Editor, the Advocate:
Let us take the political bias out and state the facts and evidence. A conservative political website, “The Washington Free Beacon,” contracted with Fusion GPS for opposition research on Republicans candidates. They stopped and Clinton’s Campaign Attorney and the DNC hired Fusion GPS for opposition research on Trump. Fusion GPS subcontracted Steele to compile the dossier. The dossier main allegations were Russia and Putin tried to prop up Trump over Clinton and many Trump campaign members had frequent secret contacts with Russia. The Mueller investigation corroborated these allegations.
The Steele Dossier was not the reason law enforcement opened the “Crossfire Hurricane” counterintelligence investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election. An employee of another government informed law enforcement that George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign member, told him Russians had damaging material on Clinton.
The Mueller Report concluded Russia interfered in a “sweeping and systematic fashion” and there were substantial links with the Trump campaign but the available evidence did not establish the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government – no conspiracy. Two key terms are “substantial links” and “available evidence.” A total of 34 individuals and three companies were indicted. Eight (five Trump associates/campaign officials) were convicted of felonies. The report states evidence was incomplete because of encrypted/deleted/unsaved communications and false/incomplete/declined testimonies. Trump refused to be interviewed, opted to reply in writing to their questions but did not answer all questions, invoked executive privilege and defied subpoenas.
There were ten items of potential obstruction by the President described in the Mueller Report. The report states: They could not indict a sitting President per an Office of Legal Counsel Opinion, would not accuse him of a crime since they could not charge him, and Congress can decide whether Trump obstructed justice.
The Ukranine Impeachment Inquiry is similar to a grand jury, done behind closed doors. There are Democrat/Republican members taking testimony. After the collection of evidence, a charge for or against impeachment will be handed down. Then the Senate will hold an open trial.
Dividing America is political marketing of nonfactual information and conspiracy theories, degrading attacks on people/institutions and lazy Americans who believe everything they see, read and/or hear. I would tell everyone what I told my 9-year-old grandson when he asked, “Is everything on TV true?” “No, it is not. You will have to determine what is/is not true based on facts.”
Janice Ullman, Victoria