Credo Action

The news media must stop protecting Trump

Sign the petition

Petition to major news media outlets:

"Stop protecting Donald Trump and parroting William Barr's personal conclusions about Robert Mueller's Russia investigation as if they are fact. Investigate what evidence the Mueller investigation actually obtained and do everything in your power to obtain and publish the report."

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    The news media must stop protecting Trump

    The news media is doing Trump a huge favor. Media outlets spent the last few days uncritically echoing Attorney General William Barr's description of the Mueller investigation, with headlines blaring Trump's innocence despite a report that did not exonerate him.

    No wonder Trump seems more ready than ever to attack and try to silence his critics. Trump recently declared there are people who have done "treasonous things against our country” and followed it up with a tweet declaring the press to be the "enemy of the people." His campaign is pressuring TV producers to ban guests who spoke out about potential Russia ties in the past.1,2

    We cannot let the news media empower Trump's authoritarian nature by rolling over and parroting the personal conclusions of Trump's handpicked attorney general. The press must investigate the full results of the Mueller investigation and hold Donald Trump accountable.

    Tell major news media outlets: Stop protecting Trump and investigate Mueller's conclusions.

    The media spent recent days spewing false or misleading reports about what Mueller really discovered and how good it is for Trump. We still do not know the full extent of Mueller's findings. We only know Barr's spin and that Barr himself decided to exonerate Trump.

    Mueller's investigation resulted in nearly 200 criminal charges against 34 people and three companies. Six senior Trump officials are heading to prison, pleading guilty or facing indictment. Fourteen close Trump associates communicated and met with Russian nationals, even if those meetings do not end up meeting the high standards of criminal conspiracy.

    But Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General William Barr spent just two days reviewing Mueller's report and producing a short, four-page interpretation. It was his decision not to pursue charges of obstruction of justice against Trump, not Mueller's.

    Trump's goal is to destroy an independent press, and the coverage of the Barr letter is a worrisome sign that his strategy is working. The White House press secretary says the media owe Trump an apology, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani called on CNN to apologize for its coverage. FOX News hosts accused Democrats of treason and called for investigations of prominent Democrats. Trump and his allies are trying to manipulate and threaten the media. We cannot let that happen.

    Tell major news media outlets: Stop protecting Trump and investigate Mueller's conclusions.

    No matter what Trump claims, the broader investigations into Russia and Trump's blatant corruption are not over:

    • Federal guidelines limited the scope of Mueller's investigation, including blocking him from indicting or discussing Donald Trump in the report. It is for this reason that Trump has been open to releasing the full report.
    • This one report does not have the final word about Trump's apparent and potential crimes.
    • Other federal and state prosecutors continue to investigate other aspects of Trump's corruption.
    • House Democrats are actively investigating Trump.
    • There is already evidence in the public realm that Trump should be impeached. The results of an investigation with one narrow mandate does not change that fact.

    We will continue to pressure Congress to move forward with impeachment and not outsource its constitutional mandate. In the meantime, we cannot let the news media help Trump consolidate his grip on power by putting the investigation into his corruption behind him.

    Tell major news media outlets: Stop protecting Trump and investigate Mueller's conclusions.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Mark Sumner, "Trump uses the Barr letter to defend attacks on media and demands that Democrats be silenced," DailyKos, March 26, 2019.
    2. Ted Johnson, "Trump Campaign Asks Producers to Reconsider Booking Critics Who Claimed Collusion," Variety, March 25, 2019.