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

17 mins ago - World

Nuclear free-for-all: The arms control era may be ending

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki have remained unreplicated for 75 years in part because the U.S. and Soviet Union — after peering over the ledge into nuclear armageddon — began to negotiate.

Why it matters: The arms control era that began after the Cuban Missile Crisis may now be coming to a close. The next phase could be a nuclear free-for-all.

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

2 hours ago - Science

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.