I finished reading the Mueller Report this past Monday. I found it nothing short of stunning in the story it tells of corruption, deceit, dishonesty, and absolute disregard for the well being of our country.

If anything surprised me it was the lack of ambiguity. The redactions are very distracting, and in a few instances make it difficult to follow the point. In addition, the case law sighted to explain the historical precedent for conclusions Mueller reached gets a little tedious. Overall, though, the Report is easy to read and follow, as disheartening as the story it tells truly is.

For what it’s worth, here are a few takeaways from my reading of the Report.

(1) The relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia had three components: (1) The Russians offered dirt on Hillary Clinton; (2) The Trump campaign wanted the dirt; (3) They both wanted to make money in the process.

The Report said the Trump campaign didn’t commit the crime of conspiracy because they didn’t ask the Russians to do anything. It also equates “collusion” with “conspiracy,” which is why Trump can rightly say there was “no collusion.” But they was plenty of “cooperation” between the campaign and the Russians. Essentially Trump and company took anything and everything the Russians offered, welcomed all their activities on social media, and loved the stolen emails released through Wikileaks.

In plain English (and Russian) this means the Trump campaign didn’t care about the Russians attacking our democracy. They only cared about winning the election, hook or crook.

(2) The report states explicitly that the evidence points to Trump being guilty of obstruction of justice. “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.” (p.394 – and several times before this)

Why didn’t Mueller say Trump should be charged? Because he accepted the Department of Justice policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. That meant no indictment and no trial. No trial means no chance to prove your innocence if a charge was made without an indictment. The Report states that Mueller thought that would be unfair to Trump.

(3) Trump sought to make people in his administration choose between being loyal to him and loyal to the Constitution. That tested their personal integrity. Some failed it, some passed it. The latter, the Report explicitly says, prevented Trump from doing actual acts of obstruction he wanted to commit.

(4) The Report makes clear that obstruction of justice happens when someone tries to block an investigation even if they are not successful. It names instance after instance of Trump doing just that.

(5) Anyone reading the Report honestly will see that Attorney General William Barr lied in his public statements about what the Report concluded. He didn’t misrepresent. He lied. The Report doesn’t say what Barr said it said, but does say what Barr said it didn’t say.


Beyond these takeaways, the meta-conclusion I came to after reading the Muller Report is this.

Donald Trump and the office of the President are totally incompatible.

Trump’s temperament, world-view, value system, approach to life, along with his personality disorders and lack of moral character together make who he is and what the nation needs in a President polar opposites.

Those who voted for Trump not only did a terrible disservice to the nation. They did a disservice to him.

The man is in a position in which he has no chance of succeeding. Even if Trump weren’t corrupt, he would be a failing President. It’s like trying to mix oil and water. It just doesn’t work.

Trump is living proof of two fundamental political truths: (1) Anyone can become President of the United States; (2) Not just anyone can succeed in the job. He can’t, and he never will.

To be perfectly honest, except for the humiliation of it, impeachment would do Trump a favor.

He is in over his head, but his personality disorders such as his narcissism will not allow him to see this truth about himself.

He cannot save himself because he doesn’t know he needs to, so Congress would be doing him and the nation a favor to impeach him.

This is why the Mueller Report puts the spotlight on Republicans. Commentators seem to think it puts Democrats in this position, but I think the Report instead puts the spotlight on Republicans.

Mueller provides extensive evidence that Trump violated his oath of office to uphold the laws of the United States by knowingly engaging in acts of obstruction.

For this reason the spotlight is now on Republicans to uphold their oath of office by holding Trump accountable for violating his.

If they do that they will demonstrate they actually do care about preserving the principle of equality under the law that is the cornerstone of our form of government.

If they don’t, they will prove themselves to be no better than Trump and deserving of the same fate.

Either way Democrats must proceed with impeachment. The Mueller Report is unambiguous.

Donald Trump broke the law, and did so more than once, and the country needs to know that at least one of the two major political parties is willing to say NO to that kind of leadership.

It’s the only way Congress can save the nation from Trump and save Trump from himself.