One of Sherlock Holmes’ most famous cases was solved when a normally noisy dog was silent the night of the crime, leading the famous detective to the deduction that it must have been an inside job — the dog knew the intruder.
Those not barking today are the numerous Trump administration officials who are strangely silent when a few short statements (under oath) could go a long way toward exonerating the president from the charge of using the powers of his office for personal gain.
Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, former national security adviser John Bolton and probably at least a dozen White House and National Security Council staffers — all could clear up, one way or another, the essential question of whether the president was interested in corruption generally in Ukraine last summer, or whether the withholding of military aid and the dangling of a White House meeting was motivated by his personal and political interest in publicized investigations of the 2016 election and the activities of one of his principal rivals. And this would be direct evidence, which no one can call hearsay.
Because it would be so easy for these people to clear the president, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that their silence is less about vague assertions of executive privilege (which isn’t available to cover-up wrongdoing, in any case) and more about not wanting to testify under oath as to what actually happened. [Continue reading…]