Why William Barr Will Deliver the Mueller Report to Congress on CD


On Thursday at 9:30 am ET, attorney general William Barr will hold a press conference to discuss the release of the Mueller report. The only problem? No one outside of the Justice Department will have seen it yet. Instead, according to reports Wednesday night, DOJ will deliver the report in full to Congress sometime between 11 am and noon. On compact discs.

Pundits have slammed Barr’s rollout strategy, particularly the delayed release of the report itself. But the use of CDs—a medium that rose to dominance when Barr first led the DOJ but has fallen precipitously since—has also raised eyebrows. In the year of our lord 2019, why use a hard copy at all? Why not simply email the file as an attachment, or host it on a site or server somewhere? Surely that would be more convenient.

Despite the jokes about Columbia House and AOL, businesses built on the humble CD, sending the report to Congress on compact discs isn’t as strange as it might seem.

First, there’s the capacity. A typical CD can fit 700 megabytes of data. For perspective’s sake, that’s about the size of a tightly edited Game of Thrones episode in standard definition. (Going