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Locals React to Barr Summary

| News | March 28, 2019

Move on, Democrats.

That seemed to be the majority sentiment from locals willing to comment on Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of the Mueller Report. Barr wrote that there was no direct proof that President Trump or anyone involved with his campaign colluded with Russia to swing the 2016 election, but Trump could not be completely exonerated from suspicions of obstruction of justice.

Conservative Bill Reynolds, who often writes about local veterans and their concerns, and Councilmember Bob Kellar were not surprised at the findings, although Reynolds had the more incendiary words.

“You would think a guy like Adam Schiff would say, ‘OK, let’s get busy with some legislation,’ ” Reynolds said of the Burbank congressman who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and said on CNN in February that there was evidence of collusion. “All they’re doing is resisting Trump’s policy, which is pathetic.”

Kellar seemed grateful at the findings but wishes people would put aside their divisiveness and support Trump as he “works on behalf of all Americans.”

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He also doesn’t expect that to happen, either. In fact, the government is nowhere near the type depicted in the 1939 film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

“We’ve been far too divided and his divisiveness has got to stop,” Kellar said. “I have never seen in my years this kind of divisiveness between Democrats and Republicans. For the health of our country, we need to.”

Dave Goss, founder of the Trump Singles dating website, said the Barr summary conclusively pointed to Russia’s role in meddling with the 2016 election, and he believes the Mueller Report will spell it out in detail.

Also, the country needs to examine itself and figure out its role in being duped by the Internet Research Agency’s online trolling, and by being swayed by the emails that surfaced as a result of the Russian government hacking the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign.

“We need to come together and be mad at Russia,” Goss said. “We need to take a look at ourselves. How did we get trolled by Russia, and how do we not let it happen again?”

As for obstruction of justice, Goss said he wants to wait for the report to be released, but he thinks it will show something similar to former FBI director James Comey refusing to prosecute Clinton for storing sensitive material on public servers.

“If (Trump) didn’t collude, why obstruct the investigation?” Goss said. “I don’t think there will be obstruction of justice. We have both Barr and (Deputy Attorney General Rod) Rosenstein saying there’s no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Either they (Trump and/or his campaign people) didn’t do it or did it and got away with it.”

It is that last sentiment that many liberals, including Rep. Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) seems to cling to. On Monday’s “New Day” on CNN, Hill told anchor Alisyn Camerota that Schiff and Rep Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, do not need to do what Rudy Giuliani says and apologize for publicly commenting that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

“They’re still stating things that happened in plain sight. The definition of collusion as a legal term is completely nebulous, so I think the suspicions that have been had by Democrats in Congress but by people across the country are completely valid,” Hill said. “Whether it was intentional or not, Trump and his associates were conducting themselves in a way that was highly, highly suspicious, both during the election and after, that made it so this investigation had to happen. I think we’re kind of missing the fact that we have a four-page summary written by the person that was handpicked by Donald Trump to write it in a way that was as favorable as possible. Until we get the full report, and until we get all of the information that surrounds that, I don’t think we should be jumping to any conclusions.”

Hill also seemed very reluctant to acknowledge Trump’s lack of collusion, instead reminding that Trump once encouraged Russia to release the emails. Instead, she pointed to questionable aspects that the Mueller Report didn’t cover that need to be examined, such as how the Trump administration doled out security clearances, proposals to give Saudi Arabia nuclear technology and the policy of separating children at the southern border.

“We have to say, ‘OK, fine, he didn’t directly coordinate with Russia’ moving forward, but now we have evidence over the last two years that the Mueller investigation was not covering that is highly, highly suspicious,” Hill said “It’s so many issues we’ve got to continue our investigations on, and it’s just not related to the Mueller Report.”

Stephen Daniels, a liberal who hosts the “Talk of Santa Clarita” podcast, found it shocking that Mueller didn’t find any conclusive proof of collusion. Daniels equated the findings to the case of O.J. Simpson, who was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife and her friend despite many people believing otherwise.

“It’s so obvious, the only thing missing is the bloody knife,” Daniels said. “But that being said, it’s time for the Democrats to move on and focus on 2020. Otherwise, we’re going to end up with a 60-percent (Trump) approval rating like (Bill) Clinton had after this impeachment.”

College of the Canyons political science professor Lena Smyth said she plans to discuss the Mueller Report in her classes. She, too, is unsurprised both sides have dug in.

“I feel both sides are reading from it what they want to read from it and taking it to the next level,” Smyth said. “Trump and many Republicans want to say, ‘OK the issue is resolved,’ and the Democrats want to say, ‘Not even close.’ It’s pretty typical of the partisan politics that exists today, and I think in Washington and around the country, things are so incredibly divisive that this just feeds into that.”

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About Lee Barnathan

Lee Barnathan has been a writer and editor since 1990. His articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and online. His new book "If You Experience Death, Please Call and Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language," a humorous look at the ways people misuse English, is available on Amazon or at his website, www.leebarnathan.com. He is hired by people all over the country to help them refine the message or story they wish to share with their target audience or demographic.

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