Russ White MUG

A couple of stories in the news this week were even more concerning than the usual, ongoing train wreck of this administration. Neither had to do with the issues taking place in the Persian Gulf.

Volume I of The Mueller Report stated they could not indict members of the president’s family because they could not prove that members of the campaign team understood it was a crime to accept something of value from a foreign national. I’ve heard, for most of my life, ignorance of the law is no excuse, but, …

In a long and rambling interview with George Stephanopoulos, the president removed all doubt about his willingness to commit a felony by taking information from a foreign power.

“I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI,” he said. Well, I’m sure John Gotti and Whitey Bulger never thought about calling the FBI either.

In that interview, the president clearly stated the criminal intent necessary for prosecution. It gets worse.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel says Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway should be fired for repeated violations of the Hatch Act, which forbids the performance of political activities while acting in an official capacity. The president refused to even reprimand her.

This president’s disdain for the rule of law is no longer something he’s hiding. It is right out in the open, challenging Congress to do their job and impeach him.

More concerning, it was a counterintelligence, not criminal, investigation that was the impetus for what turned into the Mueller investigation. That aspect of the investigation was shuffled off to other divisions in the FBI, and there is no direct mention of it in the report.

Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives, says his committee has not been able to get the briefings they are, by law, required to receive from the FBI or the intelligence agencies. That became critical this week.

The New York Times released a story outlining U.S. cyber efforts to infiltrate the electric power grids in Russia. The concerning aspect is the fact that this information was not briefed to the president due to concern about his reaction. It was feared he would countermand the efforts, or discuss the subject with foreign officials.

It appears there is concern about the loyalty of this president, even within his own administration. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in his closing statement, this “deserves the attention of every American.”

— White, a retired fire services chief in South Florida, lives in Orange City. Send email to info@beacononlinenews.com.