Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The People Have a Right to Know

By Jon Phillips

Special Counsel Robert Mueller
I seem to recall that the Starr Report was sent in full to the Government Printing Office and distributed without limits to the public. The reason was because the content was primarily just embarrassing to the Clintons and their Staff and it was the evidence supporting a charge of perjury. President Clinton lied under oath about personally embarrassing things. Apart from his lying, there would have been no case against him since both he and Monica Lewinsky were consenting adults.

An employee of a private company might be fired for what Clinton did since its contrary to published corporate values. Monica Lewinsky could have sued for sexual harassment, but that’s a civil offense and not a criminal offense. It’s not clear that she could have won such a claim in any event given her complicit behavior. She thought she was in love.

Plainly, Bill’s behavior was quite distasteful and entirely inappropriate for a person in a position of power and high national trust. So my view is that if the Starr Report was published when the topic of it was about scandals of a sexually prurient personal nature, that the President was too embarrassed to admit, then the Mueller Report should be sent directly to the House Intelligence Committee (they have very high clearances) and where necessary, redacted to protect classified information, including sources and methods.

I think that evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors could be made plain, presuming they exist, without compromising national security. The nature of the potential crimes of President Trump and his Administration are grave and go directly to the security of the nation. The people have a right to know about such things in general. Clinton was drug through the mud over his sexual promiscuity, not because he endangered the nation through cooperation with a foreign power. That the public would not get to see sufficient evidence of any criminal activity of Trump and members of his Administration, given the nature of the alleged crimes, would be entirely unacceptable and a miscarriage of justice.

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Jon Phillipshas served as a Senior Nuclear Technology Expert at the International Atomic Energy Agency and Director, Sustainable Nuclear Power Initiative at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The opinions expressed here are his own.

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