The Atlantic

The Perverse Paradox of the Mueller Report

Donald Trump’s outrageous behavior described by the special counsel is, at this point, so deeply familiar that it has lost its power to outrage.
Source: Mark Wilson / Getty

On Thursday morning, the report that had been compiled over the past 22 months by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was released, in a “lightly redacted” digital format, to the American public. By Thursday evening, cheeky reviews of the 448-page compendium (title: The Mueller Report; author: US GOVERNMENT) had popped up on Goodreads. One went like this: “The previous owner used a black highlighter on all the interesting bits and the main character has no redeeming qualities.” Another: “Slightly better than the SparkNotes edition released a few weeks ago.” Another: “The whole ‘we wouldn’t presume to say the president was guilty even if he was, but we will say that he’s definitely not not guilty’ thing is a bit of a cop-out. But it did have its moments.”

What did the president [redacted], when did he [redacted]? The report, as those playfully disappointed assessments suggest, does not fully answer those questions. Instead—a situation that occasionally; you could call it ; or you could call it what Trump did , as he publicly celebrated the report’s nonfindings: “It’s called , .”

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