Mueller revisionism, and the culpability of the press

Under a presidency that, perhaps more than any in recent memory, tends to be rendered in starkly moralistic terms, there is perhaps no better case study of the rise-and-fall character arc than Robert Mueller. Where the right always hated Mueller’s probe into Trump, Russia, and the 2016 campaign, liberals once lionized him—sticking his rumpled face on everything from protest placards to prayer candles—and many members of the mainstream press cast him as a redoubt of institutional rectitude in a world gone mad. All of this, of course, was projection. Amid the frenzied interest in his character and his investigation, Mueller worked in complete silence. These days, he’s seen differently. His report, which failed to dent Trump politically, is now viewed, in many quarters, as a tragically missed opportunity; with the passage of time, Mueller’s by-the-book stoicism has come to look less heroic, and more like witlessness. Over the summer, Jeffrey Toobin outlined the bones of such a case in a book and New Yorker article. Toobin argues that Mueller failed in two defining respects: he did not issue a subpoena for Trump’s testimony, and he refused to state, one way or another, whether he’d found prosecutable evidence that Trump obstructed justice. (Mueller’s office agreed to abide by a Justice Department rule that a sitting president can’t be indicted; Mueller felt that accusing Trump of crimes would be unfair since Trump wouldn’t have the chance to defend himself in court.) The... Continue reading at 'Columbia Journalism Review'

[ Columbia Journalism Review | 2020-09-23 12:32:09 UTC ]
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[ Publishers Weekly | 2019-04-04 00:00:00 UTC ]
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[ Publishers Weekly | 2016-12-19 00:00:00 UTC ]
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[ Publishers Weekly | 2016-12-09 00:00:00 UTC ]
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[ The Bookseller | 2016-10-14 00:00:00 UTC ]
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[ Publishers Weekly | 2015-04-10 00:00:00 UTC ]
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[ The Bookseller | 2020-11-22 15:12:18 UTC ]
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[ Publishers Weekly | 2020-11-17 05:00:00 UTC ]
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[ The Bookseller | 2020-11-09 23:01:40 UTC ]
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[ The Bookseller | 2020-10-28 12:22:34 UTC ]
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