It was the late President Harry S Truman who said, “The buck stops here.” It was his way of saying that he assumed ultimate responsibility for all the acts done in the name of the US presidency, even when he himself did not take the direct action.
Clearly, the incumbent POTUS is no Harry Truman.
Donald Trump refuses to take responsibility for the actions taken by his inner circle when they did things in his name and with his implied approval. This is true now that he is president, and it must also hold true when he was a candidate.
This week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller ordered the indictment of Paul Monafort and Rick Gates, two key figures in Mr. Trump’s campaign. Also indicted was a third party, George Papadopoulos, who admitted lying to the FBI.
The three are accused of collusion with the Russians in seeking dirt against Hillary Clinton during last year’s campaign period, among other things.
Evidence gathered by Mueller’s team appear to show that the Trump inner core were hellbent on doing anything and everything in order to defeat Clinton, and this includes possible treason against the US.
The Cold War may have ended almost three decades ago, but Russia under Vladimir Putin has often acted like an enemy of the US. Taking action that would undermine the will of the electorate is but one of the many acts that the Russians have been committing against this country.
While Messrs. Monafort, Gates and Papadopoulos should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the reputation of Mueller says that he would not have indicted the three unless he was certain that his team had built a strong enough case against them to assure their conviction.
President Trump wants nothing more than the Russia issue to disappear, but the opposite is now happening. Eventually, the public will know the degree or level of knowledge he had where his people’s dealings with the Russians is concerned. Earlier, his own son-in-law had grudgingly admitted to have met with Russians known to be close to Putin, claiming that there was no devious intent for the conversations.
Mr. Trump is not helping his cause by muddying the issue. He continues to point to Clinton and the Democrats as being the true parties that should be investigated because they dared spend millions to determine if then candidate Trump did have Russia connections as was widely suspected.
Mr. Trump now expects the Republican Party to rally around him, defend him at whatever cost, and prevent the situation from going out of hand. Under a worst case scenario, enough Republicans may opt to turn against him and support legal moves to remove him from office, be it via impeachment or forced resignation.
The chief executive does have reason to be deeply concerned. The indictment of the trio may just be the first of many more. And if any of his closest associates are found to have colluded with the Russians, Mr. Trump will discover that Mr. Truman was right. The buck stops with him at the Oval Office.