Last week the media reported that President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen was sentenced to serve three years in prison. He eventually ended up pleading guilty for lying to Congress, tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. For those keeping count (and I am) that makes Mr. Cohen the 4th “witch” sent to prison and that does not count either Paul Manafort who will be sentenced in March 2019 or Rick Gates who also waits to be sentenced.
What I find most troubling about this investigation is that for many supporters of Trump the arrests and sentencing have have done little to change their minds. Additionally, there is a larger segment of people who I’d refer to as “bystanders”, who don’t necessarily support Trump (they may even dislike him) but they don’t feel compelled to change the status quo either. This group fascinate and confound me the most.
Despite the fact that Special Counsel Robert Mueller (a Republican by the way) has identified eight individuals (almost all of whom have plead guilty) and charged thirty-three individuals in illegal activity, these ‘bystanders’ don’t see a threat to our political system. The U.S. has had a democracy for a long time, and is still much admired despite our actions of late, I’d hate to think that party affiliation and political persuasion could trump those values and further erode the faith we have in our political system.
I do hope that as people start to reflect on this past year and plan for 2019, that we can all recognize (witch hunt or not), the crimes leveled against these people are serious and the fact that there are so many implicated makes it even more disturbing. I hope that rather than turning off people, this civics class playing out before our very eyes will make us stop and reflect upon what truly distinguishes America and makes it a great country.
*Source for information about convictions and crimes here.