So, really, what is wrong with you people?
All of you people, that is – Right and Left, all of you who are virtually frothing at the mouth at every last breathless report about every new tidbit or allegation or rumor stemming from either side of the Trump-Russia-Comey-“deep state”-collusion circus.
The Russians altered our voting machines! James Comey is the Anti-Christ! Trump likes golden showers! The FBI’s secret society is framing our president! Jeff Sessions is David Duke in a mask! The Illuminati control all the Swamp Creatures!
Jiminy Christmas, give it a rest already.
From out here in the hinterlands – otherwise known as the real world, where people still have normal sensibilities – the residents of Political Washington look and sound like paranoid numbskulls. The outlandish blathering about an FBI “secret society” from Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., was sour icing on a stale cake: Anyone with a patina of common sense combined with basic knowledge of criminal investigations understands that most of the cable-news fulminations about this whole situation are hogwash.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is a pro’s pro, a man of honor, and a patriot. Of course he can make mistakes, as anyone can, but he won’t invent evidence from thin air, won’t countenance rank prosecutorial corruption, and won’t upend the nation’s political order just to gain revenge or satisfy his ego. He is investigating a serious matter, and doing so in a methodical, serious way.
Despite all the conspiracy theories from both Left and Right, Mueller is not pursuing a pre-conceived agenda, not trying to prove that Trump personally took orders from the Kremlin, and not basing a whole investigation on some dubious dossier alleging that Trump cavorted with Russian prostitutes.
What he is doing is pursuing clear-cut, unimpeachable evidence that Russian nationals went to great lengths, at least on social media, to try to help Trump win the election. In themselves, such attempts aren’t unusual, except perhaps as a matter of degree. Sometimes the United States does the same thing: Barack Obama’s team worked politically (and ineptly, thank goodness) against Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel; Ronald Reagan’s team helped moderates defeat both extremes in Central American countries in the 1980s.
The questions here are if the Russian interference, or any material cooperation with such interference by Americans, or any financial actions related to Russia’s unusually high interest in the 2016 race, violated any American laws. In other words, was the interference – interference we already know happened, beyond a doubt – merely obnoxious, or was it illegal? And if illegal, whose illegality was it?
We on the outside do not know – repeat, do not know – what evidence Mueller’s team is accumulating. We do not know where that evidence is leading. We do not know whose ox will be gored.
And we don’t know the timeline for when we finally will know these things.
Each political side should stop trying to prove the other is nefarious, stop spreading paranoia, and stop jumping to conclusions. Our elected officials, especially, should stop feeding the frenzy, and instead go about the rest of their business of actually working on legislation and helping constituents navigate around this crazy behemoth of a government we’ve created.
When Mueller presents his findings, we can all examine his evidence then – dissect it, analyze it, and praise or criticize the conclusions he draws from it and any case he tries to present. Facts eventually will come out, one way or another. Why can’t we wait for those real, honest-to-goodness facts – and until then, unless some particular person actually knows something absolutely solid, why can’t everybody just shut up?
Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is a former associate editorial page editor for the Washington Examiner, and is the author of Mad Jones, Heretic, a satirical literary novel published in the fall of 2017.
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