Glen McAdoo: The Mueller investigation (opinion column)
President Trump, Vice President Pence, and loud mouth Rudy Giuliani are insisting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in our presidential election in 2016, has gone on long enough and must end.
Give me a break. Lawrence Walsh’s investigation of the Iran-contra affair lasted eight years. Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s inquiry of the Clinton’s Whitewater land deal, which was expanded to include the Monica Lewinsky probe, lasted four and a half years.
The Benghazi investigation officially lasted two years and two months.
Actually the investigation was started in October 2012, meaning over four years was spent trying to find fault with Hillary Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi situation which cost the lives of four Americans. They found nothing. The 9/11 investigation lasted nearly 20 months, and the Watergate investigation, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, lasted more than 16 months. As bad as these things were, none can compare to a hostile foreign government sabotaging our national election. The Mueller probe must be allowed to continue.
Next, the president and his followers are saying the investigation is costing too much. The Mueller probe to date has cost about $17 million.
The Republicans have spent over $100 million over the past 20 years investigating Hillary Clinton, and gotten zero. The Benghazi hearings alone cost $22 million. Ken Starr’s investigation cost $39.2 million, and Lawrence Walsh’s Iran-contra investigation cost $47.4 million. How much is wasted by Congress and the Senate every year for doing nothing?
A major waste of money so-far is President Trump’s excursions to his Mar-a-Lago resort. According to an article by John Bowden of The Hill, there have been over 20 trips so far, each one costing between $1 million and $3 million. Funny, Trump criticized Obama for playing golf, but he has played golf about 30 times in Mar-a-Lago alone. Altogether, Trump has made more than 60 trips to play golf. Obama played golf 37 times during the same time frame. Said Trump, before being elected, ”I would rarely leave the White House because there is so much work to be done.” Yeah, right.
The White House claims Trump is not vacationing while in Mar-a-Lago, saying, “The president works nonstop every day of the week no matter where he is.” Oh. boy.
Trump and his supporters claim nothing has come from the Mueller investigation. That’s total nonsense. There have been well over 20 indictments, five guilty pleas, and Trump’s former campaign chair is now incarcerated. George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russians.
He’s now cooperating with investigators. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser, also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russians and is now cooperating with Mueller’s team. Richard Pinedo, has pleaded guilty to identity theft. Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who worked with Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, a campaign adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Gates. Gates pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to the FBI. All this lying, Trump must have rubbed off on them.
Paul Manafort, former chair of Trump’s campaign, is now in jail, after having his bail revoked for tampering with witnesses. He, along with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate from the Ukraine, tried to get witnesses to change their story. Manafort has been indicted on many charges, including being an unregistered foreign agent of a foreign principal, tax and bank fraud, making false statements to the FBI (of course), and obstruction of justice. Manafort faces many years in federal prison if convicted, which legal experts say is almost a certainty. Kilimnik has been charged with obstruction of justice.
Then there’s Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney and self proclaimed fixer. He most likely will face charges in the State of New York and federal court, which could be as substantial as the charges facing Manafort. If he flips on the president, Trump could be in big, big trouble.
In addition there have been 13 Russian nationals and one Russian company indicted for conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and identity theft, all stemming from their involvement by using the social media to convince voters not to vote for Hillary Clinton and to support Donald Trump for president.
If anyone tells you the Mueller investigation has resulted in nothing, tell them to get their head examined. I’ll predict many other indictments will follow, which could include members of Trump’s family, and perhaps the president himself. And for the record, collusion has not been ruled out, nor has obstruction of justice.
Glen McAdoo, a Fallon resident, can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.