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Alabama reaction to Mueller findings

President Donald Trump speaking in 2017 just outside Harrisburg. Staff Sgt. Tony Harp/U.S. Air National Guard

Sunday, Alabama leaders reacted to the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller Report that there was no evidence of collusion between the President and Russian intelligence to win the 2016 presidential campaign.

“When the Mueller investigation first began, I was one of the first to believe that it was unlikely to implicate President Trump, likely to be used by anti-Trumpers, and almost guaranteed to be a waste of money and focus,” State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said. {I’m not always right in predicting results of Washington games, but this one time I was spot on. The Mueller investigation was a waste, not only of $25 million plus but also a distraction to the Make America Great agenda.”

“No president should have to endure such an attack,” Zeigler said. “Consider the effort expended: Spent over 25 million of taxpayer dollars; Spent two years; Generated massive national media coverage; Employed 19 lawyers; Worked with 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and others; Issued more than 2,800 subpoenas; Executed nearly 500 search warrants; Interviewed about 500 witnesses; Made 13 requests to foreign governments for information; All this was in addition to two separate Congressional investigations, one in the House and one in the Senate, that found “no evidence” of any kind of “Russian collusion”.”

“And the Trump critics are demanding even more,” Zeigler concluded. “No. Let’s move on. There is real work to be done.”

2016 Alabama Trump Victory Chairman Perry O Hooper Jr. said in a statement: “Today is a great day for all Americans who believe in the rule of law. The intent of the investigation was to determine whether Trump and his campaign illegally worked with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s office determined that it “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia.” It lasted close to two years — 675 days, or one year, 10 months and six days, to be exact. It employed 19 lawyers, all democrats. It took 43 FBI agents away from investigating real crimes including terrorism. Mueller and his associates issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses. In total the investigation wasted over $25 million of taxpayer’s dollars. Now It’s time for Attorney General Barr to investigate the Obama appointees and the Clinton campaign whose lies, and falsehoods that lead to this fiasco of an investigation. To Quote the great Republican Abraham Lincoln ‘Truth is generally the best vindicator against slander’. TRUTH WINS”

Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-Selma) rejects the supposition that the Mueller investigation was nothing but a partisan witch hunt.

“Attorney General Barr’s letter to Congress provides only a glimpse at Special Counsel Mueller’s investigative findings and poses more questions than it answers,” Rep. Sewell said. “I have always said that we must allow Special Counsel Mueller to investigate and follow the facts, and there are still many unanswered questions about efforts to obstruct justice. In the report, Special Counsel Mueller did not exonerate the President and, specifically, did not reach a conclusion as to obstruction of justice. We the people deserve to know the underlying facts regarding any and all efforts to obstruct justice.”

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“Transparency demands that the Special Counsel’s full report and its underlying facts be made public to Congress and the American people,” Rep. Sewell stated. “The House voted overwhelmingly, 420-0, in a bipartisan manner to publicly release the full report. I reject claims that the Special Counsel investigation was a partisan witch hunt. Whether we like it or not, I believe that it was a necessary process to get to the bottom of many suspicious activities by the President and his associates with the Russian government and oligarchs. This cloud over the current presidency needed to be investigated to regain more public trust and confidence in President Trump’s actions. It speaks volumes that his actions are in question at all. There are no winners and losers in the Special Counsel’s report because the undeniable fact is that Russia did and will continue to make every effort to interfere in our elections. We must focus on this global threat and establish safeguards at every level of government to meet this challenge.”

While the Mueller probe failed to find anything remotely criminal on the part of President Trump and the Trump family, it did manage to convict Paul Manafort for cheating on his taxes before working for the Trump campaign. Manafort has been sentenced to seven and a half years. His partner and accountant, Rick Gates, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. He pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI and conspiracy. General Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. He was sentenced to 14 days. Richard Pinedo pleaded guilty to identity theft. He was sentenced to six months incarceration and six months of home confinement. London attorney Alex van der Zwaan, a Gates associate, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI. He was sentenced to 30 days. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax and fraud charges related to his financial and taxi business in New York as well as making false statements to Congress and campaign finance violation for paying off porn star Stormy Daniels with Trump campaign funds. Roger Stone has been indicted on seven counts of lying to the House Intelligence Committee and tampering with a witness. Sam Patten pleaded guilty for failing to register as a foreign agent. A number of Russian nationals have been indicted, including twelve GRU intelligence agents. None of the Russians are ever likely to see a courtroom.

All of this was on the periphery of the investigation.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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