Letters to the Editor

Defining collusion and obstruction of the law

The Dec. 3 editorial, “Fasten your seatbelts, Flynn is in,” rightly condemns those who would “lay waste to our democracy,” but mistakenly conflates lawful and criminal activities and identifies the wrong culprit for the latter.

While there is no such crime as “collusion” outside of antitrust law, there is criminal exposure to conspire with a foreign national or government for “a thing of value” favoring your candidacy or otherwise harming your opponent’s. In routing cash to Russians for a dossier of salacious allegations against Donald Trump, candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party did just that. She also got Ukraine to favor her candidacy. There is zero public evidence that candidate Trump or his campaign did anything remotely in kind.

Once elected, it is not untoward, and certainly not a crime, for the President-elect and his incoming team (like past administrations in transition) to communicate with foreign leaders during the two-month window between election day and taking office. It augurs good leadership to begin setting the stage for the clear differences in foreign policy the country just voted for.

As to James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that the FBI Director had damaged the bureau’s reputation and credibility and should go. Despite federal statutes that clearly prohibited Clinton’s felonious disregard for our state secrets, Comey publicly acquitted her at a televised press conference.

The president exercised his lawful executive authority to remove him from office, but the FBI itself was never “obstructed” from investigating Russian interference or whatever else the bureau had been looking into before his ouster.

The only presidential candidate so far shown to have committed federal crimes is not Donald Trump.

John A. Lanzetta,