SPOTLIGHT

Dems Have Choices to Make After Mueller Report

The party won in 2018 after focusing on issues other than the Russian investigation.

Without taking questions from reporters about the Mueller report, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to board Marine One for the short trip to Joint Base Andrews, then on to his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 18, 2019.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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Kyle Trygstad
April 19, 2019, 8:51 a.m.

There is a lot to consume with the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and President Trump’s efforts to impede the investigation. Its political implications are just beginning to unfold, and party strategists are in the midst of deciding how to move forward.

While there was no smoking gun that led to criminal charges against the president himself and therefore little chance the Senate would convict even if the House voted to impeach him, the hundreds of pages of details about his actions and the chaos within the White House offers a goldmine of opposition research for Democrats to build a case against his reelection.

But as House committee chairmen dig in for further inquiries, top Democratic pollster John Anzalone cautioned Friday morning that the party’s focus shouldn’t veer from the messages that worked so well in the midterm elections, including health care, education, and economic opportunity. “These issues win elections,” he said.

Where was former Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to kick off his presidential campaign next week, as the report was released? In a Boston parking lot supporting striking grocery store workers.

-- Kyle Trygstad

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