“If they didn’t do anything wrong, they shouldn’t have anything to hide.” That rationale is used a lot, and usually poorly. The idea being that it’s OK to investigate a person simply on the basis that if they are innocent, they’ll be exonerated. Of course that ignores things like public opinion, false accusations and abuse of power, which is usually how false investigations get their start. We say our system presumes innocence, but that isn’t true- it’s never been true, unless you’re in the right position, have the right connections, the right skin color, sex, religion or political party. These things matter because ours is an imperfect world, an imperfect system, that, at least on paper, aspires to something better. Sometimes we even succeed.
So, for one minute, let’s assume all that we aspire to is true. Let’s presume that an investigation into the facts and circumstances is not an immediate conviction or indictment- wouldn’t an open and transparent revelation of all the facts benefit your position, assuming you’re innocent? Is there a reason you would oppose that investigation, especially if you state you’re innocent? Wouldn’t transparency at all levels help you rather than work to convict you, assuming you’re innocent?
Or, let’s turn it around a bit. As a nation, wouldn’t knowing the facts about the decisions our leaders are making, the deals and relationships that they are forging behind closed doors, help us? Wouldn’t we as a people benefit from knowing what they are doing? After all, if they’re obeying our laws, adhering to the oaths that they took, they have nothing to fear if we decide to look closer at their actions, right? Accountability begins and ends with the people who do the hiring, right?
So when Congress opens up an investigation on the sitting President due to some very serious allegations, the idea behind that is that the American Citizens are taking a look at things to make sure the person or persons we hired to a job are doing it correctly. If there’s nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear. And since it’s not just one person or one section of our representatives doing the investigation, a person can’t be railroaded into a false conviction. It’s as fair a process as one is likely to get.
So what’s with all the push back? The process is clear, the steps taken open to all sides. It’s not an indictment, only an investigation to see if anything more is warranted. Surely that’s a good thing? After all, as an employee, I was subject to review at any time. My work, my work ethic, was subject to a microscope at any time of the day by any of a vast array of managers, and usually with a lot less feedback from myself. But that’s the process, usually, and I knew that when I accepted employment.
Unless you’re really high in the government, apparently. Or you work for one political party or another, it seems. Then it appears to be a very burdensome process.
Do you know what my bosses would have said to me had I made a similar argument?
How fitting, really.