I’ve been pleased that most of my friends of every political background are taking the initial Mueller report findings (as relayed by Barr) in stride. For those who are concerned about it, here’s my perspective in case it helps– sharing here on BMG as it seemed to be of value to those that follow my FB
When I ran for Congress, many people asked me what I hoped the Mueller report would reveal. I always answered it didn’t matter what I wanted, but for the good of the country, I hoped that Mueller would find the President had not engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the Russians–it’s simply better for us all for countless reasons for that to have never been the case. To me, the most important thing was that Mueller complete his investigation without interference, that the report be public, and that we learn from it and act on it.
And where are we tonight? Mueller’s investigation is done, thanks to his dedicated effort, that of his staff, and the hard work of ordinary citizens and politicians who pushed back against Administration attempts and threats to preemptively end or limit the investigation. He’s gotten indictments and convictions galore, and revealed whole new arenas of potential criminality outside the scope of his work that others are investigating. The summary of the report— written by the President’s appointed conservative AG— validates that Russia interfered with our 2016 election, and that they repeatedly tried to get the Trump campaign to work with them, and that they declined to do so. The thing we don’t have is the complete report. We need that, in order both to best defend our institutions against future interference and to strengthen public confidence in these findings— thereby also strengthening our institutions.
Because Mueller pointedly could not exonerate the President from obstruction of justice in the scope of what he was investigating— let alone in the context of all the other scandals surrounding this Administration ranking from corruption to potential abuse of executive power— Congress will have to do what it has so often failed to do for decades, which is act like a co-equal branch of government. They will need to both keep their eye on the ball of actually debating and passing legislation meeting ordinary people’s needs and our systemic challenges and opportunities, while also fulfilling their oversight responsibilities and following through on all the investigations they have launched to their conclusion.
In a sense, this is a very good thing. It is not healthy in the long run for our institutions or civil society when our citizenry or our Congress looks to individuals or teams from the Executive Branch to act as the check and balance that Congress should be providing directly. Before Mueller, we sometimes saw this “savior-ism” with reference to members of the Intelligence Community or the civil service. Nor should we look to Special Counsels or their ilk to provide all the answers to the questions that their investigations raise, as these questions are often as political and even moral as they are legal in nature. I believe Mueller drew this line around the scope of his own work and conclusions very artfully.
The Special Counsel has done his duty, and I am grateful. Congress has its job to do, as does SDNY and state courts. For myself, I’m more determined to do what I believe to be my part, which is to accept the initial findings we have, push for the full report to be made public, stay engaged in government and my chosen activism at all levels, and look to elections in 2019 (some of our towns in Mass will be voting this very week!) and 2020 to turn the page on this Administration and the politics they represent. And I am so glad that I will be doing it all with so many of you.