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Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in Washington on Wednesday. (Erin Schaff/The new York Times)

Most of us know that if we read the book first, we rarely like the movie based on that book.

That's especially true if the movie's star isn't as bold as Superman or Atticus Finch or Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.

So if you read (or didn't read) the 448-page Mueller report and watched even just a snippet of the Mueller congressional hearings Wednesday, you likely were disappointed. Mueller will be 75 in August, and he has a yesterday's-world demeanor.

That doesn't mean watching the hearings wasn't worthwhile. It was. But as usual — the book is better.

Still, during the hearing, we learned that Mueller did not exonerate Donald Trump, despite the president's claims otherwise. We learned that Mueller's investigation was not a witch hunt, despite the president's claims that it was. And we learned the evidence against Trump and his campaign is vast and damaging and is, according to Mueller, enough to charge Trump with a crime after he leaves office.

That said, Democrats may have put too many eggs in their Americans-won't-read-the-book-but-will-watch-the-movie basket.

Do yourselves a favor. Read the book. Even re-read the book.

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