May 17, 2018

By the numbers: Comparing the Mueller investigation to past probes

Left: Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images. Right: Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller is one year in to his investigation of President Trump's presidential campaign and potential meddling by the Russian government, only a blip compared to the length of other major political investigations, FiveThirtyEight reports.

The big picture: One year later, we're still unsure of the scope of what Mueller does or doesn't know, and as noted by FiveThirtyEight, predicting the outcome of an investigation so early on hasn't proven to be useful in the past.

Watergate

One year after Archibald Cox was appointed special prosecutor, he was fired by Nixon.

  • President Trump hasn't fired Mueller, but that doesn't mean he hasn't wanted or threatened to. In January, news broke that he ordered the removal of Mueller, but ultimately backed down. White House lawyer Ty Cobb said in March that Trump "is not considering or discussing" firing Mueller.
Iran-Contra

In Lawrence Walsh's first year as independent counsel, "he secured only two guilty pleas," per FiveThirtyEight.

Whitewater

The month that Kenneth Starr's investigation started in August 1994, 52% of Americans believed his investigation was unimportant, FiveThirtyEight reports.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.