Gradually, and not particularly gracefully, the members of the administration who had contact with Russians are explaining their actions to those who hope to derail Donald Trump’s presidency. It’s now time for the Trump haters to back off.
“I did not collude with Russia,” said son-in-law Jared Kushner. How much clearer could he be? Assuming he is telling the truth and that he knows lying to members of Congress would be downright stupid, Kushner’s closed-door discussion with both Senate and House members and staffers should, barring new revelations, be taken at face value.
Let Kushner use his close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to improve the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.
So too, former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, who agreed to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee in exchange for its withdrawal of a subpoena to compel him to testify. Instead, he voluntarily appeared before the committee.
And, perhaps most significantly, Donald Trump, Jr., who seems to have unwittingly put his father in peril with an ill-considered conversation with Russians, has also reached terms that will defer his testimony until at least this fall.
It’s now time for the Trump haters to back off.
So what is left? Democrats are convinced that Trump is evil and that his presidency is a direct threat to American democracy. Even some Republicans are appalled at the president’s behavior, but are simply grateful that Hillary Clinton is not cackling in the White House.
If and when the former FBI director, Robert Mueller, releases his extensive investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s election, it will almost certainly highlight unreported contacts between Trump supporters and Russians with varying degrees of influence.
If Mueller is truly impartial, he will also have to detail similar Russian meetings with Democrats like Sidney Blumenthal. Let’s also remember that Mrs. Clinton opposed sanctions against Russia in 2010, when her husband pocketed a six-figure honorarium for a speech in Moscow.
No one wants Russia to have any influence on our electoral system. But the leap to judgment that many elected officials are making is immature, partisan posturing.
Stop it, all of you. And do your jobs.
John Moody is Executive Vice President, Executive Editor for Fox News. A former Rome bureau chief for Time magazine, he is the author of four books including "Pope John Paul II : Biography."