By Al Phillips

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Information presented by Fox News the past few weeks is quite disturbing. And what is most disturbing has been the exposure of a democracy-destroying culture perpetuated by an elite group at the very highest levels of our government.

Fox New’s Monica Crowly spoke eloquently to that reality recently. Credible evidence, presented regularly on Fox News the past few weeks as well, clearly demonstrates a concentrated effort by this group to influence the election. And should that effort fail, to also develop a process to remove Donald Trump from office should he win. The Mueller investigation looks very suspiciously like the latter.

It is clear Mueller’s team is determined to find all the negative Donald Trump information they can. Even if the information is decades old or is concocted by interviewees being intimidated or coerced by aggressive prosecutors — a very real probability frankly, albeit also legal, stated by a federal judge who is reviewing the Mueller investigation. The judge was expressing his concern about future behaviors of Mueller’s team and he inferred that any kind of interview Mueller’s team does with Trump is a virtually certain “gotcha” for Trump and a poor choice should Trump’s attorneys allow him to be interviewed.

The very real culture mentioned earlier first came to light when the IRS began to be used to impede opponents of the Obama administration, and it has remained in place albeit perhaps to a lesser degree since recent revelations have surfaced.

Additionally, the names of high-level position holders, i.e., Clapper, Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Strok, Page, to name a few, are accused of having lied or having attempted to use their position to influence the 2016 election.

Some accusations have been substantiated. Others have had the truth exposed by various inter-office email communications. Comey appears to have made the rules to fit whatever he did. McCabe was fired for being less than candid. Others have resigned or have been reassigned to lesser positions.

Whatever individual situations may be, each issue is a result of being a part of a culture that prioritized maintaining the current status for high level people in the highest offices of our government.

What did those people fear from a Trump-led administration? Certainly something was seriously important to them. But clearly there is a very real problem when otherwise intelligent people would risk their personal integrity and perhaps even their freedom by attempting to influence an election to achieve a result they prefer.

Disturbing indeed! But you and I can help get rid of that culture by supporting people who will not allow that kind of behavior to exist, and who will also insist upon equal justice.

The dust has not yet settled as to whether there will be any future criminal charges or prosecutions. But if laws have been broken prosecution is mandatory if we are to have equal justice. The elite in this country are not immune if they’ve broken the law. Rudy Giuliani recently said this about Hillary Clinton: “Sorry, Hillary, but you are a criminal; under equal justice you would be in jail.” That’s probably accurate. Regardless, in her case and a number of others as well, criminal charges certainly appear to be warranted. And if a guilty verdict is the result and jail time is included, so be it.

On a more positive side, Trump’s administration has had considerably better-than-expected results which have largely been ignored. But it is just plain nasty, not to mention uncivilized and dead wrong, to ignore what he’s doing well. And there is much to admire. Low unemployment rates and added take-home pay are just two of the many accomplishments.

Clearly Trump has his warts. He’s accused of lying daily. That’s one thing he appears to have in common with Obama because the same can be correctly said about Obama. And that’s sad, very sad indeed.

— Al Phillips lives in Prineville.