The text of the special counsel’s detailed, damning report is rightfully receiving much attention. Most analysis has nevertheless failed to appreciate the narrow channel Robert Mueller needed to navigate when crafting this report—and just how deftly he managed to do so.
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On April 23, Benjamin Wittes hosted a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution unpacking what we learned from the redacted version of the Mueller report. The panel featured Susan Hennessey, Chuck Rosenberg and Margaret Taylor. They discussed the factual record Mueller established on Russian interference and collusion, whether the president's conduct constitutes obstruction of justice and how Congress and the American people might react to the report.
The Mueller report contains some interesting tidbits 0n "going dark" and bitcoin.
The Mueller report describes numerous instances in which President Trump may have obstructed justice. Here’s an attempt to synthesize how the special counsel analyzed the evidence.
When he was first appointed, many, including me, were willing to give Attorney General Barr the benefit of the doubt. His recent performance raises significant questions about his fidelity to the rule of law.
The special counsel’s decision to stick closely to what he could criminally charge primarily exposes not the president, but the country’s failure to devise better institutions for such situations.
The options for checking a president who abuses his power to the degree that Trump has are functionally impeachment proceedings or nothing.
Reading the report carefully and writing my thoughts as I go.
The redacted Special Counsel report confirms that the Russian government, carried out a multi-pronged campaign against the U.S. before, during, and after the 2016 election. There were three distinct elements of that campaign.
Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and he did not conclude that President Trump had obstructed justice. But he did not exonerate the president either.