Applying a Moral Lens to the Mueller Report | Sojourners

Applying a Moral Lens to the Mueller Report

The Mueller Report is pictured in New York, April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

We’ve all seen the mountain of coverage and passionate political opinions on all sides in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s finally released — and heavily redacted — report. Without repeating all the coverage and commentary on the full report, here are my takeaways from a moral lens. The report proves that:

  • There were extensive efforts by the Russian government to interfere with and influence our 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton.
  • Donald Trump and his campaign sought to use those efforts on their behalf both privately and publicly in meetings and pronouncements.
  • Those meetings and pronouncements by Trump and his associates did not rise to the legal requirements and standards of “conspiracy,” and Trump has indeed been exonerated of those charges.
  • But the issue of “obstruction of justice” is a very different story in this report. It contains enough evidence on that front to make Mueller unable to “exonerate” Trump’s campaign.
  • The special counsel was operating with an interpretation of Justice Department rules that did not allow him to “indict” a sitting president of the United States. Unable to do that, Mueller decided to present the findings of his report allowing Congress to act based on their constitutional roles to respond the evidence presented.
  • There is no evidence so far, until we hear from Mueller, that he asked the new attorney general, just appointed by President Trump, to make the call about obstruction of justice. In Attorney General William Barr’s letter making that call in Trump’s favor, there is no evidence of the special counsel’s involvement.
  • There is clear evidence that the president and his team have tried many things to impede, block, oppose, and politically undermine the Mueller investigation. The report shows that Trump repeatedly attempted to shut down the investigation, even by firing the special counsel. It also shows that it was Trump’s closest aides, like lawyer Don McGahn, who refused to carry out such actions, saving the president from potential obstruction charges.
  • The report shows that the president and his aides have continually lied about the facts and the events — about the truth — throughout the investigation. And many of Trump’s top campaign and administration leaders have already been indicted for lying to federal officials or the Congress and will serve jail time.
  • Finally, it is clear, in my view, from the report of offenses listed, that any other American, who is not the president of the United States, would also be indicted and sent to jail for committing such offenses.
  • In conclusion, from a moral lens, such continual lying and attempts to cover up unethical and perhaps illegal behavior should not be acceptable. Especially for Christians, the acceptance of such attacks on the truth are morally indefensible, especially when they are excused by Faustian bargains for political agendas and power.
  • Faith is now at stake. Democracy is now at stake. Personal integrity is now at stake. The evidence of evil is revealed by the Mueller Report. The evidence of conscience must now be revealed by us.
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