Overheard debates: Should the Mueller Report be released

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 at 8:17 PM

There are many overheard debates in the Spectator office. This week, a couple staffers talk the report on Russian interference in the 2018 election by Robert Mueller and its possible release.

Did you keep informed on the Mueller report? 

Anisa Venner Johnston: I believe I was very informed on the Mueller report. I watched and read about it whenever a new finding came about, and it was hard not to follow Trump’s outlandish tweets. 

Livia Homerski: Considering how much it was plastered all over the news and media, it was difficult not to follow. But, I think being informed on anything about the government and what people in power do is important, so I have been following this since the investigation began. 

Do you think it should be released? Why or why not?

AVJ: I think that the report needs to be released. The people have a right to know. The Trump administration has plead not guilty to every accusation thrown at them. This report says there was no collusion with Russia. However, why isn’t Trump completely exonerated? There are important questions that only half the country are asking. 

LH: I also agree that the report must be released. I stand strongly for, and believe that every citizen of the United States deserves transparency about what the government does with our tax dollars. It would put the rumors to rest and actually show the nation what exactly has been going on for the past few years, especially the ways that the mainstream news has failed us. 

Do you think there was collusion on anyone’s part? 

AVJ: We forget about all the people that were charged leading up to the report being released. Just because these people weren’t President Trump, it doesn’t mean that there weren’t significant arrests. Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen was arrested. Paul Manafort was on Trump’s campaign and he too was arrested. Trump’s longtime associate Roger Stone was arrested. These are not just random Trump supporters. These are people who worked closely under the man! Why do people not think these arrests are significant? 

LH: I believe there was no collusion, and I came to this conclusion a year and a half into the investigation. If something was found, it would’ve come out immediately considering how much other information was leaked and what a frenzy the media is always in when it comes to anything Trump. As for the summary, it never intended to be more than that, and at least it gave us the key points of the investigation. As with all government documents, it must redact information and with 400 pages — that’s no simple or quick task. Barr has advocated for the release of this report since being first sworn in as attorney general in January. Of course, people in our government do have a wicked habit of abandoning their duty to the American people, so we’ll find out how honest he is when it’s released. 

What do you want this report to do?

AVJ: I just want it to tell us why Trump is not exonerated. I want Trump to be cleared, not because I’m a Trump supporter, but because he’s our president. The last thing I want is for the person who is running this country to be found guilty of committing a crime — one committed in order to get into the position they’re in. Overall, I really just want this report to tell us that if there was illegal activity, we’re not going to stand for it. 

LH: I think Anisa makes a great point. I also think a Pence presidency is straight nightmare material, so this thing better show us that Trump is clean enough for another year. 

Mostly, I want this report to be released so the American people can see how much the media has been manipulating and distracting us for the past two years over an unconfirmed research-opposition-based dossier. This investigation started because former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele was hired by the Democratic National Committee to compile this dossier, and then leaked information from this dossier to the media before the FBI secured a FISA warrant. This was stated in the 2018 House Intelligence Committee memo. Then the media immediately started reporting about Russian collusion before anything was even proven, and they never even explored whether the claims were false. That doesn’t sound like fair, or even critically-thought-out reporting to me. This narrative has kept us divided and distracted. 

What does America do now?

LH: When the American people finally get their hands on the report, I encourage them to compare the report information to the information we have been given throughout the coverage of this investigation. And if it shows two wildly different narratives, then we need to be angry and hold our news media, especially cable news, accountable for presenting sensationalized speculations as fact in order to turn a profit. 

An article on Vox.com, titled “Did the media botch the Russia story? A conversation with Matt Taibbi,” explains very thoroughly many of my thoughts and observations on this whole investigation, and I believe this quote by Taibbi sums it up wonderfully: “This is the greatest story that has ever existed for the news media business. And you can’t separate that out from the coverage, because the financial incentive to keep hammering this home was tremendous.” 

AVJ: I think that America needs to have an official understanding of the report. Once we get that, we will either need to get to the booths and vote people in who are going to keep a watchful eye on this administration, OR accept the fact the Trump didn’t have anything to hide, and maybe we should not be as skeptical of him.

Livia Homerski | edinboro.spectator@gmail.com

Anisa Venner-Johnston | edinboro.spectator@gmail.com

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