From Rayburn to Pelosi to interesting questions

Jay Ambrose

The two-year, multimillion dollar Robert Mueller investigation to help impeach President Donald Trump was a farce from the beginning, as much a threat to this country’s democratic principles as a Russian collusion would have been.

Now we’re getting exactly what is needed: a criminal investigation. Woe is the New York Times.

In an editorial posing as a news story, the newspaper told us this is just President Donald Trump trying to get revenge. Next in line were emotionally wrought talking heads on cable TV repeating the point for want of anything intelligent to say.

To make that argument logically, they would have to know what the evidence was in any particular case and who was being accused of what. They would also need to explain the falderal leading up to the massively disruptive probe and tell us what solid grounds there were for it in the first place.

The thing is, the special counsel’s report found no collusion. Let me say it again. After all the sniffing, digging and interviewing, the irrelevant arrests and destruction of lives, the selection of a partisan gotcha team, the media pile-on and the certainty of pompous pundits, there was no demonstration of Trump or his cohorts corroborating with Russian agents.

If that’s all they had at the end, what in the world did they have at the beginning?

Hooey is one answer. For example, there was an unverified, grotesque dossier that relied on Russians and was used against Trump in a variety of ways. It had its origins with Hillary Clinton campaign money.

We had illegal, misleading, official leaks. We had CIA involvement that some say was out of order. We had FBI Director James Comey disregarding the rules of the road in his release of memos.

Under the Obama administration, there was spying and criminal research on Trump staffers. We had a game played on a Trump campaign aide, George Popadopalous, that appears downright treacherous.

A criminal investigation of this and more could add up to proof that the Mueller investigation was an assault on our dearest principles as proud officials, their underlings and leftist politicians said it was their voices, not those of millions of voters, that mattered. The thesis seemed to be that trash had elected trash and it that it was up to the precious few to throw the trash out.

Boldly and correctly, Attorney General William Barr initiated a counter-investigation, naming the highly esteemed, honorable prosecution whiz John Durham to figure out why the Mueller adventure started in the first place. It was then Durham who decided to reconstitute the probe as a criminal investigation.

He can now subpoena evidence and call witnesses before grand juries that could then make decisions leading to trials and perhaps to convictions and imprisonment. But if there’s terror in Washington, it hasn’t slowed down a second charade.

Democrats in the House have been proceeding with an impeachment inquiry as twisted and contrived in appearance as it probably is in reality. What’s the real story behind the hidden whistleblower? Why all the secrecy?

Why no House vote to get things started and what’s with this recent vote that still keeps Republicans in a secondary, controlled role? The supposition now is that Trump had a quid pro quo in asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, namely that the country would not get U.S. aid if it refused. But Ukraine never knew of a delay or investigated Biden and soon received military aid of a kind President Barack Obama never allowed.

Trump was out of line, but not to the degree of impeachment. Joe Biden’s conflicts of interest are actually a much bigger deal.

And once again, we have unsettling procedures. Congress needs to work on the nation’s needs and let the voters have a say in the 2020 election.

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send emails to Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. © 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

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(7) comments


The Times' policy for comments should also apply to its opinion page. Ambrose is not truthful here. He repeats the easily disproved lie the the dossier had its origins in the Clinton campaign. While Hillary's campaign picked up the dossier, it's origins were in opposition research by a Trump primary rival. Ambrose assumes criminal charges are coming to discredit the Mueller investigation. This assumes an awful lot, including that conspiracy theories are at the heart of this investigation. Ambrose asks what the real story behind the whistleblower is. Seriously? The whistleblower 's complaint has been verified by numerous witnesses over the last several weeks. The only question left is when the cult of Trump will acknowledge this.


Well said, Dan!

Jerry Moore Staff
Jerry Moore

Sullivan-Caitlin, your assertion that the Russian dossier originated through the work of a GOP primary rival is not accurate. The Washington Free Beacon hired Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research. But this work did not include any of the information from foreign sources that ended up in the Steele dossier. It's been thoroughly documented that this research was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

Jerry Moore

Editorial page editor

Watertown Daily Times



Over a half-century of subscribing to the Times instilled in me a deep respect for this paper's journalistic responsibility.

Then this morning I read a load of--well, a column by Jay Ambrose in which, commenting on President Trump's extortionate conversation with the Ukrainian president, he asserts that "Trump was out of line, but not to the degree of impeachment."

". . . not to the degree of impeachment."

Oh, I see: dangling desperately needed aid before a foreign leader in return for undermining our electoral process--our bedrock electoral process-- is no big deal.

Um, to begin with, doing so is a violation of Federal Electoral Law. Beyond that, it penetrates to the very heart of what we are as a nation--who we are as a people.

Even if I could not always agree, I had always trusted the Times to expect rational, responsible opinions from columnar contributors--ideas at least worthy of reflection and careful consideration.

I now see my trust is misplaced. Regarding the harebrained ruminations of Jay Ambrose as worthy of printer's ink may constitute yet another milestone on the Times' fast-track to Oblivion.


Good article. I just don’t know if the public can stand for another drawn out investigation that at the end of the day won’t amount too much. Some elected people are just untouchable. The mueller fiasco was enough. I would prefer to move on. Two years of daily bombshells and talking heads that amounted to a complete waste of resources and dollars that could have been spent

1. On the border

2. Infrastructure




". . . won't amount too (sic) much."

"Course not! Dangling aid monies in return for undermining our electoral process "won't amount too much."

Another "airball" of an opinion. Misses the mark by a country mile.

Holmes -- the real one

Triple upvote, Newsjunkie39a.

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