For President Donald Trump and his supporters, the news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had come to a close with no new indictments has been reason to celebrate the end of a trying 22 months. Mueller’s report, as summarized by Attorney General William Barr, did not say Trump had not acted to obstruct justice during the course of the probe, but the president and his Administration have nevertheless said that it amounts to a “total exoneration.”

“We’re glad it’s over,” Trump said on Monday.

But experts on the history of Mueller’s task tell TIME that, while his job was to focus solely on proving whether a law was broken, it can be risky for Congress and the American people not to hold politicians to a higher standard.


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