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Letters: Readers react to special counsel Mueller's report

Reader letters to Newsday for Sunday, April 21, 2019.

William Barr, U.S. attorney general, center, speaks Thursday

William Barr, U.S. attorney general, center, speaks Thursday before he released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Muellers report on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Photo Credit: Bloomberg / Erik Lesser

Thursday’s release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller resulted in more than 60 responses from readers by email and at our online gallery at newsday.com/opinion. Here is a sampling.

Donald Trump is not perfect. He was elected president by the people because we knew he was a successful businessman, and we wanted change from the last horrible eight years of stagnated growth. The great hoax is over. Look how much Trump has done despite constant harassment these past two years. Let the man do his job.

Kenneth Cetin, Massapequa Park

It is clear from the report that Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice and Attorney General William Barr interpreted the report to protect the president. I believe that just because Trump’s staff refused to carry out his orders does not mean his actions weren’t criminal.

So far, the strongest argument I’ve heard against impeachment is that it’s useless because Republican senators won’t vote for conviction, and Democrats fear it might help Trump in the polls.

If we really care about defending our democracy, Trump must be held accountable for his attempt to subvert the justice system or we risk further losing our republic. The president cannot be above the law. History will not look favorably on this moment if nothing is done; Democrats would be partially to blame.

Damon Gallo, Wading River

A waste of time and money!

Lawrence Becht, Wantagh

The release of the redacted Mueller report by Attorney General William Barr gives me reason to pause and assess what it means to be citizen. It should make us wonder what it means to be the president.

The White House reaction makes it clear that the current officeholder’s most significant accomplishment is that he has not yet been charged with a crime. For someone who has the sworn duty and distinct honor to serve the greatest nation in the history of the world, that is a very low goal. To remember that such a person sits as commander of more than 2 million Americans in active and reserve military service who have pledged to defend us with their lives, it is very disheartening. We should be ashamed.

Kenneth Williams, Baldwin

I haven’t finished reading the report, but it sure looks like future generations of Americans lost. When the behavior exhibited by the president and his campaign is minimized, Americans lose a perspective that honesty, integrity and patriotism matter.

Pat Biancaniello,Smithtown

Many Democrats claim that Attorney General William Barr is spinning the Mueller report in favor of President Donald Trump. House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler is calling on special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before the panel. Nadler instead should be calling for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has repeatedly said there is “ample evidence” that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians. Failing to do that, the Democratic Congress should just move on.

Bill Viggiano, Williston Park

For those who have seen President Donald Trump as the much-maligned victim of a vindictive media aided by partisan enemies and abetted by an unappreciative public, Attorney General William Barr’s all-clear interpretation of the special counsel’s report on March 24 was the equivalent of a week of chocolate sundaes. It was the opposite for those who view the Trump presidency as an existential threat to our democracy. Consistent with Barr’s interpretation, the fuller Mueller report doesn’t establish a criminal conspiracy among agents of Russia and Trump or his operatives. However, the report said the Trump campaign “expected it would electorally benefit from information stolen and released through Russian efforts” and that it “showed interest in Wikileaks’s release of documents and welcomed their potential to damage” candidate Hillary Clinton.

So, while Trump’s supporters cheer Robert Mueller’s not finding the collusion that likely would have ended Trump’s presidency, the rest of the public can still be appalled at how his campaign was a willing ally in what amounted to a severe non-collusion contusion to our body politic.

Chuck Cutolo, Westbury

It seems that although there is no evidence of collusion, the Russians did clearly affect the campaign. On the issue of obstruction, however, the issue is murkier, and Robert Mueller advises that Congress can continue to investigate further.

As the report says, although it did not find evidence of a conspiracy, it cannot conclude that President Donald Trump did not obstruct justice. I believe this showed that Trump has surrounded himself with the wrong people, and that he benefited from Russian interference.

Nicholas Cipollo, Commack

The Mueller report reveals that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the one lying and giving fake news. She told reporters that “countless” FBI agents had lost confidence in FBI Director James Comey. She now says it was not a lie but “a slip of the tongue.” Just wonder how many slip-of-the-tongue comments she has made.

Gene Reynolds, Ridge

I believe the report vindicates everything President Donald Trump has said: There was no collusion and this was nothing more than a witch hunt. He is not perfect and might not be a role model, but his policies are helping everyone. People who cannot accept the results of the 2016 election are only hurting themselves and trying to tear down this country.

George Bartels, Lynbrook

“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”

President Donald Trump’s claim that he is completely exonerated and the Mueller investigation was a hoax is typical of his searing duplicity. It is matched only by the baffling cluelessness of his supporters who have no problem with the fact Russia wanted to aid the Trump campaign, and the Trump campaign was more than happy to receive such support.

Can the Russian government pull off a repeat victory? I am scared. Approximately 40 percent of the country is adamant. They’re gone. Reversing their blind allegiance is hopeless. It will take every Democrat, sane Republican and independent to rescue the country I love.

Nicholas Santora, Roslyn Heights

Here we are, two years and millions of dollars later with only half a story.

Everyone in Washington pretty much knew Russia was trying to interfere in our election with the goal of creating divisions in our country.

But why investigate only one party’s involvement? Why not also investigate others’ contacts with Russian entities as well as the Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One deal with Russia and the so-called Steele dossier?

The Mueller report is a dud. If you are on the left, it proves guilt. If you are on the right, it exonerates. Both claim they were right. Reality says both also were wrong. As an American, I want to know what Russia’s total involvement was and what we are doing to minimize it in 2020. I have only half the chapters and still do not know what the story is.

The Mueller investigation did uncover one important fact: Our political electorate is as dangerous and divided as Russia wanted it to be.

Tim Gallagher, Seaford

Oh, the irony of the Mueller report. President Donald Trump’s own incompetence and failure as a leader were the factors that saved him. He clearly intended to obstruct justice, but his subordinates ignored his commands and he failed to get the job done. Lucky for him, but it is a scary scenario for our nation to be led by a president of such ineptitude and moral insolvency.

Ray Xerri, Oceanside

Donald Trump most certainly did attempt to obstruct justice multiple times, according to the Mueller report. His aides just ignored their marching orders from the president. The report said, “Our investigation found multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations.” Trump, as he was venting to Jeff Sessions after learning Mueller had been appointed as special council, “ Oh my God, this is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m [expletive].”

Trump’s own words should tell you all you need to know.

Ed Miglino, Central Islip

Our president has done enough to warrant an impeachment. Our future leaders cannot behave this way, or we are on our way to a dictatorship. Regardless of what our president believed about the investigation against him, the process needed to continue independent of his interference. That’s democracy.

Olga Jabbour, Garden City

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