Saturday, May 04, 2019

Uncle Academic: EASILY READ MUELLER'S OWN INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARIES BEFORE BARR's PRESSER

Only 3% of Americans are estimated to have read the 448-page Mueller Report.

However, Mueller prefaced each volume of the report with a brief Introduction and Executive Summary, comprising only 18 pages all together. These were designed to be not only conveniently accessible but legally suitable for immediate release to the public, but were omitted from AG William Barr's 4-page "summary of the findings" -- provoking a series of protests from Mueller to Barr. They are of course included in the full redacted Report released by the AG on You can now download and print or read these online via the links provided at: https://www.snopes.com/news/2019/05/02/read-mueller-report-summaries/


The full Report consists of two volumes. The first describes the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russians in those attempts. The second describes SC's investigation into whether, as president, Mr. Trump committed obstruction of justice.

The Introduction to each volume describe the precise issues the Special Counsel investigated, distinguishes these from certain issues it did not investigate, and explains why. This takes slightly over 2 pages for Volume 1 and only 2 pages for Volume 2.


The Executive Summary to each volume describes the conclusions the SC reached on those issues. This takes 7 pages for Volume 1 and 6 pages for Volume 2.


Mueller expressly sent this material to AG Barr ahead of the SC's forwarding of the full Final Report as suitable to release to the public, and described his purpose in writing it. The SC also remonstrated with Barr on this point several times before the latter released his disingenuous 4-page "summary" (on Friday, 24 March, moving Mueller to write a letter of protest to Barr the following Monday (17 March). That letter (a few lines beyond 1 page) did not come to light until over a month later (30 April), just before Barr's press-conference on 1 May preceding his release of the full Report. The Snopes article linked to above also provides a link to that letter.


Consider passing this information along to family and friends. As you'll see, these historic documents are readable by students in middle school, and many even younger. It is surely not too taxing a burden to expect citizens to acquaint themselves directly with this material.

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Those moved to do so might take one or both of these further steps
Compare Mueller's Introductions and Summaries with
Barr's March 24 Summary of the Mueller Report
Barr's remarks in his press conference on (some hours before his release to Congress and the public of the redacted version of the Report) April 18. You can choose between two modes:
the transcript of the press conference
a video of the press conference (which offers the opportunity to study changes in Rod Rosenstein's facial expressions)
Acquire a readable and informative copy of the Redacted Mueller Report.

You can read it online, annotated, at WaPo.

You can read it in PDF at the DOJ.


Far easier to browse is a printed edition. I recommend the edition (just out) by the Washington Post and Scribner, which offers
Introductory material:


  • an introduction (background) and analysis by WaPo reporters Rosalind S. Helderman and Matt Zapotsky
  • a list of individuals referred to in the Report, arranged by organizational affiliation
  • a timeline of events
  • Appended material (distinct from the Appendices A, B, C included in the Report itself):
  • "Mueller and Trump: Born to Wealth, Raised to Lead. Then Sharply Different Choices" by Marc Fisher and Sari Horwitz (of WaPo)
Glossary of Legal Terms

Key Documents in the Special Counsel's Investigation, Arranged in Chronologist Order, with introductions by WaPo. These range from Acting AG Rosenstein's Appointment Order establishing the Special Counsel (May 17, 2017), through court filings (indictments, sentencing hearings), through AG Barr's Letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on March 24, 2010.


There is another advantage of this edition over earlier print publications of the redacted Report. The version submitted by Mueller to the AG ('tis said) color-coded the redactions to indicate whether, in accordance with DOJ regulations, they had to do with grand-jury testimony or continuing investigations or with information that might compromise methods of intelligence-gathering or over-riding considerations of personal privacy. For reasons of affordability, print editions have generally replaced these with uniform black. The WaPo/Scribner edition, like the online PDF version at the DOJ (linked to above) uses black, but in each case indicates (in white over that black) the category of each redaction.


You need not begin by resolving to read the entire report from beginning to end. But you might be interested to use the Table of Contents (pp. 5-7) to guide you to sections you want to look into.


My copy arrived in the mail today. I aim to read the whole thing, though I understand that may turn out to be in the nature of a routine New Year's Resolution!