Stories by David Nather

What Trump did, and why Mueller didn't reach conclusions

Illustration of President Trump with words from the Mueller report printed over his face
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report explored 10 episodes where actions by President Trump could have been considered obstruction of justice — but then explains why he couldn't reach a conclusion in each case.

The big picture: If you've been wondering what all of this actually adds up to, this is your best place to start. It gives the clearest picture yet of Trump's actions as well as why Mueller didn't take a position on them — though the report comes close to rendering judgment on Trump's attempts to oust Mueller or rein him in.

Why the Mueller report didn't make a decision on obstruction of justice

Illustration of President Donald Trump with the words "does not exonerate him'" printed over his face.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Special counsel Robert Mueller didn't want to "place burdens on the President's capacity to govern" and believed President Trump wouldn't have an opportunity to clear his name, according to the report released today.

  • But he also couldn't clear Trump completely — because "the facts and the applicable legal standards" made it impossible to state that Trump "clearly did not commit obstruction of justice."

The great political parachute

Sure, the market for Democratic presidential candidates is getting a little saturated. So why are some Democrats still thinking of jumping in? Because there's almost never a downside to running.

Data: Axios research; Chart: Harry Stevens and Aïda Amer/Axios