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Former FBI Director James Comey said on Tuesday that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller, if pressed, would argue that there is sufficient evidence to charge President Trump on "at least some" of the allegations of obstruction outlined in his report.

"If this were a case about someone other than the president, they would have already been indicted on at least several of these obstruction incidents, maybe all of them, I don't know."
"Director Mueller I think, if pressed, would reach a decision at least on some of them that there is sufficient evidence to charge the president. But again, he's a principled person trying to be fair, and said, 'I shouldn't be doing that given that the man can't vindicate himself.' I'd be shocked if he imagined that Bill Barr would take the thing and say 'Oh thanks Bob, no case here, we're closing it.' I'd be shocked."

Why it matters: Mueller will be testifying before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees on Wednesday in one of the most highly anticipated hearings of the Trump presidency. Whether Trump would have been indicted if he were not a sitting president is sure to be a central theme of the hearing for House Democrats, but — as Comey pointed out — Mueller is unlikely to answer such a direct question, especially since it's outside the scope of his report.

Go deeper: What to expect out of Robert Mueller's day on the Hill

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
4 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.