Jun 15, 2017

Senate Intel Committee leaves obstruction question to Mueller

Dave Lawler, author of World

Jeff Chiu / AP

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating President Trump for obstruction of justice. The Senate Intelligence Committee is not, deferring to Mueller for that aspect of the Russia investigation, per CNN.

"Obstruction is criminal — there's a criminal aspect to that," Chairman Richard Burr told CNN. Vice Chairman Mark Warner added, "The criminal piece of the investigation will be handled by the special counsel, but if we find facts we can turn this over to the special counsel."

Keep in mind: Many of the questions from the Senate panel in hearings with current and former intelligence officials have centered on Trump's behavior, and even possible obstruction. But, as with other aspects of the investigation, if criminal charges are coming, they will come from Mueller's investigation.

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HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.