James Comey. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey pushed back Tuesday night against Attorney General William Barr's decision to not pursue obstruction charges against President Trump, which Barr made clear in his explanatory letter on Robert Muller's final report, per NBC.

"The notion that obstruction cases are somehow undermined by the absence of proof of an underlying crime, that is not my experience in 40 years of doing this nor is it the Department of Justice's tradition. Obstruction crimes matter without regard to what you prove about the underlying crime."
— James Comey, speaking in Charlotte, North Carolina

More from Comey, per ABC:

  • "I can't quite understand what's going on with the obstruction stuff. ... I have great faith in Bob Mueller, but I just can't tell from the letter why didn't he decide these questions when the entire rationale for a special counsel is to make sure the politicals aren’t making the key charging decisions."

Comey wrote in a NYT op-ed last Thursday that he doesn't care about Muller's conclusion on whether Trump conspired with Russia in the 2016 election or obstructed justice — he believes Trump is unfit for the presidency either way. Comey supervised the start of the special counsel's Russia probe before being fired by Trump in 2017.

What's next: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), said on Sunday he plans to question Comey after the release of Mueller's report.

Go deeper ... Trump: "It wouldn't bother me at all" to release full Mueller report

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Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.