Whip It, Whip It Good: Who’s Read the Report? [Updated]

[NB: Yeah. Not Marcy. Post has now been updated to reflect Special Counsel’s statement today. /~Rayne]

By now you know Robert Mueller gave a statement today in which he both resigned as Special Counsel and offered a summation of the Special Counsel’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation.

Marcy has a post up summarizing Mueller’s statement.

Bottom line: the evidence needed to launch an impeachment inquiry is in the Special Counsel’s report.

He further made a remark about Attorney General Bill Barr’s release of the report which should be scrutinized carefully.

Mueller’s statement makes yesterday’s piece on Rep. Justin Amash in the Washington Post more important. Amash published a Twitter thread yesterday criticizing Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the Special Counsel’s report:

Amash now has primary opponents including Michigan state representative Jim Lower. This bit is telling:

Two Republicans have filed to run against him in the primary; one of them, state Rep. Jim Lower, told The Washington Post that he raised $60,000 since Amash’s impeachment tweets. The wealthy DeVos family, a force in western Michigan and supporters of Amash’s previous campaigns, said through a spokesman last week that they would support another Republican for the 3rd Congressional District seat; Lower said he’d been in touch with the family.

In an interview, Lower said he had not read Mueller’s report but agreed with the assessment of most Republicans that it ended questions about Trump’s conduct. On Monday, as he greeted voters at a Memorial Day event, several Republicans told Lower they were ready to help him get Amash out of office, citing his criticism of the president.

“Those voters do not want the president to be impeached, and they disagree with the congressman’s conclusion,” Lower said. “Throughout this primary campaign, I will be the voice for those voters.”

Lower is yet another Republican legislator who has made a pro-Trump assessment without having read the Special Counsel’s Report on the Trump-Russia investigation.

He’s absolutely certain Trump didn’t do anything wrong but he couldn’t tell you what in the report exonerates Trump because he couldn’t be bothered with reading it.

Now Lower is a state level elected at the moment, running for the House in 2020 with the aim of replacing Amash. What of the other elected Republicans who are already in the House and the Senate who are pro-Trump? Have they read the report? Have their staff members read the report?

The report’s been out now for more than a month; if they read 5-10 pages a day they should have finished reading it by now so they don’t have a legitimate complaint that the report is too long.

And yet many GOP electeds may stick their neck on the line for Trump, going to stake their credibility on something they haven’t read.

Note Mitt Romney’s feedback about the Special Counsel’s report, keeping in mind Romney was once in the anti-Trump camp:

We should take Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) at his word when he says, as he did on CNN’s “State of the Union,” that he has read the entire Mueller report. He told the show’s host, Jake Tapper: “I just don’t think that there is the full element [of intent] that you need to prove an obstruction of justice case. I don’t think a prosecutor would actually look at this and say, okay, we have here all the elements that would get this to a conviction.”

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee added, “I think, in part — one of the things that is difficult in order to make a case for obstruction of justice or impeachment is whether or not there was intent. And when there’s not an underlying crime, I think it’s difficult to put together an effective case to prosecute for those crimes.” So Romney is merely “troubled by it” and found it “very disappointing, for a number of reasons.”

Here’s Romney a month earlier:

Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, said Friday that he was “sickened” by President Trump’s behavior as detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s newly released report.

The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee shared his reaction on social media after reviewing the sprawling report summarizing the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 race and related matters.

“It is good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President of the United States with having conspired with a foreign adversary or with having obstructed justice. The alternative would have taken us through a wrenching process with the potential for constitutional crisis. The business of government can move on,” wrote Mr. Romney.


Yet nearly a thousand prosecutors feel there was ample evidence in the report to conclude Trump obstructed justice. Did Romney really read the report? Is he going to stake his credibility and rally behind Trump based on a bad interpretation of what he may have read, which may or may not be the entire redacted report?

The Washington Post this past week surveyed members of Congress to learn who had and hadn’t read the report. It won’t surprise you that the number of Republicans who haven’t read it outnumber Democrats who haven’t read it.

But now they’ve had a long holiday weekend to read it. Have they? Are they still going to claim that the report exonerates Trump even after Robert Mueller clearly said today Trump isn’t out of the woods?

