It is no surprise that the document bears little resemblance to that portrayed by the Trump administration. It must not be allowed to draw a line beneath it
Finally we have heard from Robert Mueller himself. For two years, in the face of immense presidential pressure and outright attempts to have him fired, the special counsel and his team quietly pursued their mammoth inquiry. He remained silent too as the Trump administration falsely claimed his 400-plus page report as a vindication. Now it is – to a large degree – in the public domain. But this is not the last word.
Its length, and the complexity of matters with which it deals, means that it will take time to fully digest the document and understand its ramifications. The politicians and journalists frenziedly combing through it in Washington have already found plenty of meat. The bar had been set high by the shocking facts that had already emerged about Russia’s role in the 2016 election and the actions of Donald Trump and his campaign. There is no single new killer fact which transforms the picture and is likely to sway a dedicated Trump supporter. But the report is nonetheless damning, and a vital and necessary addition to the body of evidence already amassed. Mr Mueller’s role allowed him to access evidence and press individuals as the media cannot. The report’s status as a formal, official record of events is also crucial, even if it will inevitably be assailed as partisan.