The Mueller Report Distilled

I thought this might be of interest to many in blog land. I spent many hours going through the entire Mueller report and then took the parts of volume 2 (since volume 1 is less important given the “no collusion” judgment) and condensed it down to a 30 minute read.

It’s not a summary, it’s the actual text from the original report, just cut down to a more digestible size. But it still captures the overall narrative of the original report. If you’re someone that doesn’t have time to read the whole report, reading this will give you all the important stuff (in my opinion) for a much smaller cost of your time.

I think — no matter your view point on this — we should all go to the source rather than rely on media summaries, which these days are so incredibly biased that they actually make you less knowledgeable at times.

The Mueller Report Distilled

Note: this link is the non-paywall version.

P.S. if you find typos, post them here please and I’ll fix them. Trying to transcribe so much was hard and I have no skill with it. I wish I could have just cut and pasted the text, but there was no available text version I could find.

19 thoughts on “The Mueller Report Distilled

  1. Great job in preparing this.

    For me, it is very collusion occurred. That said, there’s also strong evidence that Trump obstructed justice, or attempted to do so, on several occasions. He only failed because Sessions and McGahn didn’t follow through.

    Given Trump was innocent of the main charge, and obstructed justice primarily because Trump is a narcissist, I would seek Congressional censure.

    Why not impeachment? Because the Senate Republicans won’t go for conviction and removal from office. However, the Senate Republicans may go for a censure.

  2. I think I currently agree with you, Gerald. I’m even okay with Impeachment in the sense of the House impeaching and sending it over to the Senate for trial, where it will die and he wasn’t be removed from office.

  3. He obstructed people who were inventing charges against him to obstruct his presidency.

    Can you imagine finding a Salem woman not guilty of being a witch, but guilty of obstructing your investigation of trying to prove her a witch?

    The entire collusion narrative was designed to bury Trump in bad press. I can’t blame him for not wanting to go along.

  4. No one was trying to prove the Salem woman was a witch. They were trying to investigate whether she sought help to become a witch and if anyone had tried to help her in her quest. She certainly can be found guilty of obstructing an investigation into her quest to become a witch. If she were innocent she would fully cooperate with the investigators.

  5. I am amazed that you think the first section that shows Russia definitely iinterphered in the US election is not worthy of comment.
    The fact that Trump regularly lies, and asks those around him to lie seems pretty damning. Muller starts with the understanding he can’t find Trump guilty of anything, but does also say he’s certainly not innocent.
    There used to be expectation that a president had some moral standards, Trump has changed that, now anything goes morally. How the mighty have fallen.

  6. There’s never been an expectation that US presidents have moral standards. It’s a comforting fiction we like to wrap ourselves in, that allows us to excuse awful acts from the guys we like. Trump is not a problem. He’s a symptom of a much larger problem: the imperial cult that has come to surround the presidency.

  7. We haven’t had a moral president Truman. Well, maybe Reagan. But he gave us the RICO act (erosion of 4th Amendment), illegal immigrant amnesty which caused illegal immigration to skyrocket (reward something and you get more of it), and the S&L debacle.

    (And peace-niks would say that Tuman approving Hiroshima/Nagasaki was immoral.)

  8. A good way to find your way through this mess would be to switch the name “Trump” for “Obama” and then imagine that Bush had done the things the Obama administration did in 2016.

    So, President Bush in 2008 oversees the Republican party funding a dossier about Obama using “intelligence” gathered by foreign secret agents. This dossier includes salacious details that are then released to the press, including the whole “golden showers” nonsense. That dossier is then used as an excuse by the Bush White House to have the FBI bug the Obama campaign. Meanwhile, FBI agents are caught sending texts to each other in which they are plotting a coup against Obama once he is elected. Once Obama is elected, he is accused of Russian collusion based on this falsified dossier ginned up by clearly partisan actors. The FBI director tells Obama twice he is not guilty of collusion, but the director refuses to say it publicly, and Obama, using his constitutional executive powers, fires the head of the FBI. Obama is upset that the intelligence agencies tried to frame him for a crime he never committed, and he talks a lot about doing some bad stuff, but never actually does it.

    Bottom line: Obama committed no crime and therefore cannot be accused of trying to obstruct justice when no crime was committed and no collusion took place. What Obama did was say a lot of stupid things, but he has a long history of doing that, and the impeachment campaign against is clearly political, not based on real criminal acts.

