Initial Thoughts on the Mueller Report

Slumping over in his chair, Trump exclaimed, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked” when Sessions told him that a Special Counsel had been appointed. (Page 290)

Trump, with the help of Attorney General William Barr, have succeeded in spinning the report thus far, and first impressions are important. However, Trump is certainly not out of the woods. For starters, the obstruction of justice section of the report references prosecution of the president after he leaves office, and Trump’s activities are currently being investigated by the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Eastern District of Virginia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C., the Central District of California, the offices of the Attorneys General for New York, Maryland, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, the FBI, the CIA, the District Attorney of New York City, various House committees…

A few initial takeaways from the report:

  • Mueller says lies by Trump associates to Congress and special counsel “materially impaired” Russia investigation.
  • Everyone except Trump now agrees that “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” This report vindicates the Intelligence Community.
  • Mueller says Russian intelligence targeted Clinton’s personal office within five hours of Trump publicly requesting it on July 27, 2016
  • Trump, Jr. just barely avoided indictment for violating campaign finance law when soliciting dirt on Clinton. Mueller determined they likely couldn’t prove willfulness and that the value of the solicited information exceeded the legal threshold beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • The Trump Campaign knew about Russian interference and expected to benefit. They did not alert authorities.

Bottom line: the President tried to cheat in order to win the election and then repeatedly tried to end the investigation into his actions, which is why he exclaimed, “I’m fucked.”

I still believe his first take was correct.