In Whom Do We Trust?


Miles Nabritt, Managing Forum Editor

Sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. For a lot of people in this country, experiencing the presidential leadership of Donald Trump has been less than inspiring and wholesome. From his aggressive political rallies to his confrontational rhetoric on national television to everything that he symbolizes, Donald Trump has been involved in controversy from Day 1.

For a while now, there seems to have been one hope to really impede the Administration’s credibility: Special Counsel investigator Robert Mueller’s probe. However, as of last week, Mueller’s teams have concluded their two-year long investigation, which was designed to analyze Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election. This two-year long probe has been used to vilify President Trump as many Democratic politicians, political analysts, and many voters believed that there was some kind of collusion with Russian government officials. However, in recent days, Mr. Mueller revealed that he had found no substantial evidence connecting President Trump or his administration to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

For President Trump and his surrogates, Mueller’s anti-climactic results came as a relief, while for others, it resulted in bewilderment and frustration. This two-year long investigation took a lot of components and effort to get off the ground, including support from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the current Attorney General William P. Barr. With both these men and Mueller invested in this federal investigation, many people expected there to be some kind of substantial evidence against Trump. The reality that the Mueller investigation found no damming proof has resulted in resounding support for Trump and his administration amongst Republicans. In a public interview on Thursday, President Trump boldly stated that, “this is good” and that his suspected collusion was, “the most ridiculous thing that I ever heard.” Trump seems to be as resilient and determined as ever to prove to the American people his willingness to be a president with no fear.

However, Mueller’s probe did not stop at President Trump and his immediate campaign staff: the investigation resulted in many people within the Administration facing indictment and other federal crimes. In fact, according to the New York Times, a half a dozen former Trump aides were indicted of crimes associated with lying to U.S. Congress and other federal investigators. Additionally, the Mueller investigation brought forth 2,800 subpoenas and close to 500 search warrants and witness interviews, according to the Department of Justice. All of the legal preparation and organization that went into the Mueller investigation was unprecedented. However, with this recent letdown, it has all provided less-than-satisfactory results. According to Time Magazine, President Trump’s aides were elated to hear the Mueller investigation resulted in the supposed exoneration of the Administration (in fact, the Barr Report explicitly does not exonerate Trump and others of obstruction of justice).

Having followed the events of the Mueller investigation for some time now, I find myself at odds as well. It was surprising to me that after all of the tension and the build-up that led to the Mueller investigation, it seems to have all ended in confusion and despondency. Despite all good intentions, Mueller’s probe has inspired a rise in support from Trump’s base for him and his Administration. The United States has already endured two years of Donald Trump, and heading into the 2020 election, his odds of retaining his presidency for another four years seems likelier than ever. Since we can’t trust the Mueller investigation report anymore, one grim question remains: whom do we trust?