Aug 31, 2017

Trump's lawyers present case that firing Comey wasn't obstruction

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump's lawyers have presented memos to Special Counsel Robert Mueller making their case as to why Trump did not obstruct justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, per the WSJ.

  • What the memos say: One says that Trump, as president, has the power to hire and fire whomever he pleases under the Constitution. It also cites additional case law meant to strengthen the argument that Trump didn't obstruct justice. Another details why they believe Comey is an unreliable witness prone to exaggeration.
  • Why it matters: It makes sense that Trump's legal team would try to get ahead of the Mueller team's expected arguments — it's what any good defense team would do. But there's no indication that Mueller has been persuaded to stop investigating possible obstruction.

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Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images

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 improvements in a job market devastated by the coronavirus pandemic as economies reopen, the government said.

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.

1 hour ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.