In the first inside account of the Mueller investigation, one of the special counsel’s prosecutors breaks his silence on the team’s history-making search for the truth, their painstaking deliberations and costly mistakes, and Trump’s unprecedented efforts to stifle their report.
For nearly two years, the least knowable place in Washington was the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, as he and his team investigated President Trump and his allies. Where Law Ends sets aside the secrecy that long shielded them, revealing a team of prosecutors whose mission, in their minds, was always in jeopardy ... burns like an old-fashioned 150-watt bulb, delivering light and heat in equal measure ... Weissmann carries the anger of someone who believed in the mission and the man who led it, but is profoundly disappointed by the outcome ... what sets Weissmann apart from many of his peers is not his intensity but his willingness to criticize colleagues he finds lacking in that regard. And he doles out plenty of criticism. The most interesting judgment rendered in Where Law Ends is that Mueller’s effectiveness was inexorably diminished by the ever-present threat of Trump firing them all ... Disconcertingly, Weissmann’s central metaphor for this debate inside the Mueller team is from the Civil War ... After years of silence from Mueller’s cloister, capped by a final report so dense with legal analysis that even Weissmann found it unsatisfying, Where Law Ends is a gift — a clarifying piece of history, wrapped up in our era’s boundless anger and suspicion.
There’s something refreshing about an author who harbors no illusions about his own book — especially when that book is about the current occupant of the White House, whose chaotic energy has spawned a booming industry of insider accounts and cris de coeur ... I have to imagine that this book will probably strike the famously tight-lipped Mueller as an act of betrayal. Weissmann’s portrait of his boss is admiring, affectionate and utterly devastating ... Unlike the other Trump books that get hyped as 'explosive,' this one lays out its case so patiently that its conclusions arrive not with a bang but with a snap — the click of an indictment falling into place ... What Weissmann’s book provides is the inside story of how the country’s institutions have so far failed, he says, to hold a 'lawless White House' to account ... a fascinating document — a candid mea culpa, a riveting true-crime story, that’s nonetheless presented in the measured prose of someone who remains a stalwart institutionalist ... Weissmann’s suggested solutions reflect his own faith in the perfectibility of institutions. He proposes granting the power to appoint a special counsel to the director of national intelligence — a pretty idea that isn’t entirely explicable, considering that the director of national intelligence is a cabinet-level official who reports to the president.
... unique among Trump-themed books. The author was a member of Mueller’s team, supervisor of the prosecution of Paul Manafort. He is both admiring and critical of his former boss, which lends credibility and originality. Pathos is part of the package too ... Weissmann offers a detailed look at why the special counsel reached the conclusions he did, and expands on how Bill Barr ambushed Mueller with his four-page summary of a 400-plus-page report ... Weissmann’s rhetoric is hot – but not overblown ... also a guide to how the Mueller investigation divvied up its work. Sections on the case of Michael Cohen are particularly instructive ... a dispiriting work. It is not simply about the Mueller investigation, or Trump. It is also an examination of where America stands ... Weissmann contrasts Trump’s inauguration with protest marches held the day after, and observes the country’s changing demographics. Mindful of history, he ponders whether the civil war ever ended. Looking at the coming election, that is an open question. America’s fissures are once again on display.