Seven Funny Takes from the Mueller Report

Shutterstock.

I know the Mueller report is serious, important stuff, but I bet you're already suffering from Mueller fatigue. I mean, how much analysis, parsing and deep dives into the complexities of the report can one take?

Well, folks, cheer up! Because I'm here to lighten things up. I've perused the report, and it's my professional opinion that there's plenty of material in there for a comedy show. So, without further ado, here are some of the funny, strange, ridiculous nuggets that could give "Veep" a run for its money

Trump was called "the boss" or 'boss man" by underlings. Are we talking about the president of the United States or a Mafia chieftain? Maybe I'm over-reading this, but I detected shades of Tony Soprano in the way people deployed those terms about The Donald.

Hope Hicks, for instance, texted to Don Jr. of her concerns about Trump's reaction to a proposed press release: "I think that's right, too, but boss man worried it might invite a lot of questions." Meanwhile, Michael Cohen got a series of messages from Trump friends and affiliates about how "the boss" wanted him "not to worry," and that "everyone knows the boss has your back."

The President loves you, baby. Wow, has there been a more affectionate White House? I lost count how many times Trump sent messages of love to Michael Cohen before he spilled his guts to law enforcement.

After Cohen entered a joint defense agreement in 2017 with the president and others implicated in the Russian investigation, Cohen got a message from Trump's personal lawyer (unnamed in report) reminding him, "the President loves you."

Cohen got more love notes from Trump. In April 2018 after Cohen's office was searched by the FBI, a friend of Trump "reached out to say that he was with 'the Boss' in Mar-a-Lago and the President had said 'he loves you.' " Another person with the Trump Organization told Cohen, "The boss loves you." Then, Robert Costello, a lawyer who acted as an intermediary between Cohen and Rudolf Giuliani, told him, "You are 'loved . . . they are in our corner . . . . Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places."

But what's love compared to a presidential tweet? Apparently, being the subject of a presidential tweet (a positive one, that is) can be the balm that soothes life's pain.

After Michael Flynn was forced out, Jared Kushner told Flynn: "You know the President respects you. The President cares about you. I'll get the President to send out a positive tweet about you later."

Speaking of getting fired—always carry a resignation letter on your person. Here's a career lesson if you feel your job is shaky: Beat the boss to the punch—resign first.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions kept a resignation in his pocket for almost a year. He was so convinced that Trump would fire him at any moment for recusing himself from the Russian probe that he never left home without it. Unfortunately, he got complacent and didn't seem to have the letter on him when Trump dumped him last fall. Poor Jeff.

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. Remember when the only Sarah that got us all hot and bothered was Sarah Palin? Well, the new It-Gal is Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who can lie with a homespun, Arkansas charm like nobody else.

After Trump fired James Comey, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "countless members of the FBI" were critical of Comey and that the "rank and file" had lost confidence in him. The upshot: Sanders admitted to the Mueller investigators that the "countless members of the FBI" reference was untrue (she called it a "slip of the tongue"), and that the "lost confidence" reference was made "in the heat of the moment"—also without any support whatsoever. Plucky, that one.

You betcha, real lawyers take notes. This is what separates the true professionals from the phonies out there.

Didn't you love that tête-à-tête between Don McGahn and the president? You know the one in which Trump pressed McGahn: "What about these notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes." And McGahn responded that he keeps notes because he’s a “real lawyer." To which Trump then replied, "I’ve had a lot of great lawyers, like Roy Cohn. He did not take notes."

It must have taken every bit of self-restraint on McGahn's part not to remind Trump that Cohn was not exactly an exemplar of the profession, considering that he was disbarred.

Slapstick moment with Ivanka and Michael: Ivanka is not known for comedy, but this is close as it gets.



Here's what came out in the Mueller report: In 2015 (after Cohen, on behalf of the Trump organization, pursued a Moscow real estate deal), Ivanka got an email from the wife of a Russian tycoon offering to help her father's campaign. The email urged Ivanka "to google my husband Dmitry Klokov," because "you’ll see who he is close to and that he has done Putin’s political campaigns." Ivanka forwarded the email to Cohen, who Googled Klokov, mistaking him for a former Olympic weightlifter with the same name. Long story short: Cohen told Mueller that nothing came of it anyway.





What's your favorite Mueller moment? Please share.






 

Contact Vivia Chen at vchen@alm.com. On Twitter: @lawcareerist.