UPDATE: Yesterday we learned that Robert Mueller knew little of what is in the Mueller Report even though it bears his name. See the video just below. It appears that his staff of 22 lawyers all of whom hate President Trump with a purple passion actually wrote the Mueller Report. Therefore, they are the ones responsible for the shaky and misleading footnotes. Among those I believe Andrew Weissmann to be the chief culprit. His reputation for unethical dealing in these matters is legion. To learn more about Mr. Weissmann and his everlasting unethical behavior one can consult License to Lie by Sidney Powell.
Mueller’s misleading footnotes in his 400-plus page report should be a critical issue when he appears before Congress tomorrow. His report contains 2,000 footnotes, many of them faulty. Footnotes are usually meant to provide support and/or explanation and information for something stated in the main body of a document. Footnotes may or may not refer to some further source that supports the assertion made.
Footnotes can be misleading if the reader takes it for granted that the reference in the footnote is authentic and stated by the writer in good faith. If a footnote does not actually support the statement in the main body of the document, and if the reader does not follow it to the ultimate source, the reader will have been misled.
Maybe that’s the reason many if not most appellate court judges do not allow lawyers to place footnotes in legal briefs filed with the court. The authority for every assertion made in the brief must appear as a hyperlink in the body itself so that the judge or the judge’s clerk can quickly verify the source as authentic and actually supportive of the assertions made in the main document. It is not unusual to find that a source in a footnote states just the opposite of the what the author has said. Lawyers especially are guilty of citing footnotes they claim to support their text but actually refute it. This is often more out of carelessness than deceit.
Footnotes often cite some other person as support for a statement. In that case the value of the footnote depends on the reputation of the person to which the footnote refers. Mueller heavily relies on statements made by serial liar James Comey. A reader who doesn’t know that James Comey is not trust worthy will assume Mueller’s statement to be verified by the footnote.
Mueller’s many footnotes do not support asserrtions made by him in his report. The casual reader will likely believe the statement just because it was footnoted.
Often essays or books are held up as the “best source” simply because it is well footnoted. However, it’s the quality of the footnotes that matters more than the quantity.
You can dig deeper into the shaky standing of Mueller’s footnotes at this excellent report by Eric Felton at RealClearInvestigations.