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Various reactions to Mueller report

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President Trump
President Trump

This lifts the cloud over the 2016 election that authoritarians like Vladimir Putin hope to promote with their meddling in democracies. It means no Trump officials abetted the hack into Democratic emails, and no Trump officials conspired with WikiLeaks (Roger Stone’s fantasies aside). The conclusion should restore a measure of public confidence in our political system and the integrity of U.S. elections. Imagine the political crisis had Mr. Mueller found the opposite?

The end of the collusion illusion should also cause the media to do some soul-searching about rushes to judgment. For two years, with the help of ex-Obama officials, they spun anecdotes of contacts between Russians and Trump campaign advisers into a conspiracy. With few exceptions they went well beyond First Amendment oversight into anti-Trump advocacy. But it was always odd that those individual Russia-Trump contacts never added up to anything or went anywhere, which is why we warned about waiting for the facts.

— The Wall Street Journal

After nearly two years of waiting, Americans have some preliminary answers about Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Attorney General William Barr on Sunday revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion between Donald Trump or his 2016 campaign with the Russian effort. But Mueller did not answer with the same clarity whether President Donald Trump unduly interfered with law enforcement. That will be a matter for Congress and the public to consider as Barr releases more information — as he must.

Where there is smoke there is not always fire. Despite questionable meetings between Trump officials and Russians, Mueller found that the investigation "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." …

That much should be a relief to Americans worried that the nation's senior leaders acted as agents of a foreign power during the 2016 election. On the other hand, Trump's bizarre refusal to acknowledge the Russian interference, and his unceasing assaults on Mueller's investigation, are all the more confounding. …

— The Washington Post

The document is light on details, but it contains a key quote from the special counsel’s report itself. Here it is, in full: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” This is unambiguously good news. If you doubt this, consider the alternative. Just imagine the bomb that would detonate in the American body politic if we discovered through this investigation that a sitting president worked with a hostile government (arguably our chief geopolitical foe) to try to tip the balance in a close election.

Instead, Americans should feel even greater confidence in the legitimacy of the 2016 election. They should reject — once and for all — the lurid conspiracy theories that have dominated parts of the internet and gained entirely too much purchase in the broader media.

— David French, National Review

(W)hile Mr. Mueller may not have found sufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy, let’s not lose sight of what we already know, both from his investigation and from news reports over the past two years.

We know that the Russian government interfered repeatedly in the 2016 presidential election, by hacking into computer servers of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. We know that it did this with the goals of dividing Americans and helping Donald Trump win the presidency. We know that when top members of the Trump campaign learned about this interference, they didn’t just fail to report it to the FBI. They welcomed it. They encouraged it. They made jokes about it. On the same day that Mr. Trump publicly urged the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails, they began to do just that. And we know that when questioned by federal authorities, many of Mr. Trump’s top associates lied, sometimes repeatedly, about their communications with Russians. None of this is in dispute.

That Mr. Mueller couldn’t find sufficient evidence that Mr. Trump or anyone involved in his campaign had coordinated directly with the Russians may be explained by the fact that they didn’t need to. They were already getting that help.

— The New York Times

The Mueller report is in. The president is vindicated. Now it is time to investigate the investigators. …

The Democrats have been saying that the truth must come to light for two years, now. Let us oblige them. The president has been dogged by this entire situation..

Was the “Russia Dossier” used to get the ball rolling? There is evidence to suggest it. Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and Peter Strzok should be at the center of a new probe to determine whether members of the United States intelligence services took part in an effort to compromise the duly elected president of the United States.

Democrats and the media will show little interest in such an investigation but that is of no matter. History will outlive the activists on CNN and it is our responsibility to shed light on the motives behind the machinations to undermine a duly elected president.

— Boston Herald

“Our long national nightmare is over,” as was said in 1974 — but this time it ends far closer to vindication than to resignation.

After an exhaustive investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that “the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” No, the president of the United States was not a Russian agent. More than two years of speculative stories and lurid headlines turned out to have no factual basis, and there are no further indictments under seal or recommended.

If Mueller concluded that there was no evidence of collusion, it’s time for all Americans to accept this conclusion and move on to the business of this country. If Democrats now ignore Mueller’s most basic and clear finding, they risk serious electoral setbacks, and experienced political leaders know this.

— Mark Penn, The Hill

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, President Trump's initial comments indicated no appreciation for the impartiality of the Mueller investigation. He called it an "illegal takedown that failed" -- and seemed to indicate that there may be pardons coming for some of his convicted aides.

Make no mistake, the Mueller investigation was the opposite of illegal. It was a triumph for the rule of law under extreme partisan pressure, especially from the President. And if anything we may find that Mueller's hands were tied because of his commitment to the letter of the law and the special counsel statutes.

But in the President's vindictive rather than vindicated response to the four-page summary, there is every sign that our civic stress test will continue. But despite all the political assaults, the rule of law proceeded on its own. To clear up the remaining questions — and possibly to offer additional vindication for the president — we will need to hope that the vote of 420 members of the House of Representatives to release the full report is respected. The American people deserve no less

— John Avlon, CNN

The Oklahoman Editorial Board

The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Kelly Dyer Fry, Publisher, Editor and Vice President of News; Owen Canfield, Opinion Editor; and Ray Carter, Chief Editorial Writer.. To submit a letter to the editor, go to this page or email... Read more ›

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