Top Democrat says Barr is trying to spin report

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler says Attorney General William Barr is “taking unprecedented steps to spin” special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. (April 18)

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House panel split over Mueller report subpoenas

The House Judiciary Committee approved subpoenas Wednesday for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full Russia report as Democrats pressure the Justice Department to release the document without redactions. (April 3)

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House panel approves subpoenas for Mueller report

The House Judiciary Committee has approved subpoenas for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on his Russia investigation. (April 3)

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Nadler: Trump ‘wrong’ to claim exoneration

House Judiciary Committee chairman Congressman Jerrold Nadler insisted Sunday night that President Donald Trump “is wrong,” to claim the Mueller report offered him “total exoneration.” (March 24)

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Nadler: Whitaker & Trump may have discussed Cohen

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said that during a private meeting on Capitol Hill, former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker “did not deny” speaking with President Donald Trump about Michael Cohen’s legal troubles. (March 14)

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Trump honors NDSU football champs with fast food

President Trump celebrated the Division 1-winning North Dakota State University football team at the White House Monday with a fast food feast. While there, Trump said he’ll cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s sweeping investigation. (March 4)

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Mueller’s Investigation Has Created An Underworld Of Online Sleuths (HBO)

Sorting through the data of the dead — their pots, their knives, and the rocks they cooked on — in order to reconstruct how they once lived, is not so different from tracking the Special Counsel investigation.

On a Friday in February, Adrienne Cobb, 29, lab assistant in the archaeology department at Western Washington University, was trying to do both. She was digitizing data on artifacts found on a farm in Washington state that were about 3,000 years old, and keeping track of what was happening on Capitol Hill, where the House Judiciary Committee grilled Matthew Whitaker — then, acting Attorney General — about his involvement in Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and its links to Russia.

Cobb’s an unlikely candidate for legal sleuthing. She’s a recovering heroin addict with no experience in journalism, and a preference for Ghost Adventures over Reliable Sources. (“I hate cable news.”) She has dyed red hair, rocks Daria-esque glasses, and tends to look at the floor when she isn’t absorbed by a screen.

She spends her free time — and some of her office time, too — tracking every update, big and small, in Mueller’s probe. She’s part of an online community of digital sleuths, amateur journalists, and statisticians, who commit hours upon hours of their lives to all things Mueller. Some have launched careers out of obsessively tracking the investigation’s twists and turns.

But for her, keeping track of Mueller’s work is about helping others feel less “helpless” in a wilderness of fast-paced, complex news that doesn’t always add up. She calls herself an “aggregator,” which seems simple enough, but it’s tough work. She checks Twitter and Reddit three times an hour for new, relevant reporting, and saves links to those articles with the program, Evernote. Meanwhile, news of every White House departure goes in a separate spreadsheet that she’ll refer to in order to update her website, 45Chaos, which in granular detail, notes every staffer who’s left, whether and why they quit, resigned, or resigned under pressure (“R-UP”), and measures the length of their tenure in “mooches,” a metric born in Trump’s White House. (She goes by 10-days, not 11, though there’s a debate over how long Anthony Scaramucci really lasted as White House Communications Director.)

On the weekends, she wakes at 4:30 a.m. and never makes plans to leave the house for long — giving her just enough time for scan every article she’s saved to Evernote, for any new revelations. These get boiled down into weekly recaps that she posts every Monday to a Reddit forum called, appropriately, “Keep_Track.” Readers sometimes message her in appreciation or send tips, and her summaries have ballooned along with the news cycle to run as long as 5,000 words. On Monday, the process starts again.

“I get a lot of people who say, ‘I can’t believe that all happened in one week,’” she said. “Or, ‘That feels like it was a month ago, because so much has happened.’ So I think there’s value to seeing it all in one spot.”

There’s value, even for the other Mueller obsessives who, like Cobb, have become addicted to tracking the unknown-knowns.

Scott Stedman, a 23-year-old, started tracking Mueller’s probe while he was a political science major at UC Irvine. Within a year of graduation, his obsessive reporting and research has earned him bylines in major outlets and landed him a book deal (Real News, out in April). Stedman says he’s a fan of Cobb’s recaps. “I find them super useful. It’s a testament to how much information there is.”

Some of Cobb’s readers even donate — she makes about $150 a month through her Patreon account, and 76,000 people subscribe to the Reddit forum, where her work is pinned to the top, so any new members can get caught up on the fly.

“There was a New Yorker cartoon that came out this week that I think sums it up pretty well,” says A.G., the host of the popular podcast Mueller She Wrote, referring to a Julia Suits cartoon that some might see as an exaggeration but that many in this Mueller-obsessed world received with a ring of truth. The cartoon shows a conspiracist-type standing in a room, wallpapered in names ripped from Washington Post headlines, and string trying to connect them all.

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House Dems Unveil Legislation to Protect Mueller

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are joining forces to push foward new legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. (April 12)

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Why Politicians Rarely Face Consequences For Sexual Misconduct (HBO)

After weeks of stories about Republicans figuring out what to do with Roy Moore, today was the Democrats’ day to deal with politicians allegedly behaving badly.

John Conyers, a five decade veteran of Congress, resigned his post as minority leader of the House Judiciary Committee after a BuzzFeed story revealed he settled a sexual harassment claim in secret. Conyers denies wrongdoing.

Al Franken, a Senator from Minnesota, told reporters on Capitol Hill that he won’t be resigning after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Franken says he doesn’t remember the incidents the same way his accusers do.

Progressives have delighted in watching Republicans stumble around how to deal with a president who once bragged about groping and an Alabama Senate candidate who multiple women remember trying to sleep with them when they were teenagers.

Now those same progressives are going to have to watch Democratic leaders perform a similar dance.

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