The highly anticipated report by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel — a summary of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether Trump and his associates conspired with Russia or obstructed justice — is expected to drop any moment now.
Or possibly never, at least not publicly.
Not to worry, there’s plenty to read in the meantime.
If you want to read about the inner workings of the Department of Justice
“A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” by James Comey
When Trump fired F.B.I. director James Comey in May 2017, it triggered a rapid cascade of events within the Department of Justice that ultimately led to Mueller’s appointment as special counsel. In this mega-best seller, Comey describes his role in the high-stakes investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“Comey’s book fleshes out the testimony he gave before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 with considerable emotional detail, and it showcases its author’s gift for narrative — a skill he clearly honed during his days as United States attorney for the Southern District of New York,” she wrote.
“The Threat: How the F.B.I. Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” by Andrew G. McCabe
This scathing indictment (no, not in the technical sense) of the Trump administration is from the former deputy director of the F.B.I., who was fired last year right before his planned retirement. McCabe is unsparing in the book: “The work of the F.B.I. is being undermined by the current president.”
Our critic Dwight Garner took appreciative note of McCabe’s “lean” prose: “The first sentence demands to be read in the voice of Jack Webb from “Dragnet”: “Between the world of chaos and the world of order stands the rule of law.”
“Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law,” by Preet Bharara
Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was also fired by Trump in 2017, which seems to be a great way to get a book deal.
Bharara oversaw a massive investigation into insider trading by Wall Street executives, and also investigated Russian money laundering. Lately, he has become an omnipresent commentator on the myriad investigations into Trump (in addition to his new book and regular TV appearances, he has a popular podcast, “Stay Tuned With Preet”).
But when it comes to the timing and content of the Mueller report, he’s as much in the dark as the rest of us, apparently.
If you want to read investigative reporting about Russia, Trump and Trump/Russia
“Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House,” by Luke Harding
Harding, a correspondent for The Guardian, explores Trump’s decades-long entanglements with Russia in what his publisher describes as a conspiracy “so huge it involves international espionage, offshore banks, sketchy real estate deals, the Miss Universe pageant, mobsters, money laundering, poisoned dissidents, computer hacking, and the most shocking election in American history.” Harding delves into Trump’s deals with Deutsche Bank and examines Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort’s extensive ties to Russian and Ukranian oligarchs.
(It’s an exhaustive account, but by now, it’s a bit out of date: The book came out in 2017, many indictments and plea deals ago in Robert Mueller-time.)
“Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
Isikoff and Corn, two veteran D.C. journalists, lay out how Russia unleashed hackers and internet trolls to disrupt the 2016 presidential election; they also explore the puzzling ties between Trump and his associates and Russian officials.
In a review for the Times, Steven Lee Myers, the author of “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin,” wrote, “For anyone who believes in the better angels of American politics, ‘Russian Roulette’ is a depressing book. The Russian hacking, it is now clear, simply exploited the vulgarity already plaguing American political campaigns, which churn on spin and strategy (and money) far more than vision or values.”
“The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy,” by Greg Miller
In “The Apprentice,” Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has covered national security for The Washington Post, details how Russia exploited American technology platforms to spread misinformation, damaging Hillary Clinton and boosting Trump, while at the same time hacking and releasing Democratic emails, further inflaming partisan divisions in an already nasty campaign. He also explores links between Trump and his associates and Russia, but steers clear of speculation about what the ultimate revelations regarding Trump’s complicity might be.
“Miller makes no pretense about knowing the end of the story and acknowledges that at this point he does not know whether the special counsel, Robert Mueller, will accuse the president of any crimes,” a critic wrote in The Washington Post.
If you want to read about historical precedents
“All the President’s Men,” by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
Modestly subtitled “The Greatest Reporting Story of All Time” in some editions, this is the definitive account of the explosive investigation that brought down President Richard Nixon, by two now-famous reporters from The Washington Post.
More recently, with his latest best-seller, “Fear,” Woodward has unleashed his investigative skills on the Trump administration.
“The Starr Report: The Findings of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr on President Clinton and the Lewinsky Affair,” by The Washington Post and Kenneth W. Starr
It took Special Counsel Kenneth Starr around four years and $40 million to complete his investigation into President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, and whether Clinton committed perjury and obstructed justice in an effort to cover up the scandal. The salacious account is a door-stopper, almost 500 pages long.
If you only want the real thing
Several publishers, including Skyhorse and Scribner, have already announced their plans to publish the Mueller report and have made the books available on Amazon for pre-order even though there’s no guarantee the report will be made public. (Presumably the pages are still blank.)
Or, if you can’t wait, you can always reread some of Mueller’s vividly detailed indictments. Those documents lay out contours of the investigation so far, which has led to 199 charges against 34 people and three companies.