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Former special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Andrew Weissmann, one of former special counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors, says in his new book, "Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation," that the probe "could have done more" to take on President Trump, per The Atlantic.

Why it matters ... 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."

  • "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."

Flashback: In its report, Mueller's team compiled 10 different episodes where Trump may have potentially committed obstruction of justice.

  • The document's final words: "Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
  • That allowed Attorney General Bill Barr to say that the Department of Justice had concluded that the evidence was "not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense," noting that the government would have to prove such a case "beyond a reasonable doubt."

The bottom line: Weissmann told The Atlantic that Mueller "absolutely" let the American people down — before hedging that "the office" had done so — and agreed that the investigation had been "a historic missed opportunity."

Go deeper: 7 takeaways from the Mueller report

Go deeper

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

54 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.