Defend behavior at your own peril

To the Editor,

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard. The scorecard for the Trump administration is essential and exhausting.

It reads like a who’s who in Russian politics, and Russian politics is steeped in oligarchs, former KGB agents and Russian mafia figures.

You know that it always chaps my hide when I hear someone say something like after a year of investigating, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has not found any collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russians. There is a reason for that, you know: It’s because the investigation isn’t over yet.

While you might indeed be used to the kind of investigations run by Trey Gowdy and Devin Nunez, that’s not the way real investigations are performed. Instead of coming to conclusions and then looking for evidence to support those conclusions, a real investigation investigates and gathers evidence before coming to a conclusion. Another thing a real investigation doesn’t do is come to a conclusion before the investigation is complete. That’s something that a not-particularly-astute seventh-grader should be aware of. You will have your conclusions and the evidence supporting them when Mueller concludes his investigation, and not before.

As an offshoot of Mueller’s investigation, Maria Butina has been arrested and accused of using sex, lies and guns to infiltrate U.S. politics and spying for the Russians. She is accused of being funded by a Russian billionaire with U.S. investments. Funneling money to assist the Trump campaign seems more than just a bit shady.

One for sure is that Trump’s campaign was lousy with Russians. I believe at the last count the number was 75 corrections.

When you add all of this to Trump’s decision to separate immigrant children, some infants, from their parents seeking asylum, it tends to push other noteworthy scandals off of the front page. The following is the story I was just alluding to:

After a two-year investigation, the state of New York has a filed a suit against Trump and his three eldest children alleging “persistently illegal conduct” of his charitable organizations to pay off his business creditors and to decorate one of his golf clubs. In the latter charge, Trump bought a 6-foot painting of himself with charity money. They have his signature on a memo instructing his charity to pay to settle a lawsuit judged against him.

Two of the charities involved were a children’s cancer charity and a veterans’ charity. In any other administration, this would have been front-page news for months. I haven’t even heard it mentioned in weeks.

I don’t know about you, but as far as I am concerned, there is nothing more disgraceful than stealing from sick children of veterans. Defend this behavior at your own peril.

Bob Atkinson