In short, there may be no Mueller report at all, save for the confidential document that lands on Barr’s desk. And these same regulations do not require the attorney general to simply pass along a “confidential” report that may very well contain unflattering information about one or more individuals. Including the president.

The fact that this prosecutor, unlike other prosecutors, cannot indict if he finds an indictable offense may seem to put pressure on the attorney general to share his report with Congress, which can remedy presidential misconduct through impeachment.

But this unusual situation does not somehow work a repeal of well-established traditions of confidentiality. If the House wants to consider impeachment, it needs to do its own work. It would be odd in the extreme to ask, in effect, the executive branch to become a tool of the legislative branch in a death-struggle with the only individual identified in the Constitution as the possessor and wielder of executive power: the president. That was the old way, under the old statute. Congress did away with that approach, and wisely so.