I remember the feeling like it was yesterday.
My (probably acne-covered) 9th grade face was hot and flushed as I listened to two of my school’s most popular girls accuse me of doing something I hadn’t done. I tried to hold back tears as I stuttered and stammered, grasping for words to rebut this completely baseless accusation. Looking back, the accusation was so trivial and patently false that I shouldn’t have given it two seconds’ thought, much less melted into a blubbering pile of mortification. I was stunned. I always thought my character would speak for itself.
(To this day I have no idea why they did what they did.)
The story itself is trivial, especially in light of what I want to talk about today, but the reason I bring it up is to explain WHY I was so upset. I didn’t care necessarily what those girls thought of me—and I didn’t care if their sphere of popularity included me. What I did care about was my reputation. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but I did (and do) care about whether or not people feel that I’m trustworthy, kind, honest, and just.
That’s why I cared. I cared because it wasn’t true, and (in my little 9th grade mind) my reputation and my character was in play. I had no one to make my case; it was my word against theirs.
John Adams—a Revolutionary patriot and our nation’s second president—once said: “It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”
He’s talking about no-holds-barred presumption of innocence. He takes this a step further and points out that anything less than that would have serious consequences for us as a society. What’s the point of being good? After all, without presumption of innocence, that “good” can be erased in a matter of mere moments … or in this (particular) case, as a result of a political party’s post-loss hissy fit.
This stunt that Robert Mueller pulled this week—it MEANS something. Do you get how much it means to have the precious gift that is your innocence without exception??
I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you find yourself; I don’t care who or what you are—you need to understand that what Special Counsel Robert Mueller did on Wednesday affects YOU personally.
It’s not exactly the first time Mueller’s pulled a stunt like this; after all, by releasing a 400+ page report that held no evidence and then actively choosing NOT to formally exonerate the president of the crimes, Mueller damaged presumption of innocence for every last one of us.
But this—this egregious, pot-stirring display of ego from Robert Mueller—this takes it to the next level. And as a taxpaying, hardworking citizen whose dollars have helped fund this effort to unseat a duly elected president of the United States, I deserve answers. We all do.
But Mueller has (in the best interest of the country, naturally) decided to just drop this bomb and run. He has, as little children do when they’re being hauled off after fighting with their siblings, thrown a final sucker punch. That’s right—he’s made it clear in no uncertain terms that he’s not going to give us any other explanation. Period. Here’s the thing …
- Don’t we have a right to know why Mueller defended the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, went on to talk about how they didn’t find sufficient evidence to indict Trump, and then stopped short of (per the presumption of innocence) absolving the president?
- Don’t we have a right to know why Robert Mueller told Attorney General Bill Barr “several times in a group meeting that he was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction”?
- Don’t we have a right to know why—if there was no evidence of collusion—that Mueller felt the need to talk about the Constitutionality of indicting a sitting president?
- Don’t we have a right to know why Mueller spent two years and $25+ million in taxpayer dollars to investigate something that, according to him, he couldn’t even charge Trump with?
- Don’t we have a right to know why Mueller said “it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge,” and then proceeded to intimate that a crime had been committed by the president?
- Don’t we have a right to know why Mueller continues to make salacious insinuations about supposed campaign involvement in Russian interference, when not a single American has been indicted by the special counsel for interfering in the election? (Mind you—this is a team that had the likes of Paul Manafort dragged from his home at gunpoint for tax offensives that had nothing to do with the Russia interference investigation. If they could have found someone to theatrically arrest for collusion with Russia, they would have.)
WE paid for this investigation. WE endured it for 2 years. We are the citizens that this government serves, and if the Republicans in Congress could muster even a semblance of backbone, they’d immediately subpoena Robert Mueller to come before Congress and explain himself.
This isn’t just about a presidency. This isn’t just about a right or left; Democrat or Republican; Trump supporter, Trump hater or never-Trumper. This is about a growing political elite class that believes it can do anything—even tarnish and permanently damage the heart of our judicial system—for political expediency.
Don’t think for a second this won’t eventually have consequences for every single American.
You better demand that Congress act. Now.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700 Radio in Houston. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree