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Gazette-Mail editorial: Mueller: Read the report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III conducted a 10-minute press conference to basically tell every American and U.S. politician that everything they need to know about Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump is in his report released in March.

In other words, Mueller isn’t going to give anyone the cliff notes. He wants you to read the thing.

He did drop two important summary-type statements, though, as a prosecutor, Mueller said them in a very attorney-like fashion. One: The Russians actively interfered in the 2016 election both through social media and hacking of Democratic email accounts. Mueller made it clear this is something that should concern every American.

Secondly, he said if Donald Trump was innocent of obstruction of justice, the report would have said as much. It does not. Mueller was clear that Trump was not charged with obstruction by his investigators because he cannot indict a sitting president. As is stated even more plainly in the report itself, this is a signal for Congress to get off their duffs and start impeachment proceedings.

It’s up to Congress to actually receive and interpret that signal. As he has shown, Mueller is not going to stand in front of the press, or in front of a government panel, and tell them “This is what I found and this is what you need to do.” That was the whole point of the report compiled after nearly two years of investigations.

Mueller evidently believes that Americans and their government representatives will look at the report and draw their own conclusions on the obvious course of action. This hasn’t happened yet because the political system of the United States is poisoned to the point of paralysis. No one will do what common sense dictates. Those in power who do see a problem with Trump campaign officials interacting with Russian officials and the president trying to derail the investigation into those activities are swatted down by majority leaders too afraid of what it might cost them in the elections next year.

But what good is party control if the country you’re running has been subverted by a foreign adversary and is so bitterly divided it is essentially broken? The damage has been done, and inaction will only cause more. So what if the Senate under the dark cloud of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s nihilism won’t hear impeachment articles? The House should start the process because it’s the right thing to do. Let that inaction be McConnell’s legacy, and the legacy of all senators who failed to act, if that’s what they choose.

Those who know what’s right can’t sit idle just because Mueller won’t give them the dagger they desire or because the result in the Senate looks hopeless. If those who can make a difference can’t make the call on something this obvious, what is the process even there for?

Funerals for Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Berdine, Robert - 2 p.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation Inc., Arnoldsburg.

Bonsall, Buddy - 11 a.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Holstein, Gary - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Keener, John - 8 p.m., Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Miller, Edward - 1 p.m., Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home, Spencer.

Wright, Virginia - 11 a.m., Nitro Church of God, Nitro.