The contents of the report prepared by former special counsel Robert Mueller could be profoundly embarrassing, what with the way they do not clear Trump of collaborating with Russia to interfere in the election and absolutely, definitely show that he acted to obstruct the investigation. But Republicans have long followed the Lindsey Graham route when it comes to the Mueller report. Just say “case closed” and pretend that Attorney General William Barr’s three-page distorted summary was the end of it.
As more than a dozen members of Congress have admitted to Politico, they didn’t bother to actually read the report. That includes Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who called the report “tedious” and says she started on it before giving up. Republican Rep. Fred Upton says he would get to the report, but “I have a lot on my reading list.” And sure, how can anyone read Mueller when there are so many shades of gray still uncounted? But Republican Sen. Tim Scott probably summed up the GOP position best when he simply said, “What’s the point?”
Good question. After all, Republican Congressman Justin Amash did read the report, and look what that did for him. Better to remain ignorant. It’s so much easier to behave as if Trump isn’t a criminal, if you keep your hands firmly clamped over your eyes and ears.
Unfortunately, it’s not only Republicans who have investigation ennui. Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson admitted that he hasn’t read the full report for the extremely compelling reasoning that, “It is what it is.” Which is extremely sound reasoning … if you’re a cartoon sailor who lives on spinach.
More fortunately, there are representatives like freshman Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell who “spent countless hours” poring over the report, studying the evidence, and reviewing testimony. Maybe that’s why Mucarsel-Powell is on the list of those calling for impeachment, and Popeye Peterson is not.
At least 80 members of Congress had called for impeachment by the end of June. That includes Amash who is, so far, the only (former) Republican who has admitted to reading the full report.
Since Republicans are busy kicking Amash out of his committee assignments and bundling him off to the Very Small Room occupied by those who decided their conservative principles were more important than obedience to Trump. they have a very good reason to fear contaminating their minds with Mueller’s text.
And if Amash wasn’t enough evidence, there’s also former Trump transition team member J.W. Verret, who read the report and jumped from Trump supporter to insisting that the Congress begin impeachment hearings.
The RNC may be distributing tongs and rubber gloves so that representatives can be sure to extract any trace of the report and move it safely to the trash, along with any remaining fragment of their spines.
With less than 3% of the population even pretending they’ve read the report, including half the Congress, it’s a good thing Robert Mueller is dropping by to give them the Cliffs Notes.