  9. I will also point out the whole “moral standards” charade is very annoying and hypocritical. Most of the people on the Republican side claiming Trump is morally unfit had no problem with W. Bush starting an unnecessary war that cost $3 trillion and thousands of American (and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi) lives. What is more morally unfit, thousands of unnecessary deaths or saying stupid and offensive things on a regular basis? Virtually all of the people on the Democrat side claiming Trump is morally unfit had no problem with Obama’s personal kill list that resulted in Americans being assassinated overseas. Not to mention his continued support of abortion at all costs, the Libyan fiasco, and the many scandals from Fast and Furious to Benghazi (which also resulted in many American deaths). Again, for this Dems, killing people: no problem. Saying rude and offensive things: “morally unfit.”

    The bottom line is that if you study even the basics of recent American history you come to the conclusion that almost all presidents have done things that are at least as morally unfit as Trump (and in many cases much worse — LBJ makes Trump look like a choir boy).

  10. There are two legal foundations to any crime; the criminal intent, and the criminal act. More on that in a moment.
    Though I find it a bit outrageous that a person could be found guilty of the crime of “obstruction of justice”, i.e., obstructing the procedure by which we come to a legal finding about a matter; when it is then discovered during that process that the suspected crime that started the wheels of the legal process turning, was not actually committed, and in fact may be found to be prosecutorial misconduct. Still, we must let the wheels of justice turn, even and especially if, a person is in a position of power, and the finger is pointed at that person.
    If it were me, I would be incensed and outraged at the accusation, and be filled with a desire to stop it in its tracks. This is the seed of criminal intent. I might even say things to my associates about finding ways to stop it, and a lay person wouldn’t be very clear on where the line was and rage may even blind one to exactly what crosses the line of “intent to commit the crime”.
    But the second part, is where Bob Mueller hands were tied, not as he said that he was powerless to do bring the indictment. The second part is the criminal act, an actual obstructing event. I did not see it in any of the above summary. No one in the comments has pointed to such an act.
    Even conspiracy to obstruct justice requires two people to agree to obstruct and then at least one of them has to actually obstruct.
    Now, I find it disconcerting that Mr. Trump asked other people to do some things they refused to do that smack of nefarious intent.
    In my scant legal experience, I have experienced and witnessed the “prosecutor mentality.” It is a real thing. To some, not all or even most, everything is a threat to the very foundation of justice as they see it, and everyone is guilty as a default position, despite the “innocent until proven guilty” mantra of public policy. They see nefarious intent everywhere they look. Maybe it is trained in to them, dunno, but I have seen it. I respected Bob Mueller’s silence, but in the end he took the worst kind of cheap shot. He held a position of great power and abused it, because he seems to think the president should held to some “higher standard” as a person. I do not exalt presidents. There is no double standard, only the criminal one, applied equally to all.

  11. Also, if you found this distilled report useful, please feel free to give me a clap or two so that others see it.

  12. Bruce, thank you for that distillation.

    It seems Mueller summarized that he hadn’t found actual obstruction of justice, but remained unwilling to assert that President Trump was therefore exonerated of possibly having done some undiscovered obstruction.

    Bruce, the nature of the typos I noticed simply clarify the enormous effort you expended to assemble your concise excerpt. But if you wish to clear them up, you had an instance of “lift the could.” I think an instance of Sources was misspelled, and an instance of memorandum was misspelled.

  13. “And peace-niks would say that Tuman approving Hiroshima/Nagasaki was immoral’

    You know his own generals said the same thing.

  14. Thank you, Meg. I fixed the typos except “sources” which I couldn’t find. Do you have the section number?

    I actually disagree with you that Mueller felt he hadn’t found obstruction of justice. I think it’s fairly obvious he believes he had. Even my (very) short summaries of his analysis should make this fairly clear where he stands. If you read the full report analysis, it’s even more obvious. (Not offering my own opinion on that subject yet, just saying I think that was Mueller’s bent by far that Trump obstructed justice.)

  15. Thank you Bruce. Your post helped me to clarify my own thoughts on the matter, whether my thoughts above added anything useful to the conversation or not.

  16. Hi Bruce,

    It seemed clear to me that Trump was found to have reacted like the pre-presidential Trump to a situation he felt was instructing his ability to enact his will.

    Also, lawyers will advocate avoiding full disclosure of details, a fact that can often lead to much suspicion.

    I don’t recall where I noted the Mia-spelling of a word like sources. Sorry

  17. Democrats wish to change the presumption of innocence to: ‘guilty until proven innocent’. They did it with the Supreme Court nomination, the teenagers with the MAGA hats at the Lincoln Memorial, and they wish to apply it to President Trump.

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