Now that we finally have the (redacted) report from Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into the Russia scandal, we have many questions to confront, such as whether President Trump should be impeached. But the report has also given us many answers, and it’s worthwhile to step back and take careful note of what it has clarified.
There are some things that were matters of dispute or insufficiently documented before, but are no longer in question. Let’s run through them:
Vladimir Putin very much wanted Trump to become president of the United States, and undertook a comprehensive campaign to make sure it happened. At this point, Trump might be the only person left in America who disagrees with this fact — or pretends to, anyway — but Mueller’s report makes it irrefutable.
Trump, his family and his campaign may not have set up a criminal conspiracy to cooperate with Russia, but they were eager to accept the help. This, too, was widely known, but Mueller provides exhaustive detail on just how enthusiastic Trump and those around him were about Russia’s interference in the election: There were not just extensive contacts with Russians they hoped would help them; they also gleefully welcomed Russia’s cybertheft from Democrats. As the Lawfare team puts it, the best that can be said of them is that “the Russians and the Trump campaign shared a common goal, and each side worked to achieve that goal with basic knowledge of the other side’s intention.”