From escalating trade wars to Mueller, it’s been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the biggest stories you might have missed (and some links if you’d like to read further).
Mueller breaks his silence.
In his first public characterization of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Robert S. Mueller III again declined to clear President Trump of obstruction of justice on Wednesday. The most notable part of Mr. Mueller’s 10-minute news conference was his reiterating that while Justice Department policy prohibits charging a sitting president with a crime, the Constitution provides another way to formally allege wrongdoing — a clear reference to impeachment.
Mr. Mueller stated clearly that he hoped his public statement Wednesday would be his last on the matter, but with impeachment fever rising, some Democrats want him on a witness stand. Others see the “I-word” as political peril.
Amid his criticism of the special counsel’s investigation, President Trump offered an extraordinary admission Thursday in a tweet: He acknowledged, for the first time, Russia’s “helping me to get elected.” He then abruptly denied it again.
Dynamics around the 2020 election are changing.
The Democratic 2020 field is set, and beneath the surface of a seemingly placid race is a much more volatile contest — a series of primaries-within-the-primary along lines of race, gender, age and ideology.
Organizers at liberal political groups say Joe Biden’s campaign has helped clarify any lingering doubts: A steep uphill climb for more progressive Democrats lies ahead.
The Democratic Party’s new directive that candidates must have at least 130,000 donors to qualify for the third primary debate in September will force campaigns to spend more on digital ads they hope will go viral, an expensive redirection of resources, some campaigns said.
Here’s what else happened this week:
• The Supreme Court on Tuesday sidestepped part of a case that could have tested the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, turning down an appeal to reinstate a strict Indiana abortion law. But the court, in an apparent compromise, upheld part of the same law requiring abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains.