Mueller press statement begs for closer examination

Unfit actions should be measured


Katie Hardie

Interestingly enough, President Trump and his mighty band of staffers are still beating around the proverbial bush regarding the alleged Russian interference in the US 2016 election, even now in the face of a formal investigative report.  

In a press conference May 29, Mueller spoke out for the first time since releasing his report on the 2016 election. While he relieved some of the president’s stress concerning the most serious allegations, he didn’t exonerate of obstruction of justice either. Of course the president and his staff leapt at this opportunity to reiterate how innocent the president is, but the two sided coin is not very two sided, despite what Trump followers might say. Yes, he is not totally guilty, but the fact he’s not totally innocent is a problem in itself.

In his statement, Mueller made it perfectly clear his report wasn’t handing Trump any favors.

“And as set forth in the report, after that investigation,” Mueller said in front of reporters, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

In court, proving a defendant is not guilty by showing there is a lack of evidence is a defense lawyer’s dream. This is because they know a jury is unlikely to pronounce a person guilty if they’re not wholeheartedly sure the person did it.

In any courtroom in America, that’s all well and good, because throwing guilty verdicts at anyone who seems the slightest bit suspicious is not the best way to run a legal system. But this is the president of the United States. Just because Mueller did not have enough evidence to prove Trump’s culpability only gives the country slight assurance that our president isn’t a criminal.

Slight assurance? The Mueller report given to congress is heavily redacted via executive privilege, and now according to Mueller’s apparent resignation, the committee designated to examining the POTUS’s legality is now gone. That’s not exactly the kind of security that breeds much faith in a system.  

In this case there is reasonable doubt; nobody can satisfyingly prove Trump had any collusion with Russia, but nobody can say he didn’t either. This should clear him in itself, and to supporters of Trump, it already has. But there’s too much smoke and mirrors for that to be acceptable.

As a student at St. Louis Park, we need good examples of law officials. We need faith in the government, in due process, in justice. Everything happening in Washington D.C. affects us everyday by the simple fact these people control our nation. I urge every student at Park to see through what they’re told, to see through this, to see through reasonable doubt. Let’s put our IB thinking caps on and get to criticizing.