March 25, 2019
It’s Mueller Time
For the next week and certainly for some time after that, all we will be talking about is the Mueller Report and its implications. For most people, awaiting this report for nearly two years will be anticlimactic because it isnâ€™t the finish line. There will be months of analysis and spin, and about a dozen other federal and state investigations winding their own way forward. Clarity and conclusions will be in short supply though opinions will not. For the moment, the President is claiming victory and breathing a huge sigh of relief.
The issue that got some attention this past week is Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and the offer by Florida prosecutors to drop the solicitation of prostitution charges in exchange for a guilty plea. As generous an offer as this might appear, it was apparently an offer Mr. Kraftâ€™s lawyers could refuse. The question that CNN asked me was â€œShould President Trump withdraw his offer to Mr. Kraft to attend the White House when the New England Patriots inevitably got to celebrate their latest Super Bowl win?â€ There are a lot of arguments here, but the safest one is due process. Let the legal process proceed. There is no reason to step in front of it. For the President, someone who has obviously faced and continues to face misogynistic allegations, the issue may be sensitive (and it would be highly problematic if it were any other POTUS), but for a President who understands his base, this is a simple political calculus. Never back down and support your friends. If Mr. Kraft wants to go, he will.
As an aside, one of the things that politicians count on is our remarkably short memories. By the time the Patriots go to the White House months from now, most people will have forgotten the Kraft charges. Iâ€™d prefer if we were better students of history and engaged retention spans that at least forced us to reflect, but in the Internet Age, that just isnâ€™t going to happen.
By coincidence, our Forbes.com column this week looks at the critically important #MeToo movement two years after it took center stage. Like all revolutions, there are unintended casualties. For the leaders of movements, we need to look both at the victims and the innocent casualties. There has to be a safe place where we can support #MeToo and due process, the statute of limitations, the First Amendment, and the rule of law without fear of being shouted down by an angry cyber mob or worse, in person. In the Forbes article, labor and employment attorneys, an author and psychologist weigh in. What inspired the article in the first place was the combination of handling one of the largest #MeToo arbitrations and also working with entrepreneurs and executives who have been falsely accused and cornered by angry mobs, to the point of career ruination. Behaviors we would have, at best, called belligerent if it were done by any others than those temporarily carrying a #MeToo banner. We should be able to seek justice while exemplifying it.
Stay tuned, we will be releasing a podcast on the same subject soon.