What's next after Mueller?

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Get focused on protecting election integrity, so the people can decide if Trump stays or goes.

AFTER TWO YEARS and millions of taxpayer dollars the so-called Mueller report - albeit in significantly redacted form - is out there for people to see. The aftermath of the release has been predictable.

Trump fans look at the situation and see exoneration of the president and his actions, because the special counsel did not find conspiracy between Trump and Russia, and did not indict Trump for obstruction.

Trump critics look at the same report and see plenty of presidential bad behavior and, perhaps, cover-up because, basically, it's clear Trump tried to obstruct the investigation, but failed mostly because key staffers would not carry out his orders.

Expect the partisan fight to continue. There is, after all, a presidential election in about 16 months. The two political parties will be engaged in verbal combat at least until those votes are counted.

HERE'S OUR THOUGHT, about something all of us should be agreed upon: What lies underneath all this political hot air is a proven attempt by a foreign adversary to influence an American election.

The entire national security apparatus of the United States concluded and stands behind the fact that Russia perpetrated the attack on the most important aspect of freedom and democracy. Perhaps even more importantly, national security agencies warn that Russia has not stopped trying to meddle.

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised - America today is so irrationally divided along hard partisan lines - the country became sidetracked over the drama of whether President Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia and/or engaged in obstruction of justice. Overshadowed was the need to focus relentlessly on keeping Russia - or anybody else - from tampering again with American elections, whether through misinformation campaigns or digital intrusions into the vote process itself.

SO LET'S GET BACK to that topic, and hold government accountable for guarding the integrity of the democratic election process.

And, yes, we know, asking rabid partisans to walk and chew gum at the same time may seem unrealistically hopeful.

But the rest of us - America's voters - do not want a repeat of this process or these questions after the 2020 ballots are counted.

Otherwise, we stand by our earlier conclusion. Forget about impeaching Trump. Hold congressional hearings and put the right people in front of the television cameras, to tell the accurate tale of what Mueller found. Lord knows, in the age of smartphone addictions, few Americans will take the time to slog through Mueller's 400-plus pages on their own.

Likewise, if Congress wants to investigate the investigators, put those witnesses in front of the cameras as well. Truth is not partisan.

Come November of 2020 the people will deliver the verdict on President Trump. He'll stay or he'll go. Let's just make sure there are no questions about the integrity of that election.

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