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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating whether President Trump obstructed justice, but that was only part of a busy week of news for the Russia probe.

Why it matters: The investigation escalated last week after former FBI director James Comey publicly testified about his uneasiness regarding the president's request to drop the FBI investigation of Mike Flynn. As Trump tweeted yesterday, now the investigation has turned in his own direction.

Sessions' testimony

Sessions' testimony got heated as he refused to answer questions in case Trump decides to invoke executive privilege sometime in the future. He denied meeting with Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel, and cited "a DOJ regulation" as his reason for recusing himself.

"I recused myself from the Russia probe, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations."
Mueller investigates

Jonathan Swan reported on Monday there was rumor that Trump was considering firing Mueller. But after WaPo's report, a GOP operative told Swan: "Can't fire him now."

The president accused WaPo of going "for obstruction of justice on the phony story" they created about collusion with Russia. But, Mike Allen detailed why the report had "White House officials and Republicans sweating profusely." Mueller also began investigating business dealings and finances of Jared Kushner, who has been criticized for reportedly setting up backchannel communication to the Kremlin.

Trump tweeted on Friday: "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my "collusion with Russians," nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!"

Jared's name also surfaced

The probe is reportedly investigating his business ties to Russia, although his people are poo-pooing the news.

Rod Rosenstein's statement

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released this statement late on Thursday:

"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials,' particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch or agency of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations."
Congress takes action

Articles of impeachment began circulating this week on the basis of obstruction of justice, although such talks have not expanded beyond the more radical parts of the Democratic caucus. Two more officials are set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee: Obama's former Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson, and Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”