The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Appearances deceiving in politics

 

December 20, 2017



A recent poll shows 54 percent of the public believes the Special Counsel has a conflict of interest.

Over the years, whenever one hears the phrases, “conflict of interest” or “unlawful command influence” they are generally followed up with the more inclusive, “appearance of conflict of interest” or “appearance of command influence.” In all truth I have never been able to fully grasp exactly what constitutes the “appearance” of either of these two types of interference.

What is happening now is far shoddier than the above example. When President Obama went on national television to welcome home a soldier with accolades about his stellar service while in a combat zone, this was not viewed as unlawful command influence. When candidate Trump went on national television to proclaim that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should be found guilty of desertion and jailed, news outlets pounced. They noted the potential for unlawful command influence should Trump become president.

When President Obama went on national television and informed the public that Hillary Clinton had no intention to harm America with her handling of classified information on an unsecured server, the public yawned. While the public yawned however, the FBI edited a report to note that rather than “gross negligence,” Clinton was “extremely careless” with classified data. The feds further downgraded the report to read that rather than Clinton’s emails being “likely hacked” the emails were “possibly hacked.”

When President Trump raised the issue of Clinton’s emails, he was pillared by the press for re-opening a can of worms that had already been litigated.

When the Special Counsel populated his organization with a majority of Clinton supporters and Trump haters, it gave the appearance of a conflict of interest. When a member of the Special Counsel’s team had to be removed for sending explicit “hate Trump” texts, it gave the appearance of a conflict of interest. When it was discovered that an assistant attorney general had direct contact with the head of the organization that provided the so-called Trump dossier during the investigation, it gave the appearance of a conflict of interest. To top it off, when it was found that the wife of the named assistant attorney general worked for the organization that prepared the dossier, it gave the appearance of a conflict of interest.

When President Trump questions these multiple apparent conflicts of interest emanating from the Special Counsel’s office, he is told by the deputy attorney general and the press that these people are all professional and there is no possibility that they will let their feelings impact the investigations. And besides that, “Shut up!”

Rube Render is the Curry County Republican chairman. Contact him at: [email protected]

 
 

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