First of two sentences in million-dollar embezzlement case handed down

EDITORIAL: Don't believe your eyes? Perry's trying to make sure you can't even see

The York Dispatch
Congressman Scott Perry

President Donald Trump says the American people shouldn’t believe their eyes.

"Stick with us. Don't believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” he told a Kansas crowd Tuesday, July 24. “... What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening."

Trump probably should have included “hearing,” because the very same day a recording surfaced of him and his former “fixer,” Michael Cohen, talking about buying the rights to a former Playboy model’s story — a story of an alleged 10-month affair with Trump that began in 2006 — from the owner of the National Enquirer.

The recording was made in September 2016. Just before the election, when the Wall Street Journal broke news of the alleged affair and attempts to quash Karen McDougal’s story, then-Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied it.

“We have no knowledge of any of this,” she told the Journal.


More:Trump recorded discussing paying for Playboy model’s story

More:Trump disclosure of Cohen payment raises new legal questions

Just like Trump and his minions had no knowledge of a payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels, who also alleged an extramarital affair with the president — until they were forced to acknowledge he reimbursed Cohen for the hush money.

And of course he wasn’t aware of any contacts between his campaign and Russians (if special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in our election is a witch hunt, as the president likes to cry, it sure is catching a lot of witches many more note).

He certainly wasn’t aware of the Trump Tower meeting between his son, son-in-law and campaign manager and Russian government representatives offering dirt on Hillary Clinton during the campaign — although Cohen now says he’ll testify he was with Trump when he was notified in advance of the meeting.

But at least Trump had no knowledge of the misleading statement attributed to his son after the meeting was revealed … except he not only knew about it, he dictated it, his personal attorney finally acknowledged.

More:Trump returns from summit with Putin to forceful criticism

More:Pennsylvania senators blast Trump after summit with Putin

That whole thing, standing next to Putin and taking the strongman’s denials of Russian meddling over America’s own intelligence community and most members of Congress? Well, apparently Trump thought it was opposite day in Helsinki, and what he really meant was …

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, gestures while speaking as U.S. President Donald Trump, left, looks on during their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Oh, forget it. Just watch the pathetic, some say treasonous, capitulation for yourselves.

But remember — don’t believe what you see and hear.

As Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson noted recently, Trump’s instruction to ignore reality is frighteningly similar to “1984,” George Orwell’s classic novel about a dystopian future in which a totalitarian government rules with the aid of Thought Police.

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command,” the author wrote.

Unfortunately, Trump is being aided by his own Thought Police, who would have us believe the solid world doesn’t exist, stones are soft, water is dry — and there’s no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to sway the 2016 election.

York County’s own congressman, Republican Scott Perry, is one of 11 Freedom Caucus members and Trump enablers who introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last week just as more of the president’s lies were coming to light.

Rosenstein is the Department of Justice official overseeing Mueller’s investigation of Russian election meddling and Trump campaign ties.

In a statement, Perry said the Department of Justice is impeding the oversight authority of Congress, though his party’s own leadership sees no grounds for impeachment.

His Democratic challenger in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, George Scott, said his opponent is choosing conspiracy theories and radical partisanship over due process and the rule of law.

That’s too generous in our opinion.

To us, it seems Perry is trying to obstruct the investigation and prevent the American public from even seeing the facts of the case, much less deciding for themselves whether to believe their eyes.

For now, it appears House GOP leaders have shut down the Freedom Caucus’ blatant attempt to hide the truth, which we believe will inevitably come out.

Based on the mood of the country, two and two will equal four again after the November election.

Depending on the results of Mueller’s investigation, an impeachment might very well follow.

But it won’t be Rosenstein’s job on the line.