So... I got a little distracted from reading the Mueller Report like I promised. Work's been crazy, real-life distractions aplenty. I got as far as the first full page of redactions and refused to find out how many times the phrase "trump conspired with Russians to hack the elections" fit inside the void.
As a result, I'm not fully briefing myself on the report's contents as of today, when Mueller is expected to testify before Congress about his findings.
I don't have high hopes today will end well (by that I mean "trump getting charged on his counts of Obstruction and getting campaign aid from a foreign power").
A lot of what happens today depends on what Mueller actually says. Despite AG Barr's assertions that he can control what Mueller can answer, the former special prosecutor can say whatever he feels is not covered by the "matters of ongoing harm" regarding active investigations.
The most likely things Mueller will cover are the most obvious ones: That Russia actively attempted - and in some cases succeeded - to interfere with our country's 2016 election cycle. I fully expect Mueller will spend much of his presentation making the case for Congress to pass stricter laws against foreign meddling and to make more concerted efforts to protect our voting methods.
Whether or not trump committed crimes like Obstruction, Mueller still hasn't come out and simply said so: He keeps saying "Well Congress needs to act on that" and leaves it up in the air. I wonder how many Democratic congresscritters are going to try to get him on record saying "Yes, trump committed Obstruction (more than once), and yes this requires Congress to at least begin impeachment proceedings right now."
That's when the circus part of the testimony will kick in, because the Republican congresscritters will do everything in their power to block those questions and answers with every sleazy distraction in the book.
It's already a given - considering how they acted to Michael Cohen's post-guilty-plea testimony - that the likes of Jim Jordan and other Republicans will debunk Mueller based not on the evidence but on Fox Not-News talking points. The expectations are high that they'll try to accuse Hillary of being more involved with Russian tricks, or throw out conspiracy stories about "Deep State" sabotage on trump's campaign. There will be - guaranteed - a major attack on two of Mueller's investigators who were caught Tweeting against trump, as though that compromised the entire Mueller investigation (hint: those two didn't).
The Republican offensive against Mueller will be offensive, no doubt. Mueller's integrity will be mocked and slimed. They'll try to pressure the special prosecutor into unleashing a rageful retort, something they hope will cause a gaffe and discredit the whole investigation.
The best hope I have in that situation is that Mueller remains calm and focused - as a Marine, he's likely to do so - and stays on message. I also hope that during their attempts to discredit Mueller, the damned Republicans indict themselves. If any of the congresscritters makes an open case to have the Mueller Report unredacted, that would be nice (and also a hilarious self-own).
I just won't be watching today.
I'm still busy at work.