The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Area Man Wants to Be Excluded From This Narrative

Robert Mueller broke two years of silence, resigning from the Justice Department to “return to private life.” Plus: Are presidential tell-alls over?

Robert Mueller getting into a car
Cliff Owen / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Wednesday, May 29.

‣ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that if a Supreme Court seat opens up in 2020, he would hold a vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee, a reversal from 2016, when he blocked former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee because it was an election year.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

It’s Mueller Time: In his first public comments since his appointment two years ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller reiterated the findings of his office’s investigation into Russian interference, and said he doesn’t have anything new to tell congressional committees should they ask. “The report is my testimony,” he said.

+ Mueller’s statement was a reassertion that the Justice Department has done all it can, and a call for the legislative branch of government to do more, reports Russell Berman. It’s your move, Congress, Mueller seemed to say.

+ Minutes after Mueller finished speaking, prominent Democrats began discussing the question of impeachment. A line of presidential candidates “emerged as though from a clown car” to weigh in on the topic, placing increasing pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to green-light the proceedings, report Elaina Plott and Elaine Godfrey.

+ Work at the White House came to a standstill while Mueller was at the podium this morning, Peter Nicholas reports from the West Wing. Their obsession comes from Trump himself, who has tweeted twice as much about Mueller’s investigation as he has about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of his prime political foes. Following Mueller’s statement, Trump tweeted once more: “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed!”


Benjamin Edmunds, 10, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, spells a word out on his palm as he competes in the third round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Maryland. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Robert Mueller Wishes You’d Read His Report (Ken White)
“Mueller is a man out of time. This is the age of alternatively factual tweets and sound bites; he’s a by-the-book throwback who expects Americans to read and absorb carefully worded 400-page reports. Has he met us?” → Read on.

Clarence Thomas Knows Nothing of My Work (Adam Cohen)
“Thomas used the history of eugenics misleadingly, and in ways that could dangerously distort the debate over abortion.” → Read on.

House Democrats Have More Potent Options Than Impeachment (Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner)
“House Democrats, however, have an ace up their sleeve. Actually, a pair of aces: the power to shut down the government and the power to trigger a debt default.” → Read on.

Full of Fire and Fury, Signifying Nothing (David A. Graham)
“Tell-alls about Donald Trump’s administration feel increasingly obsolete. What more can we learn about a president who is already so heavily exposed?” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Banking on Immigrants (Felicia Arriaga, Scalawag)
McConnell Hasn’t Reversed Himself (Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review)
Can Jaime Harrison End the Democrats’ Drought in South Carolina? (Astead W. Herndon, The New York Times) (🔒 Paywall)
The U.S. Government Botched Its Investigation Into the Mysterious ‘Sonic Attack’ in Cuba, Emails Reveal (Dan Vergano, Buzzfeed News)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writers: Elaine Godfrey, Madeleine Carlisle, and Olivia Paschal. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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