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EDITORIAL: Mueller report adds to portrait of a man who shouldn’t be president

Special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as released on Thursday, April 18, 2019, is photographed in Washington. | AP Photo/Jon Elswick

If President Donald Trump did not obstruct justice, it was not for lack of trying. But this should surprise nobody.

So let’s move on from the Mueller report, which by no means clears Trump of egregious misconduct. Let’s focus on the larger argument for why the president should be denied a second term: He’s a man of low character doing a miserable job.

The biggest takeaway from the redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, released Thursday, is that Trump repeatedly tried to kill an investigation into his presidential campaign’s possible collusion with Russia — but his own people did not follow his orders.

This is not news. For more than two years, Trump has railed against the Justice Department investigation, calling for various people to resign or be fired. He so openly attempted to obstruct justice that it no longer felt like obstruction of justice. It felt like Trump being Trump.

Still, there’s one golden paragraph in the Mueller report that says it all. It sums up several of Trump’s failed efforts to push others to do his dirty work. A few choice sentences:

  • “[James] Comey did not end the investigation of [Michael] Flynn…”
  • “[Don] McGahn did not tell the Acting Attorney General that the special counsel must be removed, but instead prepared to resign over the President’s order.”
  • “[Corey] Lewandowski and [Rick] Dearborn did not deliver the President’s message to [Jeff] Sessions that he should confine the Russian investigation to future election meddling only.”
  • “McGahn refused to recede from his recollections about events surrounding the president’s direction to have the special counsel removed, despite the President’s multiple demands that he do so.”

Whatever their motives, good for them.

All of this is worth keeping in mind as the 2020 presidential election approaches, but it’s not as if Trump’s unfitness previously was in doubt.

The findings of the Mueller report are just to be added to his list of known offenses, along with mocking the handicapped, trashing the reputation of a dead war hero and senator, making undocumented immigrants out to be killers and rapists, demonizing Muslims, lying about paying off a porn star, defending white supremacists, mocking people’s physical appearance, running a scam “university,” cozying up to autocrats and pushing away allies, supporting the irresponsible anti-vaccination movement, closing down the government in a fit of pique . . .

The Mueller report is not a bombshell. It is sadly more of the same.

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