Are they still going to ignore the hundreds of federal prosecutors across the country who say the report reveals Trump obstructed justice?

Let’s find out. If you’re up to it let’s make phone calls to find out if the lawmakers have still not read the report.

Share your findings in comments and I will update this chart.

Let’s whip it good.

One last observation: Rep. Amash’s townhall last night in a staunchly GOP city, home of the DeVos family, drew a capacity audience and earned him a standing ovation.

Amash stressed how appalled he was at the conduct spelled out in Volume II of the Special Counsel’s report and that he felt those who read the report would likewise be offended.

Why aren’t more GOP members of Congress offended? Because they can’t be bothered to read it?

Whip it — Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

WaPo used these questions which are still a pretty good script for callers:

1. Did members of [lawmaker]’s senior staff read the executive summaries for both Volume I and II of the redacted Mueller report, or not?

2. Did members of [lawmaker]’s senior staff read the redacted Mueller report in its entirety, or not?

3. Did members of senior staff brief [lawmaker] on the contents of the redacted Mueller report, or not?

4. Did [lawmaker] read the executive summaries for both Volume I and II of the redacted Mueller report, or not?

5. Did [lawmaker] read the redacted Mueller report in its entirety, or not?

Make the calls. Whip it good.

30 replies
  1. The Old Redneck says:

    1. This is a man trying desperately to stay above the fray. Under the circumstances, that’s nearly impossible.
    2. This is about as clear an impeachment referral as he feels he can make, given the constraints on him.
    3. People who actually read the report shouldn’t be surprised at either of these things.

    • timbo says:

      Yeah, that’s what it seems like alright. The problem is that the DP leadership is so weak that they can’t seem to figure out a way too put pressure on a GOP that has less than a 50% support in the country…

  2. OldTulsaDude says:

    Mueller, saying, “Your serve”, tossed all the balls onto Pelosi’s side of the court and then walked off and handed his racket to Individual-1..

    • rip says:

      Can’t help but continue your analogy with a picture of His Royal Corpulence trying to drive his golf cart around the court to hit the lobs and line drives and slices coming from Pelosi.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Jim Lower hasn’t read the report, but he believes the statements made by other Republicans – who haven’t read the report either – about what the report says about Trump’s conduct.

    Lower’s opponents from both sides of the aisle should point out that he would not earn a passing grade in junior high with that way of thinking. That approach would also make him fail as an athletic scout, a Boy Scout, an Army Scout, a stock analyst, a sign painter, a rocket engineer, a construction worker, an elevator inspector, and a parent.

    Jim Lower doesn’t care. What he’s really saying is that he’s willing to do and say anything his party elders want. He’s ready, willing, and able to follow Trump wherever he might lead.

    Rock bands want that in their fans. Television mega-preachers want that from the contributors who pay for their cynical and lavish lifestyle. Mob bosses demand it. But with their lives and livelihoods on the line, who wants that in their Member of Congress?

    • Rayne says:

      “…he’s willing to do and say anything his party elders want.”

      Yup. That. He is their ready water carrier. He won’t do anything to threaten their plausible deniability by reading anything.

  4. P J Evans says:

    Amash’s constituents apparently don’t have a problem with his views. There’s a post at Kos looking at the reporting on his town hall at CNN and at NYT, and NYT looks really bad for missing nearly everything that actually happened.

    I don’t know if my congresscritter has read the report. I had to search just to find his email page – it’s not actually linked from his “contact” page, and I got after him for that, too. (I got an email from him endorsing a candidate in the local council race – the one who’s currently working for him.)

  5. vicks says:

    Hoping for some good news, I was watching Fox right after Mueller spoke and there were several commenters pointing out that what Mueller just said didn’t match what Barr’s words in his principal conclusions and testimony. Ding ding! But then Rooty called in and the spell was broken. He quickly got them back on the no collusion no obstruction witch hunt track.
    It went something along the lines of: “If they knew they could not indict a sitting president why did they even investigate?”
    He also claimed they knew from the beginning (or at least from the time the Papadopoulos thing fell apart) they would not find anything.
    Considering the recent posts I thought the Popadop reference was an interesting sprinkle or perhaps a seed planted?

