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July 14, 2019 6:12 AM   Subscribe

The Mueller Report From Business Insider, adapted by Mark Bowden, author of "Black Hawk Down", with illustrations by Chad Hurd, art director at "Archer."

The [Mueller Report] just needed to be rearranged in a better form.

So we hired Mark Bowden, a journalist and author known for his brilliant works of narrative nonfiction like "Black Hawk Down," "Killing Pablo," and "Hue 1968."

Our assignment for him was simple. Use the interviews and facts laid out in the Mueller report (plus those from reliable, fact-checked sources and published firsthand accounts) to do what he does best: Tell a story recounting Mueller's report that's so gripping it will hold your attention (and maybe your congressional representative's).

We also hired Chad Hurd, an illustrator from the art department of "Archer." We asked him to draw out scenes from the report to bring them to life.
posted by bunderful (11 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
OMG! Have not rtfa yet but the very idea is brilliant and HELPFUL! Such reports are extremely dull reading. Something like this is useful.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:22 AM on July 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


So, I found out that if you have an Amazon account, you can download a free audiobook of The Mueller Report (19 hours) through Audible (you don't need to sign up for Audible to get the audiobook). It's quite a listen. I also bought a physical copy of The Mueller Report, but listening to it is much easier I'm finding.

Even in its original form, it's quite a narrative, both parts of it, and it's well written and clear with what it is reporting, even if it isn't very "narrative" with how it presents its story.

The link in this post is an excellent recap and needs to be distributed widely. Along with the knowledge that THERE IS A FREE AUDIOBOOK OF IT if you have an Amazon account.
posted by hippybear at 6:22 AM on July 14, 2019 [8 favorites]


As the Cliff Notes's caveat goes, Bowden's article is "not a substitute for the text itself".

An immediate problem with it, as 20 Year Lurk pointed out on the megathread, is that Bowden incorrectly paraphrases Mueller: “There is no evidence to suggest Trump committed any crimes of conspiracy or "collusion."”

What the introduction to part 1 of the redacted Mueller report said, in report's careful, lawyerly language, was: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." That is emphatically not Mueller saying there was no evidence, only that his investigation didn't uncover any.

It continues, "The report describes actions and events that the Special Counsel's Office found to be supported by the evidence collected in our investigation. In some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event. In other instances, when substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence, the report states that the investigation established that certain actions or events occurred. A statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts." {Emphasis added.}

Furthermore, Mueller addresses the linguistic issue of "crimes of conspiracy" vs. "collusion.": "In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.” In so doing, the Office recognized that the word “collud[e]” was used in communications with the Acting Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation’s scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office’s focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law. In connection with that analysis, we addressed the factual question whether members of the Trump Campaign “coordinat[ed]”—a term that appears in the appointment order—with Russian election interference activities. Like collusion, “coordination” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. We understood coordination to require an agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election “interference. That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests. We applied the term coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." {Emphasis added, because Manafort, Stone, Bannon, Flynn, and others either destroyed messages, blocked access to communication through encryption, or just plain stonewalled—like Trump.}

With such dense, legalistic language in just the introduction, it's no wonder the American public wants a précis of the report.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2019 [12 favorites]


THERE IS A FREE AUDIOBOOK OF IT if you have an Amazon account.

There's also a free text-based epub version available, courtesy of the Digital Public Library.

Fanfare discussion here.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:08 AM on July 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


That is emphatically not Mueller saying there was no evidence, only that his investigation didn't uncover any.

The final sections of Part 1, in which Mueller discusses sentencing recommendations, states pretty explicitly that there is plenty of evidence of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian contacts in various sorts of ways, and that while charges were being handed out where there is a trail of evidence which were good enough to lead to a prosecution, when it comes to things like the Don Jr. Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, there isn't enough evidence that Don Jr. knew what he was doing was potentially illegal (part of the legalese was to talk about how there has to be knowledge that it's a crime), and that there was no actual deal struck during that meeting which led to anything "of value" exchanging hands, which is also necessary for it to be a crime.

Mueller does not say there is no evidence, what he says is that there is no chargeable trail of evidence when it comes to uncharged members of the Trump campaign that can lead to a prosecution.

For all intents and purposes, however, this is the same as there being no evidence when it comes to the legal system.
posted by hippybear at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


Can someone advise me on how I might print this out in the best way possible?
posted by InkaLomax at 8:27 AM on July 14, 2019


Can someone advise me on how I might print this out in the best way possible?

If you don't have Safari—whose stripped-down "Reader View" is invaluable for clearing up visual clutter—Chrome's printing options is quite robust. When there isn't an option for a "Reader View" version in Safari, I switch to Chrome, highlight the text for which I want a hard copy, then in the "More settings" section of the print dialogue box, use the "Selection Only" under "Options".
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:33 AM on July 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


It's funny how the special "there has to be knowledge that it's a crime" only applies to rich people doing crimes where they steal billions, trillions, of dollars, and damage/ruin the lives of potentially every human.
posted by zerolives at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2019 [19 favorites]


It's the Part 2 where the real meat of the report is anyway. This summary of it feels like it captures the narrative pretty well, based on where I am in the Mueller Report in my audiobook listen. It's certainly a punchier read.
posted by hippybear at 8:43 AM on July 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


For reference, here's the original Mueller report. Fully searchable pdf. Volume II starts on page 200 (as numbered) but the key summary of incidents of obstruction of justice is on page 215 (of the pdf.) Very well written! Now I'll check out this illustrated version to see if they cover the obstruction as well.
posted by TreeRooster at 8:51 AM on July 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


(plus those from reliable, fact-checked sources and published firsthand accounts)

Sources such as CNN?
posted by Homer42 at 2:10 PM on July 14, 2019


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