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Photo: David Hume Kennerly/GettyImages

Former special counsel Robert Mueller in a statement on Tuesday defended his team's handling of the Russia investigation after Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor in his office, wrote in a new book that investigators should have done more to hold President Trump accountable.

Driving the news: In the tell-all book, “Where Law Ends,” released on Tuesday, Weissman addresses what he calls the special prosecutor office's failures in its investigation.

  • Weissmann argues that the investigation's report didn't go far enough in making a determination regarding Trump's potential obstruction of justice: "When there is insufficient proof of a crime, in volume one, we say it. But when there is sufficient proof, with obstruction, we don’t say it. Who is going to be fooled by that? It’s so obvious," Weissmann writes, per The Atlantic.
  • "Had we given it our all—had we used all available tools to uncover the truth, undeterred by the onslaught of the president’s unique powers to undermine our efforts?" Weissmann asks in the book's introduction.
  • "Part of the reason the president and his enablers were able to spin the report was that we had left the playing field open for them to do so."

What he's saying: Mueller pushed back, saying on Tuesday, "It is not surprising that members of the Special Counsel's Office did not always agree, but it is disappointing to hear criticism of our team based on incomplete information," according to a statement tweeted by NBC's Geoff Bennett.

  • "The office's mission was to follow the facts and to act with integrity. That is what we did, knowing that our work would be scrutinized from all sides."
  • "When important decisions had to be made, I made them. I did so as I have always done, without any interest in currying favor or fear of the consequences. I stand by those decisions and by the conclusions of our investigation."

The bottom line: “Director Mueller’s decision was to not make that conclusion, and by the way, I would have done it,” Weissmann said, of the special counsel's final report that summarized evidence of possible obstruction, but did not ultimately draw a conclusion. “I told him why I would have done that.”

Go deeper: 7 takeaways from the Mueller report

Go deeper

Attorney General Barr departs Justice Department

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr sent a parting note to his colleagues on Wednesday to mark the end of his time leading the Department of Justice, stating that it's been a "great honor to serve once again in this role," NBC News reports.

What to watch: Barr will be replaced in an acting capacity by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who multiple administration officials privately say now has the worst job in Washington.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.

Bush labels Clyburn the “savior” for Democrats

House Majority Whip James Clyburn takes a selfie Wednesday with former President George W. Bush. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.

Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.