Under current U.S. law, the jury in a criminal trial decides if a defendant is either guilty or not guilty. If guilt cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant must be found not guilty. A verdict of not guilty does not mean a defendant is innocent. It merely means that a jury of one’s peers, based on the evidence presented to them, is not convinced that the individual is guilty.
The Mueller Report tells us that two dozen highly trained lawyers (all of whom harbored strong anti-Trump bias) spent 22 months investigating every possible aspect of the case and failed to find sufficient evidence to indict President Trump on obstruction of justice charges.
The special counsel team, the prosecutors, bore the burden of proof and were unable to establish that President Trump was guilty. As Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow told Sean Hannity last week, if Mueller could have indicted, he would have.
So that should have been “game over,” as it would have been had the subject been anyone other than Donald Trump.
For political reasons, the Mueller team was highly motivated to find an indictable offense. They had unlimited time, money, access to information and resources to do so.
Frustrated that his team couldn’t find sufficient evidence, but wanting to maintain the pressure to hurt Trump’s chances of reelection, Mueller invited Congress to continue the investigation. That’s plainly why he included the words “we cannot exonerate him” in his report.
But, in the U.S., there is no exoneration. There is only guilty or not guilty. If there is insufficient evidence to establish guilt, the defendant is not guilty. And Mueller knows that.
Note: I realize the Mueller Investigation wasn’t a trial. By likening it to a trial, I was better able to make my point. (However, I would argue that it was, in many ways, far worse.)
Former NYC Mayor and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, appeared on Fox News Sunday and spoke to anti-Trumper Chris Wallace about the issue of exoneration.
Wallace played a clip of Trump telling a crowd, “I’m having a good day. It’s called no collusion, no obstruction.”
Wallace says, “But, mayor, that’s not true. The Mueller Report makes it clear, especially on the issue of obstruction, that he’s leaving it to Congress…And the President, in terms of Congress, hasn’t been exonerated at all on the issue of the obstruction.”
Giuliani replied, “You never get exonerated. One of the main things that infects that report and makes it a warped report is page two, the standard. You do not apply a standard of exoneration to anyone. Whether it’s a president, an impeachment. You can’t exonerate. Exoneration means proving a negative.”
After arguing over each other briefly, Wallace said, “The issue here is did the president obstruct justice or not?” He referred to Trump’s request that former White House counsel Don McGahn have Mueller fired.
Giuliani said, “Had he done it, it would not have been obstruction of justice because there were very good reasons to fire Mueller.”
Wallace interrupts to ask what those good reasons were.
Giuliani answered, “Mueller hired a staff in which he had people that I would find very, very questionable as people that should be investigating Donald Trump.” He went on to list those members and their highly partisan affiliations.
Trump does not have to prove that he didn’t do something. He does not have to prove his innocence. Rather, the left must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is guilty.
But that won’t stop House Democrats and the hosts on CNN and MSNBC from continuing Mueller’s fight and from insisting on unlawful standards.
When the truth comes out, and it will, and the perpetrators are finally held accountable for their roles in this conspiracy, only then will they see things differently.