by CheVaughn Starling 

Unless you have been living under a rock or worldwide news doesn’t interest you, you pretty much know about the cluster of nonsense in America that is the Special Counsel Investigation or what I like to call: “The Truth on Whether or Not Vladimir Putin is Really Our President” Investigation. For the past two years, Americans (and other nations) have been waiting patiently, crying impatiently, or laughing hysterically on whether the President of the United States colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. 

If you are a ‘tree hugging liberal’, you’ll be highly disappointed with the fact that this man did not. If you’re a ‘snooty conservative’, you’ll be thrilled that he did not collude. If you are indifferent, this whole article might not apply to you and you could very well go back to living your best life! However, if you are a Trump supporter and a part of the “MAGA” (Make America Great Again) Hive, then you’ll be one of the annoying people that have not shut up about this damn investigation since it started. YES, WE GET IT! Your favorite president did not collude with Russia. You were right, the rest of us was wrong! Okay, let’s move on!

Nevertheless, there are a lot of people on both sides that are having a very difficult time letting go and moving forward. It’s almost like a bitter ex that will just not leave well enough alone and move on with their lives. I’m sorry Sharron, Tim has moved on and is happy. Can you like worry about healthcare, please? Oh no? We are not going to do that? Ugh, Fine! It might be beneficial to give a little background on this whole investigation and explain why people, especially the Democrats, are a little upset.  

Lets go all the way back to 2016 – I know, sometimes it feels like we’re in the year 2030 with the way politics is handled in present day America. (Insert, rolling eye and shaking my head emoji here). There were rumors that Russia interfered with the election. Everybody’s reaction to this rumor at the time was RUUUSSSSIIIAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Impossible! They can’t tamper with the election! Blasphemy! Well turns out Russia did tamper with the U.S. election. In March of 2017, America (and pretty much most of the world) found out that the FBI started an investigation to look into Russian interference and a possible linkage to the Trump campaign. Nevertheless, this investigation began in the summer of 2016, while President Trump was a Presidential hopeful.

Trump and Putin at the Helsinki Summit

Here’s where things get a little “tricky”, and I will try to make this as simple as possible. A man who no one even heard of before this investigation, George Papadopoulos, began boasting in London about how some Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. At the time, he was Trump’s foreign policy advisor to the campaign. While this is going on let’s look at another facet of the situation, it was proven the Democratic National Convention’s emails have been hacked into by Russia, and eventually released to the public. 

Now Trump may have not known any of this was going on at the time, but he surely didn’t make the situation any easier by encouraging such behavior. Whether that was encouraging Russia to look into Hillary’s emails or constantly admiring and gushing over Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin (and his relationship with Trump is definitely something we’ve all had our eyes on), he definitely did not make it hard for him to look suspicious in the FBI’s eyes. Of course, Russia never did get the Hillary Clinton emails, but did get other privy information in regards to her campaign and released them. 

Are we confused yet? Cool. We were too around that time.  At this stage, things are still pretty hush hush in 2016. President Trump wins the election and all is well, that is until January when he’s officially in office. In January of 2017, after Trump was sworn in, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was initially questioned about conversations and involvement with Russia. It was at this point where Flynn messed up; he essentially lied to the FBI about his interactions with Russia. The acting Attorney General at the time, Sally Yates, found out about the interview and informed the White House of the lie. Now, Yates have raised a few eyebrows of her suspicions of Flynn, but before she could really do anything about this, she was fired for not supporting the Travel Ban. Shortly after Yates was fired Flynn resigned from his position in the Trump administration. In the midst of Flynn’s firing, James Comey, the former head of the FBI, and Trump had a private meeting about Comey’s loyalty to President Trump.  

Robert Mueller

Now we are about to go into over-drive.  In mid-February, Papadopoulos, is now being questioned heavily by the FBI because of his involvement with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign. Fast forward to May 3, 2017, James Comey is out of a Job. Now, everyone is super confused as to why this is the situation. Trump made a comment about how he was going to fire Comey regardless. Then, Comey comes forward (with memos) to state he felt pressured to “go easy” on Flynn. All of these instances happened very fast, and soon after Comey’s firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate what the hack is going on; thus, the Mueller investigation. 

In the midst of all this madness, numerous amounts of people have been founded guilty, indicted, or pleaded guilty due to the investigation.  From Paul Manafort (Trump’s old campaign manager), Flynn, Papadopoulos to Michael Cohen (Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer), dozens of people have admitted to having some sort of conversations with Russia or involvement in other embezzling activity. If anybody is a history nerd or knows slight information about American history, they would know that when one thing is investigated, the investigation team looks at EVERYTHING. Just take Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton wasn’t initially under investigation for his lying infidelity. He was under investigation for investments he and Hillary made while he was governor in Arkansas. That investigation opened up the door to Monica Lewinsky. 

Robert Mueller

Similarly, the Mueller investigation did the same thing to Trump. It opened up doors to his past investments when he was a business man, past affairs, pay offs, and other questionable situations. The investigation was a gateway for other lawsuits and investigations against the president and his team that are currently taking place. With all the scandal surrounding the investigation and the lengthy process, Mueller concluded there wasn’t any collusion with Russia, but did say their wasn’t “sufficient evidence to conclude Trump did not obstruct justice” This is very different from what Attorney General William Bar reported when he gave his summary of the investigation and press conference prior to the release of the redacted report to the public.  

While Trump is free of collusion, there are things about the report that is unsettling to say the least. Let me first say, I am glad the President of the country I live in did not collude with a foreign entity, but he still isn’t going to be saint of the year in my book either, which is why some people, especially the Democrats are looking side-eyed at this whole investigation.  How he handled this whole investigation appeared suspect, and the fact that he hired people in place, such as William Barr, to make him look good is even more suspect. It almost appears as if he indeed obstructed justice. Yes, every president picks people who will follow out their agenda. However, the Attorney General also works for the betterment of the country. Barr has stated several times his views on the investigation and how he thinks American government spied on Trump , and, at times, acted like Trump’s personal lawyer and cheerleader, than the Attorney General of the United States.

What Happens Now?

Good question! While Trump was never going to get prosecuted for anything in the investigation, it was never necessarily about that. The main purpose for Mueller investigating possible collusion was whether his report had enough grounds for impeachment (something only Congress can decide). Now impeachment doesn’t necessarily remove a president from their position. It’s a mere charge against a government official. In order to be impeached, a person must commit “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” (US Constitution- https://constitutionus.com/). There are people who want to see him impeached, and there are others that do not want to waste the time. Personally, I believe this is a losing battle because the Senate (majority Republican) would never vote to fully impeach him. Even if the House of Representatives (majority Democrat and the opposing party) were to vote for articles of impeachment (step 1 of 2 for the impeachment process). This whole investigation was a cluster of nonsense, but very entertaining when it was all said and done. We may have Trump for another term, but we have something to look back on in history. Until Congress figures out what they are going to do with this investigation, we can at least laugh at the memes and the outlandish tweets that are being created on a daily about the investigation. 

CheVaughn Starling is the host of Civil Diligence podcast. Hailing from a state called Illinois in America,her love for politics and history led her to aspire a career as a political analyst. CheVaughn was inspired by the idea to start Civil Diligence for a simple platform for millennials to express themselves politically.Out of all the political shows out in the world, there was not a true platform where millennials could speak their mind and ask questions about the political minutia that effects our world…and our pockets. She feels that if you are effected by the government, you should at least have the bare minimum comprehension of how the people we elect effects US.