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Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was star-crossed from the start. His friend and successor as FBI director, James Comey, by his own admission prompted the investigation with the deliberate leaking of classified memos about his conversations with President Donald Trump to the press.

Mueller then unnecessarily stocked his team with what the press called his "dream team" of mostly Democratic partisans. One had defended a Hillary Clinton employee. Another had defended the Clinton Foundation.

Mueller did not at first announce to the press why he had dismissed Trump-hating FBI operatives Lisa Page and Peter Strozk from his investigative team. Instead, he staggered their departures to leave the impression they were routine reassignments.

But Mueller's greatest problem was his original mandate to discover whether Trump colluded with the Russians in 2016 to tilt the election in his favor.

After 15 months, Mueller has indicted a number of Trump associates, but on charges having nothing to do with Russian collusion. They faced inordinately long prison sentences unless they "flipped" and testified against Trump.

We are left with the impression that Mueller cannot find much to do with his original mandate of unearthing Russian collusion but still thinks Trump is guilty of something.

Mueller has reversed the proper order of jurisprudence. Instead of presuming Trump innocent unless he finds evidence of Russian collusion, Mueller started with the assumption that the reckless raconteur Trump surely must be guilty of some lawbreaking. Thus it is Mueller's job to hunt for past crimes to prove it.

While Mueller so far has not found Trump involved in collusion with foreign citizens to warp a campaign, there is evidence that others most surely were colluding, but are not of interest to Mueller.

It is likely that during the 2016 campaign, officials at the Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and National Security Agency broke laws to ensure that the outsider Trump lost to Hillary Clinton. FBI and DOJ officials misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to obtain warrants to surveil Trump associates. National security officials unmasked the names of those being monitored and likely leaked them to the press with the intent to spread unverified rumors detrimental to the Trump campaign.

A spy on the federal payroll was implanted into the Trump campaign. Hillary Clinton's campaign team paid for research done by a former British intelligence officer working with Russian sources to compile a dossier on Trump. Clinton hid her investment in Christopher Steele's dossier by using intermediaries such as the Perkins Coie law firm and Fusion GPS to wipe away her fingerprints.

As a result of wrongful conduct, more than a dozen officials at the FBI and DOJ have resigned or retired or were fired or reassigned. Yet so far none of these miscreants has been indicted or has faced the same legal scrutiny that Mueller applies to Trump associates.

Hillary Clinton is not facing legal trouble for destroying subpoenaed emails, for using an unlawful email server, or for the expenditure of campaign money on the Steele dossier.

No president has ever faced impeachment for supposed wrongdoing alleged to have taken place before he took office--not Andrew Johnson, not Richard Nixon, and not even Bill Clinton, who lied about his liaisons with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. With the effort to go back years, if not decades, into Trump's business and personal life, we are now in unchartered territory.

The argument is not that Trump committed crimes while president--indeed, his record at home and abroad is winning praise. The allegations are instead about what he may have done as a private citizen and whether it could have reversed the 2016 election.

The only way to clear up this messy saga is for Trump to immediately declassify all documents--without redactions--relating to the Mueller investigation, the FISA court warrants, the Clinton email investigation, and CIA and FBI involvement with the dossier and the use of informants.

Second, there needs to be another special counsel to investigate wrongdoing on the part of senior officials in these now nearly discredited agencies. The mandate should be to discover whether there was serial conflict of interest, chronic lying to federal officials, obstruction of justice, improper unmasking and leaking, misleading of federal courts, and violation of campaign finance laws.

It is past time to stop the stonewalling, the redacting, the suppression, the leaking to the press and the media hysteria. The government must turn over all relevant documents to two special counsels and free each to discover who did what in 2016.

Americans need the whole truth to ensure equality under the law and to thereby set us free from this nearly two-year nightmare.


Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Editorial on 08/30/2018

Print Headline: The truth will set us free


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Archived Comments

  • 23cal
    August 30, 2018 at 5:59 a.m.

    I have rarely seen so many lies and falsehoods shoehorned into such a small space.

