Watson misses the mark on the Mueller investigation

Letters to the Editor


Last updated 5/31/2018 at 10:54am

In his May 17, 2018, guest commentary, Col. Frank Watson (USAF, Ret.) takes exception to Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian operatives in their interference in the 2016 presidential election. Watson claims the investigation is politically motivated and a waste of taxpayer money.

Watson’s arguments are so riddled with errors and irrelevancies that it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s start here: Robert Mueller, a Republican, is a special counsel, not a “Special Prosecutor.” He was appointed by Trump’s own deputy attorney general, a Republican. His selection as special counsel was effusively praised by Republicans and Democrats.

Mueller’s appointment was in response to the U.S. intelligence community’s consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and evidence that members of Trump’s campaign may have colluded with Russia in that operation. The CIA subsequently determined that Russian interference was designed to hurt Clinton and help Trump.

Twenty-two individuals and entities have been charged since Mueller’s investigation began. Five have pled guilty, including former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, who pled guilty to conspiracy against the United States, among other things.

The special counsel is not investigating Trump’s sex life. That’s a potentially long, drawn-out investigation better left to Melania’s lawyers. However, Michael Cohen, Trump’s “fixer,” is being investigated, not by Mueller, but by Southern District of New York prosecutors.

Cohen’s current claim to fame is paying hush money to porn star, Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. “Stormy Daniels,” who claims to have had an affair with Trump going back to 2006. More interesting are Cohen’s connections to corrupt Russian bureaucrats and oligarchs, as well as to the Russian mob, which read like something from the pages of a John Le Carré espionage novel.

Col. Watson doesn’t think it’s worth the money to determine if members of the Trump campaign, including possibly Trump himself, colluded with the Russian government to interfere in our 2016 election and, by doing so, undermine American democracy. I can’t think of anything more worth doing.

Richard Badalamente



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