Beware the bandwagon – we’ve not yet seen the Mueller report

As he scours the headlines and hot takes on cable news, Donald Trump will enjoy this morning more than any since becoming president in 2016. The first glimpses of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in that election are out and on the principal charge, Trump and his campaign have been cleared of collusion.

Trump backed heavily for re-election

The betting signals are positive too, with Trump shortening to 2.72 for the 2020 Election from 3.0 since Friday, and 1.14 for the Republican Nomination. He can now be backed at 8.0 to leave office early and first-stage Impeachment by the House of Representatives is out to 6.4.

Those moves reflect the instant takes and, if ‘total exoneration’ becomes the prevailing narrative, Trump’s odds may have further to fall. Be very wary before jumping on that bandwagon or drawing snap conclusions, though. This remains an evolving story in which the latest headlines are based on incomplete information.

Partial summary is likely heavily spun

The Mueller report has not been released. Instead, we have the Barr summary – four pages which Trump’s Attorney-General deemed fit for immediate publication. We should assume it has been spun to present Trump in the best light. And yet while noting Mueller had not concluded the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him on obstruction of justice.

This is merely the start. Democrats immediately called for the full report to be released and have the congressional powers to get it. There are many more stages of the process to play out and, irrespective of short-term political ramifications, Trump is nowhere near out of legal jeopardy.

In due course, the report will become fully available along with evidence. Mueller has farmed out stacks of evidence to state prosecutors such as the Southern District of New York, who convicted Michael Cohen and have since charged Paul Manafort.

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