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Editorial: Results of Russia report should be taken as opportunity to rebuild U.S. politics

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into [alleged] Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election did not find a conspiracy between the Trump camp and Russia.

 

Attorney General William Barr made this clear when he briefed the Congress. This scandal has rattled the U.S. since President Donald Trump took office, but what was it all really about?

 

That question remains unanswered, but the release of the findings marks the end of a two-year investigation into the heart of the allegations of Russian interference.

 

President Trump must use the opportunity to regain the public’s trust in his administration instead of being triumphant over his “complete exoneration.” The opposition Democratic Party is calling for the complete disclosure of the report, but it should respect the results of investigation.

 

The investigation confirmed Russian interference in the presidential election. The U.S. administration and Congress should now put highest priority on taking preventive measures against foreign governments’ interference in elections and on regaining the lost trust in democracy.

 

The report said that the investigation did not find any facts proving that the Trump camp and Russia conspired or cooperated together to obstruct the election by spreading false information through social media or launching cyberattacks against the Clinton camp.

 

Since May 2017 when Mr. Muller was appointed the special counsel, the allegations have grown and the coverage by major media outlets has heated up. President Trump, who denied the allegations, and the media engaged in an increasingly intense exchange of insults. The Democratic Party worked desperately to discredit the president.

 

This exposed the vulnerability of the U.S. political system and the deepening divide in American society. It can be said that Russia’s scheme against the U.S. through cyberwarfare reached its goal. 

 

We cannot help but say that the U.S. media and the Democratic Party made the chaos last longer because they decided from the outset, without sufficient evidence, that the president and Russia had “conspired” together. 

 

What cannot be overlooked, however, is the report’s statement with respect to the allegation of obstruction of justice by the president. The report notes: “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” We wonder if the president, out of his strong desire to deny the allegations, may have said or done something inappropriate in relation to the judicial authorities.

 

It is not constructive to only discuss the possible impact of the report on the 2020 presidential election. Russia and China must be looking for their next opportunity to interfere in U.S. domestic affairs. How vulnerable is democracy to foreign interference? The U.S. and all other democratic countries should bear in mind that constant vigilance and countermeasures are needed.

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