Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general of the United States chosen by President Donald Trump, writes a letter to the president last year, a letter that Trump ultimately used as justification for firing the then FBI director James Comey.
Part of the president's reasoning for the firing was based on the FBI director's handling of the Hillary Clinton classified email case; a case which was reopened by Comey just before the election. The decision to reopen the Clinton investigation is one of the main reasons many Democrats, including Clinton herself, believe they lost the election to Trump.
The president and many Republicans are now trying to sell the American public a story in where the FBI (which is led by another person chosen by Trump-Christopher Wray), and the Department of Justice have been and were collaborating against him and his presidential campaign all along.
Trump has been an ardent public supporter of our nation's law enforcement organizations. He has devoted entire speeches (and rightfully so) about the honest, loyal and brave men and women who comprise these agencies.
The president, or at the very least those closest to him, have now found themselves under investigation by the premier law enforcement agency in the United States, the FBI. Trump and many Republicans now believe that a conspiracy was started by the very people who have dedicated their lives to enforcing the laws of our country all for the purpose of destroying his presidency? I'm not buying it.
I have no doubt that partisan politics can and indeed does affect the decisions made by some people in the FBI, the Justice Department, and many other government agencies, but to suggest that there may be an O.J. Simpson-like conspiracy happening that involves a large portion of our government's law enforcement: I believe that to be not just utterly ridiculous, but dangerous. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it best while commenting on the investigation: "The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests - no party's, no president's, only Putin's."
If the president truly believes that he has nothing to hide and will ultimately be exonerated when the investigation concludes, then let Special Counsel Robert Mueller finish his job. It is then, and only then, that Trump can start to assess blame to whom he thinks may be responsible.
If the president continues to undermine the integrity of our nation's top law enforcement agencies, the U.S. will be ever closer to a state resembling that of Russia.
If there was ever a time in the history of this great country that we needed our institutions to have the ability to do their jobs unimpeded, now is the time.
Nelson lives in Fargo.