The front-page teaser read:
“Did Trump lie to Robert Mueller?”
The mind reacted:
What? Does Mueller have a television? Internet access?
Does Mueller have ears? Can he compute linguistic signals?
If any of the above, Trump lied to him just as he has lied to you.
Mueller is a citizen of the United States – the employer of the at-will employee in the White House. If you are a citizen as well, whether sensory-deprived, illiterate, brain-damaged or cut off from all reality by design, you have been lied to by Trump. Daily.
To know this, all one has to do is listen.
The legal question “Did Trump lie?” in this case is whether he did so in written responses to Mueller about impeachable acts regarding Russia’s attack on our elections.
Of course he did.
How do we know those actions are impeachable and his defense is built on lies?
Simply because Trump has refused to participate in any evidence-gathering by which truthful words would clear him. Instead, he has sought to obstruct at every turn. If he were clean, in the vernacular of villains, he would come clean.
Democrats are seeking the grand jury transcripts about what Trump told Mueller about his dealings with long-time partner-in-slime Roger Stone.
Trump says he had no contact with Stone when the latter was in communication with Wikileaks regarding stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Ah, but Trump’s Svengali of intrigue, Steve Bannon, has testified that Stone apprised the campaign of “potential releases of damaging material” courtesy of Wikileaks.
If you believe Trump knew nothing about this, you believe Kool-Aid is milked from unicorns.
The same pastel of fantasy accompanies Trump’s claim that he knew nothing about a certain pre-election meeting in Trump Tower involving his son, son-in-law, campaign manager and a Russian delegation.
We are to believe, according to unicorn talk, that while this meeting was going on, candidate Trump hung out a few floors above it all, fashioning skyscrapers with paper clips.
Not a chance. With Trump’s relationship with the truth, know he was there from “Welcome” to “Dasvidaniya.”
On to the most recent torrent of lies, portrayed in the large black letters in grade-school script that supposedly tell us what Trump wanted from Ukraine in exchange for military funds appropriated from Congress.
Congressman Adam Schiff said it: This wasn’t, as Vice President Pence said, about investigating corruption in Ukraine: “That is not anti-corruption. That is corruption.”
We are left with a coterie of large-eyed, short-legged political chameleons hustling back and forth with color-changing arguments to make us all not believe our own eyes and ears.
Watergate reporting legend Carl Bernstein, who knows a thing or two about lies in high places, calls Trump “untruthful in ways and to an extent that had never been dreamed.”
Bernstein didn’t intend those words to reflect solely on the liar-in-chief.
Said Bernstein, “There is very little interest in the truth by the president’s Republican defenders,” a matter, he said, that will haunt the party “for many, many years.”
It’s soggily ripe to hear the Republicans say that Trump is getting a raw deal – “not a fair hearing,” “kangaroo-court,” etc. – when Trump has blocked from testifying many who might illuminate us if any of them could speak truth.
He also could step to the microphone (and take an oath) any moment he desires.
The problem, of course, is that he simply cannot do that – truth, that is. He is congenitally without moral footing.
Speaking of footing: Those feet got him out of the draft. They’re not getting him out of an impeachment trial.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.