Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
This year was a memorable Holy Week! We had the “dump” of the Mueller report at noon on Holy Thursday. After weeks of spin by Attorney General Barr and President Trump that there was “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” (Tweet from Donald Trump on March 24th) — finally the redacted Mueller Report was released!
After almost two years of President Trump proclaiming that the Mueller Investigation as “The Greatest Witch Hunt Ever” — now Barr and Trump were singing the praises of the report and claiming, “Total EXONERATION.” My head was exploding, and I decided I had to read the report and see for myself.
I dove into the 448-page report on Good Friday and completed it on Easter Sunday. In between I was reading and musing on Gospel passages. As I write this on Easter Monday morning, the passage from Matthew above, and three passages that follow from the Mueller Report, stand out to me. And I’d like to share them with you, and share what they meant to me.
First of all, I recommend that you read the entire Mueller Report. You paid for it, and you should read it, and make up your own mind about what it means for all Americans at this point in time. Don’t settle for the spin that talking heads put on it — read the Report. It’s well organized, and readable. Whether you share my views or not, hopefully, they will prompt you to read the actual report so you can form your own opinion based on the facts.
The first crucial citation from the Mueller Report is this one:
The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion (Pg. 9)
I mean, that was the basic mandate of the investigation: to find out if the Russians interfered with the election. And that was Mueller’s conclusion: “in a sweeping and systematic fashion.”
That should give us all pause. A foreign government put their thumb on the scale during the election of 2016. And there is no doubt that they were out to help Donald Trump win. Mueller spends a hundred pages proving this beyond a shadow of a doubt. And when you factor in that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, and only won the electoral votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by a combined 70,000 vote margin — it’s possible that the Russian interference could have mattered.
When you consider Trump’s dismissal of our own intelligence assessment and the embrace of Putin’s denials of interference at the Helsinki press conference — you have got to wonder what the hell is going on here! Add to that, that the Trump Administration has still taken no coordinated, serious action to stop the Russians from interfering in our 2020 election. Alarm bells should be going off!
Mueller did not find enough evidence to support the charge of a “Criminal Conspiracy” between the Trump Campaign and the Russians. But Mueller found hundreds of contacts between the Russians and members of the Trump Campaign. And the fact that Flynn, Gates and Cohen were indicted and convicted for lying about those Russian contacts — is significant. Can you imagine the outcry from the Republicans if anything like this had happened in the Obama administration?
Mt.7:15-20 is a sound road map for finding your way through these confusing times. “…by their fruit you will recognize them.” The Mueller Report gives you 400 pages of “strange fruit” to recognize.
The second citation from the Mueller Report details the President’s reaction on May 17, 2018 when he was informed by Attorney General Sessions that the Mueller Investigation into Russian interference in the election had just been authorized:
According to the notes written by Hunt, when Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f***ed.
Does this sound like the response of a President who is innocent of any wrongdoing? This was an investigation into Russian meddling in our election — why does the President immediately assume it’s about him?
After 400+ pages that spawned questions like this, Mueller ended his report with this terse conclusion:
Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
It’s clear to me, since I actually read the report, that Mueller was leaving it up to Congress to judge whether the President’s repeated obstructions of justice warrant impeachment by the House, and a trial in the Senate. Each of our elected representatives took an oath of office — not to be loyal to their party, or to defend a President — but to defend our Constitution and the rule of law.
Mueller, a life-long Republican, spent almost two years of his life to give the American people the facts and the truth. Do facts still matter to our Congress? Facts matter most when people act as if facts matter! Stay tuned.