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Both my loyal readers may have shown some interest in what I’ve had to say on these pages regarding all that Russia collusion/obstruction stuff so I figured I should actually read the 400-page Mueller report. I actually looked forward to knowing the facts instead of relying on Facebook posts, tweets, talking heads, faux news and local gossip.

Unlike most legal documents the Mueller report is an easy read that not only connects the dots but also reveals the full background of this angst that we Americans have been put through. So given all that, here goes.

First off, the report leaves no doubt that the Russians interfered in our election and although none of them are likely to show up for trial Mueller put together a very solid indictment of the Russian culprits. Secondly, there isn’t a lot of question that the Trump campaign was contacted numerous times and told that the Russians not only wanted Donald Trump to win but they were helping him do so. Mueller’s description on the question of collusion/conspiracy makes it seem like the Trump campaign was filled with a gallery of rogue adventurers. It would be comical if it wasn’t for all the lying and deceit that Mueller describes as obstructing his ability to find a crime … proving conspiracy is a high legal bar that Mueller decided to avoid. Thus, so far, Trump is right: no illegal collusion.

Trump may be relieved, but those of us who believe that making sure our vote counts are quite worried about what we’re going to do to stave off the next Russian, Chinese, North Korean, etc., attack on our ballots. Seems to me that the only solution is to require paper ballots as a backup to cyber attacks, i.e., don’t change what we do now.

Part 2 of the Mueller report is quite revealing and I can fully appreciate why the president is a more than a bit wound up about it. He doesn’t look good and in my mind there is no question that he not only went far beyond his constitutional authority but more importantly horrified most of us who have tried to live honest/truthful lives.

First off, Mueller was barred from indicting a sitting president by an unanswered constitutional question which basically says that such indictments would hinder his ability to carry out the constitutional requirements of the presidency. This basically means two things: one, he can be indicted after his tenure is over (Mueller said if that happens, the report was created to make a record for such proceedings) and it’s up to Congress, not the courts, to determine whether or not he’s guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Section 2 of the Mueller report deals with the question as to whether or not our president obstructed justice. I realize that having bad morals is not illegal, nor is bad ethical behavior, but the actions of these people is quite disgusting, and the report affirms that our leader is one of those folks.

I’ve now gone through this section twice and my conclusion is that if it wasn’t for the fact that some of his staff finally stood up for the rule of law our president would have further corrupted himself and our country.

So where does this all leave us? Mueller said that he could not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice, thus he ostensibly referred his findings to Congress to decide what to do with them. So that’s where we are today. Here’s my advice: Read the report and make up your own mind.

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Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.

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