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Vox Sentences: Barr-schach test

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Mueller finishes Trump investigation; more than 130 herders in Mali killed in violence between ethnic groups.

One long investigation

Robert Mueller
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
  • The 22-month investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller was summed up in a letter from Attorney General William Barr to Congress on Sunday: According to Barr, Mueller’s investigation did not establish that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election. And Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Mueller did not make a definitive judgment on the question of whether Trump committed obstruction of justice — which is very unusual, since prosecutors usually have to make a decision one way or another. [Politico Magazine / Renato Mariotti]
  • Barr also writes that the report “does not exonerate” Trump — it merely concludes that he did not commit a crime. [Barr’s letter via BBC]
  • The letter’s release has made it less likely that Democrats will try to impeach Trump, at least for now. But Democrats argue that the letter and the report, as it’s described by Barr, suggest a disagreement between Mueller and Barr about obstruction of justice and are demanding the release of the full report. [NYT / Nicholas Fandos]
  • Meanwhile, some Republicans in Congress want to open their own investigation — into the Mueller investigation itself, which the president has described as essentially a failed coup. [USA Today / Bart Jansen]
  • The polarized reactions to Barr’s letter made this clear: Trust in two key American institutions, federal law enforcement and journalism, has utterly collapsed, and many partisans are living in totally separate realities. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]

134 Fulanis killed in Mali

  • Ethnic Dogon hunters killed more than 130 Fulani herders in central Mali on Saturday amid rising violence and tensions, one of the deadliest attacks on the region in recent times. Some members of the Dogon accused Fulanis, a largely Muslim ethnic group, of supporting jihadists groups in the country’s north. [Brian McGleenon / Express]
  • This attack was during a three-day mourning that President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali declared on Thursday for 26 soldiers who died last week in an attack on the military base in Dioura. [Laureen Fagan / Africa Times]
  • A resident of Ogossagou, where the attack happened, said it was retaliation for an al-Qaeda claim of responsibility for a raid last week. [Tiemoko Diallo]
  • The Dan Na Ambassagou, who have been blamed for the attack, is a self-defense group for the Dogon. The name translates to “hunters who trust in God” in the Dogon language. They have been accused of being involved in attacks on the Fulani in the previous year but deny the claims. [BBC]


  • A hot air balloon went missing in Indiana and was later found in Florida at a three-day Hot Air Balloon Festival — and the owner didn’t press charges. [AP News]
  • Two Parkland school shooting survivors have died of apparent suicides in the past week. [The Hill / Alicia Cohn]
  • President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro threatened to imprison opposition leader Juan Guaidó, claiming his right-hand man was running an anti-Maduro “terror cell.” [The Guardian / Tom Phillips]
  • Google is working with the Pentagon on a project to guide lethal drones — and it’s all exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. [The Intercept / Sam Biddle]


“We face an asymmetric war, a treacherous war, without established rule, and everyone must know it.” [President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali on Thursday calling for three days of mourning after 26 soldiers were killed last week in an attack on a military base]

Listen to this: The report on the report

Vox’s Andrew Prokop sits down with the Today, Explained team to unpack the situation with the Mueller report and why the news is far from over.

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