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The country needs answers: Don’t fire Mueller

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The plot thickens with each turn, twist and new tweet from the President on the Russians’ involvement in the 2016 election.

FBI Director James Comey was the first key “casualty” and most recently Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director, was fired.

Now, President Trump has shaken up his legal team involving the Russian conspiracy in the 2016 election with the hiring of a combative former prosecutor who publicly argued that Trump is the target of an elaborate FBI conspiracy. Joe di Genova joins in the fray as special counsel Robert Mueller continues to dig deeper in Trump’s business connections and campaign activities which might have Russian involvement.

Trump’s blistering tweets two Sundays ago against the FBI “witch hunt” investigation added fuel to the fire and increased speculation that Trump would fire Mueller.

We need to know the truth

Public opinion on whether the FBI investigation should come to a close is fragmented for sure. However, a Rasmussen Report poll from last week indicated that voters think President Trump should leave Mueller) alone. Those of us who are not die-hard Trump supporters would like to see a thorough investigation completed with a clear conclusion.

The cloud over the President’s head needs to be resolved one way or the other. He has acknowledged that the investigation has overshadowed his accomplishments and hampered his ability to do his job. However, more importantly, U.S. voters deserve to know to what extent the Russian conspiracy has validity. This issue has serious ramifications both for Trump and the possible corruption of American democracy.

Trump would be smart to leave Mueller alone and let him complete his investigation. To fire him in mid-stream would have serious blow back from a variety of camps.

Bad idea to fire Mueller

For those of us who were around when President Nixon and the Watergate debacle transpired, we recall the President firing the special prosecutor and how the entire Watergate story played out.

Firing Mueller would take the investigation, which is already at a crisis point, to a whole new higher level with the public, news media, Congress and foreign countries wondering what exactly Trump is trying to hide. It could well be the trigger to launch an impeachment attempt.

It is fundamentally important for the American public, Congress, foreign countries and the news media to know to what extent, if any, that Donald Trump, the presidential candidate and his campaign staff, his family and business connections had with the Russians during the presidential campaign and what actions were involved.

This chapter of American history needs to be played out on center stage whether it is good, bad or ugly.

Tighter control of personal data needed

And the beat goes on.

The American and British public have learned about a business which most of us have never heard about. Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm, is on the hot seat along with Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding the supposed illegal use of personal profiles from 50 million Facebook users.

The accusations would have the company stealing data from the Facebook users to manipulate elections, including the 2016 Presidential election.

Regardless of what role, if any, Cambridge Analytica had in the Trump campaign, this whole mess of accessing user profiles is a very serious matter. Individual privacy has been eroding away for years thanks to both governmental and private sector interests.

One of the key problems with social media is the uncertainty of who has access to what information each user provides and how they might use it. In the case currently under the spotlight, did Cambridge use the Facebook profiles and if so, why did Facebook allow such an invasion of privacy?

Did Facebook know about the company’s actions? The whole scheme further portrays the dark side of campaign tactics and lack of following the law.

Zuckerberg and Cambridge Analytica executives have been summoned by both British Parliament and U.S. Congressional members to appear before them to drill down on what exactly happened and what was approved or not approved regarding access to the profiles. This is major troubling situation and a dark time for social media and companies like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.

March Madness craziness

On a lighter note, how do your March Madness brackets look at this point? Pretty bad you say? Well, don’t you think just about everyone else is in the same situation?

I am writing this column AFTER the Sweet Sixteen teams have been determined. So, we still have the Final Four and championship game when you read this column. Like so many other years, the NCAA basketball tournament has been crazy. Who would have guessed that #1 ranked Virginia would be gone along with Xavier, Michigan State, North Carolina and Tennessee?

The only #1 seeds left at this point, Kansas and Villanova, have their work cut out for them. For what it is worth, I see Villanova, Duke, Michigan and Kentucky making the Final Four. I’m sorry, but I don’t think my Kansas Jayhawks have the depth or height to get to the Final Four. The national champs might well be Duke.

Regardless, it is always fun and exciting to follow your bracket predictions.

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