Morning Update: The Mueller Aftermath

What happens after the report, a horrific story from Bangladesh, your weekend reads.

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Mueller said he would’ve exonerated Trump of obstruction if the evidence supported it, but he couldn’t

The long-awaited report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller is finally out, released to the public with redactions. You can read the whole thing for yourself here.

If you don’t have time to read 400+ pages, we got you. Let’s go through what you need to know.

The two big takeaways from the report:

👉First: Concerning obstruction of justice, Mueller didn’t conclude whether President Donald Trump committed a crime — but added that the report “also does not exonerate him.”

What this means: Mueller repeatedly found “substantial evidence” that Trump had committed potentially obstructive acts and that often his intent was to stymie the investigation into himself and his campaign. But Mueller left it up to Attorney General Bill Barr to proceed, and Barr decided the evidence didn’t legally constitute obstruction.

👉Second: When it comes to the Trump campaign conspiring with Russia to influence the election, Mueller found that no charges were warranted, but that there is still information he does not know.

What this means: Mueller wrote that “the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign,” but “the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.”

The in-depth version: read more details about what’s in the report and our analysis of it.

What happens next?

This is, so to speak, only the end of the beginning. Already, House Democrats have begun to call for Bill Barr’s resignation in the wake of his press conference preempting the report.

Congress wants to hear from both Barr and Mueller.

The big picture

The obstruction of justice part of Mueller’s report paints a picture of an administration in which Trump’s impulsive responses to the events unfolding around him routinely put him at odds with his senior aides and White House lawyers.

Further reading:


A militia group detained hundreds of migrants at the US-Mexico border at gunpoint. The right-wing militia group United Constitutional Patriots posts videos showing its members detaining migrants in the New Mexico desert. State officials publicly condemned the group after its members detained nearly 300 people at gunpoint.

A young woman in Bangladesh died after she was set on fire for reporting sexual harassment. Nusrat Jahan Rafi, an 18-year-old student, went to police to report her principal for sexual harassment. Her statement was filmed without her consent by a police officer, who later posted it on social media. Rafi started receiving death threats, and four people set her on fire.

WhatsApp has become a hotbed for spreading Nazi propaganda in Germany. We documented hundreds of uses of anti-Semitic or otherwise pro-Nazi stickers used in WhatsApp groups, despite those images being illegal in Germany.

A man who repeatedly cut and masturbated into women’s hair has been banned from public transit in Portland. Jared Walter, 32, has been in and out of jail for years in connection with his offenses against women on transit. This marks the first time the city’s public transit system has issued a lifetime ban.

The Russo brothers have revealed that the only person to have read the whole Avengers: Endgame script is Robert Downey Jr. So when Avengers stars say they don’t know what’s going to happen, they’re not lying.

Slow life down with these excellent essays

These Women Are Only On Facebook For The Groups. Social media networks are bad at combating abuse. But even in that context, Anne Helen Petersen writes that private Facebook groups have been a respite from online toxicity, especially for women.

People Wearing AirPods Are Making Things Awkward For Everyone Else. How do you talk to people who are constantly wearing AirPods? Or people who forget that they’re wearing the wireless headphones? Alex Kantrowitz wrote about the way AirPods put up barriers between us.

What I Learned About Love From American Movies. Is it normal to use someone's shower on the first date? According to Top Gun, yes. Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk: A Memoir In Conversations, compiled some of the, er, inadvisable love lessons of the movies we treasure.

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