After nearly two years and more than $25 million, the Mueller investigation ended with the finding that special counsel Robert Mueller “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.”
This finding, however, directly contradicts the bold assertions of many Democratic presidential hopefuls.
For example, Beto O’Rourke claimed, “You have a president, who in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to, however ham-handedly, collude with the Russian government — a foreign power — to undermine and influence our elections, the sanctity of the ballot box, the ability for each and every single one of us to make informed decisions about those who seek to represent us and hold positions of public trust.”
Likewise, Sen. Kamala Harris (D‑Calif.) said, “We have foreign powers infecting the White House like malware.”
And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D‑N.Y.) wrote on Twitter that
“a campaign for President of the United States should never be in the business of scheming with foreign adversaries to tamper with our elections. I just thought that went without saying.”
Although all of these statements were an attempt to smear Trump by painting him as an agent of the Russian government who stole the 2016 election, they do make a valid point. As Gillibrand said, presidential campaigns should never collude with foreign nations, and I believe that is an idea that all Americans, regardless of party, believe in.
If the Democrats truly believe this, they should take a pledge to immediately appoint a special counsel to investigate their own campaigns if elected president. I’m not accusing any of the current Democratic candidates of collusion, but presidential campaigns are vast, sprawling apparatuses, and the candidate at the top certainly does not know every action that every employee takes.
With that in mind, in the interest of protecting the integrity of our elections and the office of the presidency, the Democratic candidates for President should commit to allowing an unbiased, outside observer to take a close look at all of the inner workings of their campaigns if they are elected to ensure that everything is on the up-and-up. In doing so, they would ensure that the will of the American people is truly represented and prove that their condemnations of foreign collusion with a presidential campaign are more than just empty political rhetoric.
Connor Kaeb is a George Washington Fellow and a sophomore studying Politics.