Sunday Reading: The Mueller Report
Following the release of the redacted report by the special counsel’s office, the political world remains divided. The President has declared himself completely and utterly vindicated in every respect. Meanwhile, Democrats (and many others) have cited multiple passages that confirm incidents that have every appearance of Presidential obstruction. If you’re spending the weekend curled up with the novel-length report, you might also want some deep background from our reporters in Washington and New York, who have been covering this story for well over two years. Masha Gessen explores the history of the Trump-Russia investigation and the idea of the “Mafia state,” and Susan B. Glasser examines the criminality of key figures within the President’s inner circle. In “Time in the Barrel,” Jeffrey Toobin reports on the role of the Trump operatives Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi in the larger investigation. Adam Davidson considers the ramifications of the former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s guilty plea, and Jane Mayer profiles the former M.I.6 officer Christopher Steele, the man behind the Trump dossier. Finally, Amy Davidson Sorkin recounts the successive indictments that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has delivered in the course of his investigation. (“Another observation one can make, reading the indictments,” she writes, “is that Trump has not surrounded himself with the best people.”) These pieces capture the context of the Mueller investigation—and its stakes—as the work of interpreting the report continues.
“What we are observing is not most accurately described as the subversion of American democracy by a hostile power. Instead, it is an attempt at state capture by an international crime syndicate.”
“Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi are, respectively, the progenitor and the expositor of the world view of the current President of the United States.”
“The criminality of key figures in the President’s inner circle is now established, by their own admissions, as they start to implicate the President himself.”
“For all the talk of Kremlin puppetry and intelligence operations, the heart of the offenses that Mueller has laid out involves the normal aspects of American politics, particularly the opacity of campaign finance, and the startling sums involved.”
“The question can no longer be whether the President and those closest to him broke the law.”
“Interviews with Christopher Steele’s friends, colleagues, and business associates tell a very different story about how a British citizen became enmeshed in one of America’s most consequential political battles.”