July 25, 2017 • BLOG ENTRY

Doing the Right Thing

Photo Source: Politico

I taught my children that you need to do the right thing even when nobody is watching. I was usually imparting this wisdom after I’d caught one of them red-handed breaking a rule. We call those teachable moments.

On June 3, 2016, Don Trump, Jr. received an email telling him that a Russian attorney had “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” This is hand-wringing good stuff if you’re in the middle of a presidential campaign, right? Incriminating evidence on your opponent, who wouldn’t jump at a chance at that?

Al Gore, for one. In 2000, an unsolicited package showed up at Gore campaign HQ containing what appeared to be a videotape and documents involving Republican nominee George W. Bush’s debate preparation. The package was turned over to the FBI.

Don, Jr.’s failure to notify the authorities that a foreign government was inserting itself in our national election was at the very least a lapse in morality. And the constantly changing story (now we find out there was an 8th person at the meeting) shows that he was and is willing to keep lying until he’s caught. But does it rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy? We don’t know. But even Representative Leonard Lance, who endorsed Trump in May of 2016 (before Speaker Ryan had jumped on board), says that he cannot say for sure that it does not.

How in the world are we going to get to the bottom of this? Well, Bob Mueller and his team are busy investigating, but we all know that at any moment the President can wrest away their authority to continue. How about those Republican Congressmen who have oversight power? Have they called for a full House investigation? No. Has Representative Lance called on his colleagues to put aside their party loyalty for the better of the country? No. Talk is cheap. The American people need action.

We are hearing all sorts of legal terms being bantered about: “accessory after the fact”, “conspiracy”, “espionage”, to name a few. Here’s the thing: here in the US a person is innocent until proven guilty. As a former criminal attorney, I truly believe in this principle. But I also believe in getting to the truth. This requires our elected officials to stand on the right side of history and begin full hearings in the House and Senate. Then, and only then, will we know if Trump and/or his campaign team helped the Russians interfere with our election.

And by the way, Trump’s taxes may answer some of those questions.