A little more Mueller

Good take from Dave Leonhardt on what Mueller got wrong:

I can’t escape the feeling that Robert Mueller ultimately failed to do his job. [emphases mine]

Yes, he conducted a thorough, fair investigation of President Trump and Trump’s 2016 campaign. But when that investigation was over, Mueller ducked the tough decisions. He refused to clear Trump in the areas where no evidence implicated him in a crime, and Mueller refused to conclude that Trump had broken the law when the evidence clearly indicated he had.

Instead, Mueller tossed the hard decisions to Congress — a Congress rived by partisanship, where fact-based, widely accepted conclusions are all but impossible…

Based on his report and testimony, I think he should have said that he found no evidence of several of the accusations that Trump’s critics have made: that Russia has salacious compromising material on him; that an aide held a secret meeting in Prague; that Trump was a Russian intelligence asset.

At the same time, Mueller should have stated that the evidence strongly suggested that Trump committed obstruction of justice and campaign-finance crimes. Because Justice Department policy holds that sitting presidents can’t be indicted, Mueller could have explained that the right place to hear these cases was Congress. In the congressional proceeding, Trump could have defended himself, and the members could have made a decision about his guilt and the appropriate sanction, it any.

That approach would have been consistent with Mueller’s role as a prosecutor in this case. It would have been fair to Trump, and it would have been fair to the country.

Mueller chose an easier path, though.

And John Cassidy on the horribleness of today’s GOP:

The wanton disrespect that these elected Republicans showed Mueller was perhaps the most alarming testament yet to Trump’s total conquest of the Party. In today’s G.O.P., as in Stalin’s Russia, evidently, decades of loyal public service count for nothing when the leader and his henchmen decide someone represents a threat and the apparatchiks have been ordered to take that person down. All that matters is carrying out the order and staying in the leader’s good graces. That isn’t congressional oversight. It is scorched-earth politics of a kind that is entirely antithetical to the notion of checks and balances enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

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