Robert Mueller spoke: The special counsel made his first public comments this week after his years-long investigation into Russia and President Donald Trump. The takeaway? Mueller couldn't charge Trump with obstruction of justice even if he wanted to because he wasn't allowed. It simply "wasn't an option" under Justice Department policy, he said. But Mueller pointedly declined to clear Trump of criminal activity in a 10-minute speech Wednesday, rekindling a firestorm of impeachment talk in the process. Elizabeth Warren called Mueller's statement "an impeachment referral" while Kamala Harris and Cory Booker both called to "begin impeachment proceedings immediately," in the latter's words. Joe Biden's campaign said impeachment "may be unavoidable," while Pete Buttigieg summed up Mueller like this: "Over to you, Congress."
But Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, downplayed the impeachment talk: Most House Dems don't want it, she said, but "nothing is off the table." Pelosi, a Democrat, won't call for impeachment, but one Republican will: Rep. Justin Amash, the lone GOPer calling to remove Trump, accused Attorney General William Barr of propping up Trump's "false narrative" on the Mueller report. Trump, meanwhile, pitched Mueller's words as a victory: Citing "insufficient evidence," Trump proclaimed it "case closed!" Either way, we may not hear from Mueller again on this: He's galloping into the sunset and "returning to private life."
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This week in Trump
Trump blasted Biden throughout his Japan trip as "a low-IQ individual."
Trump blasted Obama for campaigning with Air Force One. Then Trump campaigned with Air Force One.
The USS John S. McCain, named after a frequent Trump critic, was reportedly moved "out of sight" during Trump's Japan trip.
Speaking to sailors, Trump suggested "complex" military technology was "too much."
This week in 2020 Dems
Seth Moulton, a Marine veteran, revealed that he sought PTSD treatment.
Kamala Harris wants some states to get clearance for their new abortion laws.
2020 Democratic debates just got way harder to join.
Joe Biden sparred with Trump over North Korea's "low IQ" insult.
Meghan McCain to Amy Klobuchar: Leave my dad out of 2020 politics.
Thanks so much, OnPolitics friends. Accentuate the positive this weekend. — Josh Hafner
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: OnPolitics: 'Over to you, Congress'