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Mueller punted his report to a Congress ill-equipped to deal with it

Amber Phillips
2019-04-20 03:00:56

Read the Mueller report, and it’s pretty clear that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III believes President Trump acted inappropriately and maybe even illegally. But the special counsel’s work is descriptive, not prescriptive. He left the work of deciding what should be done to Congress.

That may not prove very effective. The Mueller report raises huge questions of presidential criminality and liability, and Congress is exceptionally ill-equipped to deal with them for a few reasons.

1) Congress is inherently a political body. And this Congress is even more partisan than usual. Congress is reflective of the country, and poll after poll underscores that a voter’s party affiliation is a predictable identifier of how said voter will come down on an issue.

For proof, look no further than how Republicans in Congress have reacted to the Mueller report. There is a case to be made that the president blocked or tried to end the investigation multiple times, and yet Republicans nearly universally declared that because Mueller didn’t recommend charging the president with any crimes, Trump is exonerated, and we should just stop talking about it. (Actually, some key Republicans decided this before the redacted Mueller report was even released Thursday.)

Partisanship exists on both sides, but Republicans’ exceptional…