  6. Eureka says:

    Mine’s on record as reading it so I decided to go purpling. I’ve been curious about Brian Fitzgerald (R, PA-01) as he’s not a total Trump nutter. Constituents got him on record today as NOT having read the report (honest answer, see “not total Trump nutter;” also former FBI IIRC). Constituents are planning protest or pressure type events for him to do so (see this timeline for more info):

    Melza B: “We’ve have been told today by @RepBrianFitz staff that he DID NOT read #MuellerReport yet. This is unacceptable. The #MuellerReport is free on @audible_com even I had time to listen to it. #PA01 deserves better Representation. #ImpeachmentInquiryNow (image quoting Mueller today)”

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for the feedback. You’d think Fitzgerald would cover his backside by reading it because the state is in play for 2020.

      • Eureka says:

        His seat could be in play as well; razor-thin margins in his new district since 2018 election on the new maps (Cook calls it R+1; had it existed in 2016, HRC would have won it; also Fitzgerald policy-wise often sounds rational, or like a centrist/dem).

        Constituent commented that had he acknowledged having read MR, he’d be on the hook to take a stand (and I agree). *Given his prior comments on Trump-Russia, prior work history (*in Ukraine* when RU attacked their power grids), this should be an easy walk for him, or an easy loop for constituents to help him to close (all things Kilimnik, Manafort, anyone?!? The fucking polling data and the state he represents?!?! MBueller?!?).

        *Brian Fitzpatrick (American politician) – Wikipedia

        Fitzpatrick is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supervisory special agent in California. At the FBI, he served as a national supervisor for the Bureau’s Public Corruption Unit, and led the agency’s Campaign Finance and Election Crimes Enforcement program. During his time in the FBI, he spent time in Kiev, Ukraine, Mosul, Iraq and Washington, D.C.[3] He was embedded with U.S. Special Forces as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
        (internal links removed)

        Talk to your rep, PA-01-ers. There are so many points of intersect with the Mueller investigation/report and Fitzgerald’s expertise.

        • Rayne says:

          He’s EXACTLY the kind of representative who needs to be put on the spot, and early on. Did he or didn’t he read the report, and if he didn’t, why? No excuses for a former AUSA and FBI agent to skip this critical document. None.

          • Eureka says:


            Also note I’ve repeatedly called him “Fitzgerald” here for some reason, even while I repeatedly typed the correct name to look up his status. It’s **Fitzpatrick** for F’s sake. Oopsie. Damn auto-correct.

  7. Josie says:

    I called both of my South Carolina Senators. Sen Tim Scott’s staff had no idea if he’s read it. Sen Lindsey Graham’s office wasn’t sure if he had read all of it. They suggested I email my question instead of ask it over the phone. I think I should erect one of those “Free Little Libraries” on the lawn of the Senators offices and fill it with copies of the Mueller Report.

    • Rayne says:

      Not surprised by the lack of commitment wrt Scott reading/not reading. He’s walking a fine line.

      But Graham has zero excuses being a former JAG and a senator much longer than Scott, let alone one who at one time before his compromise had been anti-Trump. He should absolutely cover his backside by reading it and knowing what he’ll be defending against as he goes into the 2020 race for re-election.

      Guessing in Graham’s case it’s about maximizing plausible deniability — can’t attack/defend what he hasn’t read.

  8. Tom Marney says:

    It’s abundantly clear that a large proportion of Trump supporters (perhaps “half,” as one prominent observer put it), would continue to support Trump unreservedly even if he was accused, indicted, tried and convicted of outright conspiracy with the Russian government, much less [sarcasm] an insignificant trifle like multiple counts of obstruction of justice[/sarcasm]. The reason that the Russians supported the Trump campaign is that they want to weaken and debase the United States by unleashing the corrosive forces of right wing nuttism upon our society. Moreover, the appeal of doing this was so self-evident that they decided to do it even though the odds of Trump actually winning the presidency were remote. That is, the upside for the forces of evil of unleashing Trumpism on American society significantly outweighed the downsides of what a Clinton administration hobbled by a Republican Congress would be able to do to counter.

    So, fretting about who has and hasn’t read the report seems a bit naive.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL how ‘naive’ to expect elected representatives of a co-equal branch of government to read the final report of a investigation into the presidency after they approved the special counsel’s appointment for this purpose.

