What we know to be true, and what we do about it
This we know is true: Russia attacked the United States in 2016 and 2018, spending millions of dollars to ensure that Donald Trump won the presidential election, trying to undermine U.S. democracy and co-opting local elections. We know this from foreign governments and all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.
This we know is true: Trump as president tried to end sanctions on Russia for invading Crimea, for its crimes in Ukraine, for hacking U.S. elections. When asked directly if he believed U.S. intelligence agencies about the extent of Russian hacking or Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s denial, Trump chose Putin.
This we know is true: Trump has spent years trying to gain a business foothold in Russia, hoping, eventually to build a multimillion-dollar hotel in Moscow. He hosted the Miss Universe pageant in Russia. A substantial number of his top campaign aides are going to prison or trying to avoid it because they lied about the extent of their contacts with Russians during the election. Two dozen Russians have been indicted for interfering with U.S. elections.
This we know is true: Special counsel Robert Mueller refused to draw a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed in firing FBI Director James Comey who was investigating the extent of Russian interference.
This we know is true: Trump’s current attorney general, Robert Barr, who wrote a memo saying Mueller had no right to investigate Trump, improbably insists the Constitution places no limit on a president’s conduct.
Either Mueller concluded there was not enough incontrovertible evidence to indict a sitting president because Trump’s campaign did not actively help Russia, or Mueller decided that U.S. Department of Justice policy that a sitting president may not be indicted is correct. Trump is wrong to insist that he was fully exonerated. Prosecutors do not exonerate or convict.
So where do we go from here?
We stop paying breathless attention to Trump’s ridiculous tweets, such as his bogus claim he was “totally, completely” exonerated by Mueller.
We wait patiently while House Democrats hold methodical, factual and civil hearings about investigations into the travesties Trump has brought to the presidency.
We pay attention to Republicans who refuse to see Trump with stars in their eyes, who aren’t terrified of him and are willing to speak truth to power.
We do all we can to help our fellow Americans devastated by floods, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, snow, storms and all manner of climatechange-fueled disasters.
We stop giving millions of dollars to Trump’s re-election campaign. We give money to causes that are doing the hard, tedious work of making America better.
We protest, loudly, the cruel Trump plans to take health insurance away from 11 million Americans and insurance for pre-existing conditions away from 100 million more.
We rejoice in our open society, our right to free speech and freedom to criticize our political leaders without retribution from them.
We understand there is no such thing as fake news. Either it’s news and it is true or it is fiction and propaganda. Facts are facts. Lies are lies. Purveyors of truth are not our enemies.
This we know to be true: This is not Trump’s country. This is not Russia’s country. It is ours, and we can keep it.