments. However, I believe it is important throughout this process for members from the House and Senate to continue to focus on important policies affecting Americans’ day-to-day life. Even if it was decided that President Trump was behind an obstruction of justice, it would take a significant amount of time to reach that decision, and it is crucial that other issues receive the attention they deserve in the meantime.
Isaac Graber is a business major and the president of the Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Prof. David Sherman (ENG)
Everybody, regardless of party, should demand the release of the full report. And in fact it may be released soon. Nevertheless, I predict the political dispute over its contents will be feverishly partisan, derail all policy work and governance at the federal level, indicate pervasive corruption among government officials, demonstrate President Trump's vindictive contempt for juridical processes, embolden Democrats with the audacity to call for more secure elections, and confirm for Republicans that the only significant legal question at hand is about Hillary Clinton's deleted emails. In these effects, the conflict over Mueller's report will be completely unremarkable.
David Sherman is an associate professor of English specializing in Modernism, narrative theory and continental philosophy.
Prof. Gary Samore (POL)
The Mueller Report effectively ends Democrats’ hopes to remove President Trump from office through impeachment. Despite their peculiar behavior, Trump and his campaign team did not help Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections in Trump’s favor. The obstruction-of-justice charge is too obscure and muddled to stick. What should the Democrats do now? Drop the dream of impeachment. Don’t re-litigate every detail of the Mueller Report once it is released. Focus instead on developing intelligent and realistic policies on the economy, health care, climate change and foreign policy. Most important, nominate a strong candidate to defeat Trump in 2020.
Gary Samore is a professor of the Practice of Politics and senior executive director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, and served as President Obama’s White House coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Nia Lyn ’19
The refusal to release the full report is indicative of the presence of incriminating information about the presidential election. Democrats are right in demands because a president who is guilty of obstruction of justice is unfit to run a nation or make important decisions discerning right from wrong. Even if it was determined that President Trump had no Russian interference in the election, there are other possibly incriminating details that individuals should have the option to read and formulate their own, educated ideas on. Additionally, several of Trump’s actions — like pressuring former FBI director James Comey to end an investigation, then firing Comey, or even attempting to fire Robert Mueller — can be considered an obstruction of justice and information on these crimes should be released. Even if Trump won’t be impeached, enough condemning information might confirm his inadequacy for a second presidential term.
Nia Lyn is an associate editor of the Justice.