Have you ever wondered how two people can hear something at the same time yet have different opinions about what was said?
Plato, one of the world’s famous philosophers, suggests that everything we see is just a shade or an imitation of how things truly are.
Scientists believe that one’s understanding of reality depends solely on a person’s subjective feelings toward the person or topic.
The saying that, “perception is reality”, is so true. What people perceive is usually what they believe. This is commonly based on what they hear, see and think about the subject.
This concept has never been more evident based on the difference in opinion on a recent public statement by Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.
Mueller was appointed two years ago to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating links between the Russian government and any person associated with the Trump campaign and whether President Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation.
After the release of the report, there appeared to be differing views on the conclusions drawn by Mueller. Attorney General William Barr released a statement about the report and shared his conclusions about the results. Muller, however, appeared to differ with Barr on his summary.
Mueller decided he needed to make a statement after pressure from Congress for him to testify about the findings in the report.
Mueller announced he was formally closing the Special Counsel’s office and resigning from the Department of Justice and returning to private life.
He said that beyond the remarks he was making that day, his “work speaks for itself.”
Mueller explained the main reason for his public statements was to address the second volume of his report. This is the one that pertains to the conclusions into whether Trump obstructed justice in regards to the investigation.
Because Mueller failed to issue a finding, Barr concluded that the Trump had not obstructed justice after reading the report.
Mueller, however, wanted to explain his reasons for not reaching a conclusion on obstruction.
His statement was that, “if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.” He went on to explain why he could not make that determination.
The Department of Justice policy states that a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. To do so would be unconstitutional.
The Special Counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice and was bound by that policy. Charging the President was not an option they could consider.
All of that seems pretty self-explanatory to me, but apparently, not to everyone.
President Trump tweeted, “no collusion, no obstruction. Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore in our country, a person is innocent. Case closed.”
Mueller’s statement will do nothing to change the minds of Trump supporters.
A recent poll showed that most Trump voters heard Mueller declining to say Trump committed a crime and believe Mueller’s report cleared the president of any wrong doing.
It also showed less than 20 percent of them have actually read the report.
Fox News, who is a favorite friend to Trump, claimed victory for the president.
One Republican Senator appeared on a news show and stated that what Mueller said was, “I am done, if you have problems with the report, see a priest.”
And I sat wondering if we had all been watching and listening to the same press briefing.
Mueller’s remarks about his work “speaking for itself” fell on a lot of deaf ears. Assuming voters will actually read the report was a big mistake.
The White House has spent two years disparaging the man and his work with an eye toward his findings. They have spread bogus claims because they know their electorate will have no interest in the facts in the report.
Voters turn to people they think they can trust for information and are unware of the political agendas.
A perfect example was highlighted recently at a Town Hall meeting by a Republican Senator from Michigan. He was discussing his disappointment in the president after hearing Mueller’s statement.
A woman approached him later to address his comments about Trump. She said she was startled to learn that the Mueller Report contained anything negative about the president and was under the impression he had been exonerated. She said she received her news from a conservative news station.
The truth is we still don’t know the truth.
The key point made by Mueller is that he did his job and Congress needs to do theirs. He could not conclude that Trump did not obstruct justice. The constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.
At least, that’s what I heard.