The Mueller Report Leaves Behind Collateral Damage

April 18, 2019 Updated: April 19, 2019

WASHINGTON—For individuals such as J.D. Gordon, the release of the Mueller report is at best bittersweet. It marks an end to the investigation that he says has done him and others an “immeasurable amount of damage,” but he doesn’t see it as a conclusion to a fundamentally un-American episode in our national life.

Before the Mueller investigation started, Gordon was known as a retired Navy commander, a former Pentagon spokesperson, a foreign policy adviser to three presidential candidates, and the proprietor of a communications firm. After the investigation began, Gordon feels that his reputation was attacked, and that he and his family were terrorized.

As the national security director for the Trump campaign, he expected to be nominated for a senior administrative position, perhaps an ambassadorship. However, he told NTD that with the shadow of a possible indictment hanging over him, that opportunity went up in smoke.

He has had to pay five-figure legal bills as he defended himself in testimony before three different congressional committees and before the special counsel multiple times.

He has also had to try to defend his character, as he said news media, sometimes relying on leaks of confidential testimony, have reported false accusations against him.

And then there have been cyberstalking and death threats.

Gordon’s case is not unique.

Michael Caputo is a former Trump campaign adviser who has his own communications firm. He has recorded 58 threats of violence against him and his family. There was what he describes as a credible threat to burn down his house with his children inside. A USA Today columnist wrote on Twitter that his two toddler daughters should be raped.

Caputo wrote in Politico, “I lost most of my clients, lost staff, closed offices, nearly lost our home, drained my children’s college fund and struggled to pay the smallest bills.”

Caputo spoke of those being investigated being forced to keep silent about what they had endured. Now that the Mueller investigation has ended, they are talking, and Caputo said the stories of “cratered lives” are common.

Gordon said about 50 Trump associates were called to testify before the special counsel and congressional committees. Altogether, he counted 500 witnesses called by the Mueller investigation.

He is shocked at what he has seen unfold during the past two years: “It’s something that happens in third-world countries and banana republics. Not something I’d ever see in the United States.” He said top-level law enforcement, the media, and Democrats in Congress “worked to just destroy a presidency and destroy people around him.”

Gordon said he is still trying to defend himself, “because the investigations have not stopped just because the Mueller investigation has stopped.”

“A lot of lives are ruined needlessly just because of a political hoax.”

NTD reporter Holly Kellum contributed to this report.

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