  • WhododueDiligence
    August 30, 2018 at 6:51 a.m.

    Obviously Victor Davis Hanson has a severe case of Trumpophiliac Delirium Syndrome.

  • WhododueDiligence
    August 30, 2018 at 6:59 a.m.

    Gushing with admiration for Trump, Hanson says ".. indeed, his record at home and abroad is winning praise."
    In severe cases of Trumpophiliac Delirium Syndrome, delirious sufferers strongly believe everyone else in the whole world has it too.

  • TimberTopper
    August 30, 2018 at 7:12 a.m.

    This opinion writer has for sure one of the most warped opinions one can have. The fool must have help making the decision on whether to go to the bathroom or not.

  • JakeTidmore
    August 30, 2018 at 7:33 a.m.

    Hanson's statement is misleading. Yes, there are a few countries where Trump is praised. But, if you look for polling on the topic, in the past 14 months there are only two polls available to refer to: a June '17 Pew Research poll and a January '18 Gallup poll. Both show world opinion of Trump at record low levels for the US presidency. (Both polls can be accessed on the Internet and you can get the specifics there.)
    Compare this bit of Trump cheerleading to Hanson's negative slant on Republican presidents from this piece published by him in May this year:
    h ttp://w m/opinion/20180523/victor-davis-hanson-media-boost-stature-of-former-gop-presidents

  • Skeptic1
    August 30, 2018 at 8:41 a.m.

    Unless Mueller gives equal treatment to the Clinton people that very clearly broke many serious crimes his investigation will have no credibility. Unless those at the FBI and DOJ are made accountable for using a known false dossier to get FISA warrants to spy on Trump's campaign we can have no faith in our top law enforcement either. Can anyone imagine the hysterical outrage that would have ensued had the Bush administration done this to Obama? We are on the verge of a very serious clash in this country that could be akin to a civil war ginned up by a corrupt media. The first black president said he would unite the country, instead he set back race relations 50 years.

  • JakeTidmore
    August 30, 2018 at 8:58 a.m.

    Let's see - white anger and violence increases after Obama's election, therefore it's Obama's fault. That's been the underlying rationale behind many a lynching.
    Sorry, skeptic, but you have no proof for your allegation nor does it make sense. Get some non-partisan evidence otherwise there aren't any wings to lift your ton of "opinions" off the ground. (At least, until it has some proof to get airborne, it remains in that universal category - what everyone else has. Usually needing to be wiped after producing a statement.

  • JakeTidmore
    August 30, 2018 at 9:04 a.m.

    God WaPo article about Obama, race relation, and the accomplishments and difficulties that arose during his two terms in office.
    Closing paragraphs sum it up well:
    "History will decide the full measure of the importance, success, failures and shortcomings of the Obama presidency. With regard to race, Obama’s historical significance is ensured; only his impact and legacy are up for debate. In retrospect, the burden of transforming America’s tortured racial history in two four-year presidential terms proved impossible, even as its promise helped to catapult Obama to the nation’s highest office.
    ".... in acknowledging the limitations of Obama’s presidency on healing racial divisions and the shortcomings of his policies in uplifting black America, we may reach a newfound political maturity that recognizes that no one person — no matter how powerful — can single-handedly rectify structures of inequality constructed over centuries."
    WaPo article:
    htt ps://w m/graphics/national/obama-legacy/racism-during-presidency.html

  • dph815
    August 30, 2018 at 9:28 a.m.

    Well, this article sure got the Trump haters stirred up. Judging by the early and close times of their comments, I just wonder if they have a fast-response team set up to jump all over anything said that that goes against the anti-Trump narrative of the Democrats.
    So what are the lies and falsehoods?

  • PopMom
    August 30, 2018 at 9:40 a.m.


    What in the dossier do you think is false? Do you really think that it is unlikely that Trump romped with prostitutes? He has had unprotected sex with a porn star and an affair with a former playboy bunny. There are allegations that he had a child with a housekeeper. (I wonder if the housekeeper was a U.S. citizen).