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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

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

2 hours ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.