This Week Could Test Trump's Exoneration Claim

Kathleen Hunter
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This Week Could Test Trump's Exoneration Claim

This Week Could Test Trump's Exoneration Claim

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Donald Trump’s showdown with Special Counsel Robert Mueller isn’t over, and this week could bring the most significant reckoning yet.

The impending release of Mueller’s long-awaited report may shift the narrative that Trump and his supporters have been pushing: “total exoneration,” based on a four-page summary written by his attorney general.

While questions remain about how much of the nearly 400-page document will be redacted, its unveiling will provide a chance for lawmakers and the public to parse fresh details that could bolster House Democrats’ own inquiries into Trump’s ties to Russia and whether the president obstructed justice.

Attorney General William Barr has said he’ll blank out passages based on classified material, grand jury information and to avoid damaging “peripheral” figures who are private citizens. That’s prompted House Democrats to authorize subpoenas for the full report and all the evidence behind it.

It’s a moment that will shape American politics and policy, Shannon Pettypiece reports, as members of both parties pore over the pages for evidence that damns or vindicates Trump.

If his opponents find little of the former, it could help the president put two years of suspicion and risk from Mueller’s investigation behind him for good.

Global Headlines

Underdog’s momentum | Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old whose dark-horse presidential campaign has generated an unanticipated wave of support, called for a new generation of American leadership as he became the 18th candidate to formally join the race for the Democratic nomination. John McCormick takes a closer look at how the South Bend, Indiana, mayor is pitching himself as unique in a field crowded with Washington lawmakers and longtime politicians.

Trump Raises $30 Million in First Quarter, Campaign Says Kamala Harris Shows Income Topping $2 Million on Tax Return Sanders Looking Past Primaries to Engage 2020 Battle With Trump

Fed feud | With his 2020 re-election big kicking into high gear, Trump’s showing no signs of easing his attack on the Federal Reserve. The president claimed yesterday the stock market would be “5000 to 10,000” points higher had it not been for the central bank's actions. Two of the president’s picks to serve on the Fed board have come under fire from Senate Republicans, raising questions about whether they can be confirmed.

Finnish nailbiter | After the tightest election in over half a century, Finland looks set to get a more left-leaning government, with voters rejecting years of austerity. The Social Democrats emerged with just a one-seat margin over the right-wing Finns Party in a stinging defeat to the center-right administration. Difficult talks now loom and compromises will be necessary across the political spectrum.

Snatched at night | Istanbul police briefly detained an economist known for opposing Turkish government policies, alleging he insulted the nation’s president on social media. Freedom to publicly criticize Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his administration was severely curtailed after June 2013, when a sit-in against the redevelopment of a park in central Istanbul morphed into weeks of nationwide protests. Restrictions against free speech grew more extensive after an attempted coup in July 2016.

Murder, she wrote | When a colleague from Zuzana Caputova’s little-known political party suggested she run for Slovakia’s presidency last year, she thought the idea absurd. But the murder of a journalist friend made it personal. The former NGO lawyer ran and won by a landslide, and now she’s hoping her victory can serve as an example for other political forces trying to beat back nationalism before EU parliamentary elections next month.

What to Watch

French President Emmanuel Macron will give a TV address this evening to announce policy changes following a 10-week debate with citizens about how to tackle the country's problems. Trump will visit a state he narrowly lost in the 2016 election, Minnesota, and host an event keyed to the today's deadline for most Americans to file their federal income tax returns. The U.S. is ready to apply new sanctions on Venezuela’s leadership, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, as Washington steps up pressure on Nicolas Maduro to relinquish power and allow new elections to be held.

And finally ...  More stories about Julian Assange’s time holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London emerged this weekend, with President Lenin Moreno saying the Wikileaks founder repeatedly violated his asylum conditions and tried to use the building as a “center for spying.” Assange’s lawyer said Ecuador has been making some outrageous allegations — denying, for example, that he smeared feces on walls. 


--With assistance from Jonas Bergman.

To contact the author of this story: Kathleen Hunter in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Karl Maier at

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