      Quaint, even. ~smh~

  9. Bay State Librul says:

    Comment: That “no conflict” memo from DOJ signed by Peter Carr was unadulterated bull shit.

    Can someone please explain how two lawyer’s interpretations can be right, when they say exactly the opposite?

    DOJ must think that people are wacko

  10. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. Here is my evidence of experience.

    I sensed many representatives haven’t read the report. So, disappointing when I made calls. Just got to question one. Did members of [lawmaker]’s senior staff read the executive summaries for both Volume I and II of the redacted Mueller report, or not?

    Sen Warner: Can’t say for sure if all was read but I believed the Senator was briefed as was the staff.
    Sen Kaine: Don’t know. Can’t say for sure.
    Rep Beyer: I believe so. (Put me on hold to ask)

    I did take into account these are interns answering the phone. They all asked me if I would like to leave a message. Yes, I would and did. I said it is a representative’s responsibility to be informed; therefore, reading the Mueller Report is vital considering the corruption and obstruction by this administration and in order to start impeachment proceedings. I expect my representative to read the report from cover to cover. A direct answer of yes or no if the representative did or did not read the Mueller report would be extremely helpful to other constituents who call.

    “Houston, we have a problem.”

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for your feedback. I would write them with the same questions and indicate in the written request that this is a follow-up and you’d like a response in writing.

      • Jenny says:

        Rayne, good idea. That way I can get all the questions answered, or not. It will be interesting to see how long they take to respond.

  11. DAT says:

    Jackie Walorski, IN-2, Has a comment which a staff member read to me. As he finished I commented, “So, She has not read the report.” “I can only relay what the congresswoman has released” he responded. I asked him to relay my concerns to her. I’ve also left messages with my Senators.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for your feedback. I don’t know anything about Walorski or her district so I looked up her bio entry in Wikipedia

      Guess I’m not surprised after what I found. Poor South Bend. ~sigh~ Thanks again.

  12. Rayne says:

    One of our readers passed on this feedback:

    I phoned Senator Gardner’s office – the person who answered the phone impatiently answered ‘yes’ to each of the 5 questions from the WaPo script. She seemed more interested in my ‘concerns or comments’ than in answering the questions.

    Sen. Cory Gardner is Colorado’s junior senator and is up for re-election in 2020. Which means he is vulnerable if public approval for impeachment and removal rises above 50% and the GOP senate continues to bottleneck both legislation and post-impeachment steps toward removal.

    Thanks for stepping up and making the call, reader.

  13. BeingThere says:

    In his statement Muller is clearly pissed about the Congress’ response to his report.

    The Special Council and his Office and team have spent two years of hard work and long hours, in devotion to the country, following leads internationally to uncover evidence of conspiracies and obstruction, to now see it languishing unread in the inboxes of Congress and the media. The report has become a proverbial coffee-table piece for conversation, never opened for reading.

    Congress members and media behave as lazy petulant schoolchildren facing an end-of-term book report. Now demanding Muller come testify with a cliff notes or dummies guide to skip doing their duty of reading and comprehension. Others cheat and copy their summary from white house talking points. The people see through this.

    It’s beyond time for all members of congress, the media, and the people, to pick it up/download it and actually read it – making comments or assumptions without so is an insult to their work. If Muller has to come back and face the public again it can only be to scold those who are failing in their grades. All Congress members must be required to pass this test on their own reading merit.*

    As Rayne says we have to make them read their homework, check that it’s done, question them, and hold them accountable if not. We’ve all been students, and don’t take lightly to class cheats who push to the front by cheating that skews the scoring stats for the rest who put in the work.

    *Thankfully there are a few exceptions, and that character must quickly become the norm. The world is watching.

  14. Eureka says:

    Just on Chris Matthews, pro-impeachment GOP group out with new ad(s) and plans to hand-deliver pre-highlighted copies of the Mueller Report to GOP lawmakers.

    (I can’t find a link from a site I know to be click-safe, as with other searches today…)

    Adding: got one:

    Republicans for the Rule of Law on Twitter: “Every GOP lawmaker will be hand-delivered a pre-highlighted report and a highlighter from yours truly on Monday. (Except @justinamash, who has already read it) #ReadTheReport (link to The Hill article)”

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