Toobin’s contribution to the genre is a fast-paced and engaging canter through the canon of Trump’s alleged presidential crimes. There’s nothing much new here, but Toobin chronicles the familiar territory with a writer’s eye for drama and character... The problem is that, like almost all Trump-era journalism, it starts from the premise that the president committed crimes, perhaps even treason, and got away with it. And yet the more we learn about the Russia investigation that started this entire story, the less it seems there was to it.
Toobin’s absorbing, fast-paced narrative is anchored by detailed scenes of chaos inside the Trump administration and meetings between Trump’s and Mueller’s lawyers. But it provides no hard information about how and why Mueller came to make his most significant and ill-fated decisions. As a former prosecutor and legal analyst, Toobin can offer somewhat satisfying educated guesses, but ultimately Mueller’s caution and restraint remain an enigma... But Toobin’s larger argument is that Trump’s attacks on democracy will grow only more extreme in the months to come. If he is right, then “True Crimes and Misdemeanors” stands as a chilling preview of what to expect should Trump win a second term, and also as a road map for all that needs repair should he lose.