I created an abridged version of the Mueller report, or rather of the stuff that is most relevant today (i.e. the obstruction of justice portion in volume 2). I realize most people won’t have time to read a 448 page report, so I grabbed all the portions that jumped out at me and put them together in roughly the order they occur in the real report.
It doesn’t cover everything, but it covers most of the episodes that Mueller considered. (I skipped a few that seemed less relevant or seemed very similar to another account.)
This is not a summary of the report, it’s the actual words from the report, except where I indicate otherwise. It’s probably about 13 pages in Word, so I’d expect up to 30 minutes to read it all. If you don’t even have 30 minutes, I also broke it up with headers to make it easy to just get the idea by just reading the headers and then diving in for details as needed. And I gave page numbers to the actual report if you want to deep dive.
At this point, I make no commentary. I intend to do another post later that covers “What Mueller Left Out” (or something like that) to give the other side of the argument (as best as I can find anyhow.) I might even then go on to do a 3rd post giving my own analysis of each point, if I’m feeling brave.
My hope is that more people will dive into the actual source material rather than relying on media accounts.
I think the Mueller report is of special interest to members of the Church given Utah’s both electing Trump, but only with a minority of votes. (See my past post on the Utah Protest vote.) I think Utah found itself stuck between what, to them, was two awful choices and just didn’t know what to do.
Points for Discussion:
- Flynn and the Logan Act (#1-9): This was the first problem that led to the others. How do you feel about the Logan act? Should Flynn be prosecuted for it? Was Trump sharing an opinion or ordering Comey? Should it be (is it?) illegal for a president to share his opinion to an investigator under circumstances like these?
- Trump and Sessions (#10-12, 19, 21, 30-32): The trouble between Sessions (Attorney General) and Trump became the center piece of all the other problems. (#30 being particularly important, and also hilarious.) Trump continually criticized Sessions “decision” to recuse himself, sometimes quite publicly. What are your feelings about Trump’s actions?
- Trump and Cohen (#38-49): The story of Trump and Cohen is (even by Mueller’s own analysis) not a case of obstruction of justice, but Mueller chose to include it anyhow. If Cohen’s story is true, I personally found this story particularly troubling. What evidence do we have that either Trump or Cohen is telling the truth? Why did Trump choose to have Cohen “stay on message”?
- What evidence/facts/mitigating circumstances are you aware of that Mueller left out? (I am particularly interested in this so that my next post can be as accurate as possible about any weaknesses in the Mueller report.)
- Was Mueller biased? If so, in what way? How can we know? Is it true that Mueller laid out a case for congress to impeach Trump? (As much of the media claims.)
- Despite every special counsel before him coming to a conclusion about the president being investigated, Mueller made the case that he couldn’t. He gave a reason that there was no point since you can’t prosecute a sitting president. Most of the media accepted this explanation. However, it is possible to prosecute a president once out of office (or if removed), so it’s normally considered acceptable to come to a recommendation and nearly everyone expected Mueller to do so and was surprised when he didn’t. What do you think of Mueller’s explanation? If you feel it’s not the whole story, what do you feel is the whole story? (I’m personally curious about this, so hoping to gain more info.)
- Did Mueller exceed his mandate by creating a report intended for congress instead of the Attorney General or should that be considered acceptable? Should future special counsels follow Mueller’s approach?
- How do most members of the Church that you know deal with all the revelations in the Mueller report? (Whether they are for or against Trump.)
- I had to type quite a bit, so I probably made many typos. Please tell me where you find them so I can fix them.
“How do most members of the Church that you know deal with all the revelations in the Mueller report?”
Unfortunately, it seems that most who are Republicans continue to keep their heads in the sand and believe the right-wing propaganda that the report exonerates him. There are a select few conservatives I know who are intellectually honest and willing to call a spade a spade and acknowledge the obvious that Trump obstructed justice and should be impeached. But most church members who say this are already liberals or Democrats. It is profoundly disappointing to see conservative members who were staunchly against Trump and denounced his immorality and mendacity to have come around and become part of the Trump camp. Where is this moral, principled backbone that I hear so many conservative members touting and criticizing liberals for not having?
I’m sorry to say I still haven’t found a cozy spot and a cool drink to settle in with the Mueller report so I look forward to your summary.
To be completely honest, the whole Mueller investigation has to me only inspired intense boredom.
I never believed that President Trump was a virtuous man. I voted for him because I believed that he was the least bad of the two candidates – and nothing in the Mueller report has changed that. I do know some conservatives in my ward who pile on praises of the current President and think that he is turning the country around, and I honestly think that people like that are just as naive as the Democrats who did the same for Obama when it was their party’s turn in office.
Should Trump be impeached? Maybe. The trouble is that impeachment these days is only mooted for petty crimes, like the Clinton thing, and not, as the Founders intended, for when executive and judicial officers flagrantly exceed constitutional limits on their power. If we believed in limited powers, we would have impeached every president since Truman for waging war without the consent of the Congress.
