Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Corey Brettschneider corey_brettschneider at brown.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Jonathan Hafetz jonathan.hafetz at shu.edu
Jeremy Kessler jkessler at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman msl46 at law.georgetown.edu
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at yu.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
David Pozen dpozen at law.columbia.edu
Richard Primus raprimus at umich.edu
K. Sabeel Rahmansabeel.rahman at brooklaw.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
David Super david.super at law.georgetown.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Nelson Tebbe nelson.tebbe at brooklaw.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
Mr. Mueller Should Speak for the Report that Does Not Speak for Itself
Yesterday former Special Counsel Robert Mueller said that his 448-page report on (1) Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and (2) potential obstruction of justice by the President speaks for itself. His report emphatically does not speak for itself. In order to understand what the report is finding, stating, and seemingly implying without explaining, one has to do more than read the whole thing, which few Americans have time or ability to do. One also must be a sophisticated lawyer, which few Americans are or will become any time soon.
The report no more speaks for itself than this statement from Mr. Mueller: "If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." Among other problems, the word "clearly" is doing a lot of unexplained work in that inaccessible formulation, and its use obfuscates more than it clarifies given the report's findings--which I discuss in my analysis of the Mueller Report--that on several occasions the President satisfied the three elements of an obstruction offense.
Imagine your child answered your questions the way Mr. Mueller answered the questions he was charged with investigating.
You: "Did your friends make that mess in the kitchen?"
Your kid: "If I had confidence that my friends clearly didn't make that mess in the kitchen, I would have said so."
Your kid: "My statement speaks for itself. I shouldn't be required to talk about this matter any further."
I understand that the analogy is imperfect, as all analogies are. But come on. Mr. Mueller should testify. Americans need to see the movie and not be left with what they are likely to experience as a Zen koan of a book.