But instead, we’ve got the Mueller investigation, where the media spends a whole year talking about whether or not Trump obstructed justice even though everybody already knows that if it goes to trial in the Senate, all the Democrats will vote GUILTY and all the Republicans will vote NOT GUILTY no matter what evidence is actually turned up.
Thank you for doing this. When I have some time, I will read the entire thing. Overall, my experience with opinions on the Mueller report is that people view it through their already-set biases. Thus responses say way more about the person than Trump or the legalities.
An overseas view. Very few in Australia have any respect for Trump, he is seen as a buffoon. Respect for America has taken a nosedive. He makes rediculous claims about his achievements, that then fall flat, Like solving the Korean problem.It seems obvious that when he raises tarriffs on imports you will pay more for them, and what about free trade(isn’t that a republican thing. What has happened when people claiming to be christian vote for and continue to support a dangerous, sexually philandering, moral disaster.
Obama was respected as a statesman, and behaved responsibly. There is no moral comparison between the 2.
Part of the problem might be that our conservative party probably has policies more comparable to the democrats, and our Labor party which is just left of centre, is to the left of the democrats.
Our conservative party claims to defend universal health care, is expected to make abortion more readily available, and is mostly pro gay marriage, for example. So our population is a few steps left of most americans, and we struggle to comprehend how trump supporters can justify their support. The things that the right of American politics used to stand for, family values, have been trashed by trump, and he is still supported. So is right wing morality a lie? And how does that apply to mormons, and what about the leadership?
I have read about half of the report and watched discussions on it from different perspectives. I came away thinking Trump is basically a crook who is watching out for himself and obstructed justice over and over. I wonder what Spirit members were listening to who voted for this man?
I read the abridged version. Thx Bruce. I wish Barr would have allowed Mueller’s prepared summaries to be released. ( I do feel like I should take the time to read the full report as my civic duty).
I thank God our country has not faced an economic disaster ( or any major disaster) like Obama faced when he became POTUS because we don’t have a competent, serious, emotionally stable, intellectually curious and informed leader. Many departments like Homeland Security lack adequate staffing.
I’m glad there were a few people at least that resisted doing what Trump asked them to do.
“I do feel like I should take the time to read the full report as my civic duty”
For anyone interested, Audible has a free audio book version of the Mueller report, although I think it if much easier to understand the text version.
Interesting how different the responses to this blog are here compared to those on “The melennial star”
Geoff – I had that thought too. Also, my European family laughs when I tell them I swing left of the middle in the US. They say I’m a European conservative. The US is odd politically. I wonder in terms of conservationism, how the US fairs against the less extreme middle-eastern and eastern-european nations. (sorry, side-tracking…)
Great recap — I read it all (although not the Mueller report). If you had asked me before the election, I would have said that most conservative church members I know demonize the Democrats to the point that they imagine they are using one hand to strangle an unborn baby, and the other hand is firmly planted in their wallet, taking their hard-earned money to dole out to the undeserving poor. But I am seeing cracks in the veneer. Now only the most die-hard and/or wealthy (which is truly unsavory) ward members are still supporting Trump (which I take to mean that the economics of me-first is still the winner).
What the report shows me is that Trump is monumentally incompetent. He runs this office the way Tony Soprano ran New Jersey; blundering and bullying his way, but not truly understanding what he’s doing. Actually, that’s not true. Tony Soprano was much more sophisticated, thanks in large part to his cool-headed therapist. Even the fact that he would question himself enough to get a therapist puts him leagues ahead of Trump.
But I agree that the real problem is that congress would be completely split on party lines in any sort of impeachment vote. I can’t help but agree with the comment above by Lois. Thank God we aren’t in a time that tests the mettle of a President. He’s willing to create concentration camps for children. He lies as effortlessly as I drink Diet Coke, even when water would be a better alternative.
I will read the Mueller report when there’s an equally exhaustive report on every other president, or just one, to keep things balanced. But I don’t even promise to do that except maybe as a curiosity. Do Russians meddle? It is nearly certain. Do Democrats meddle? Clearly they do or their candidate would have been Bernie Sanders. Do Republicans meddle; yes, and they could improve their game a bit, maybe learn to sic the IRS on their enemies.
Angela C writes “He’s willing to create concentration camps for children.”
Summer camp! Yay!
“Still, no one is being held for political, ideological or religious reasons. No one is being whipped and made to work until dead from exhaustion. There is no crematorium, and no one is being crucified upside down as they were at Buchenwald, where a nearby area was called the “singing forest,” so named for the screams of the dying.”
About the camps; that’s the inevitable consequence of a large number of refugees and no place to put them, Your house perhaps? That’s what happened in Germany. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10352/germany-migrants-property-rights
About those Democrats: “I would have said that most conservative church members I know demonize the Democrats to the point that they imagine they are using one hand to strangle an unborn baby, and the other hand is firmly planted in their wallet,”
Agreed, but the Democrats will say “that isn’t your wallet” (*) [for starters!]
* From Barack Obama’s famous statement: “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_didn%27t_build_that
Michael, have you actually read the article you posted given that it makes it clear you’re taking that phrase out of context?