News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Were All Those “Moscow Mueller” Drink Specials FOR NOTHING?

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Good Monday morning.

The true March MadnessSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation wrapped Friday, and Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller’s findings yesterday. The investigation comprised 2,800-plus subpoenas, almost 500 search warrants, and around 500 witness interviews. The report finds that Russia attempted to interfere with the 2016 election, but it does not “establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” On whether or not President Trump committed obstruction of justice, Barr is not conclusive: “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” he writes. But, he writes, he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” (Read Luke Mullins‘s great profile of Rosenstein from last year.)

While Trump has claimed victory on Twitter, the New York Times reports that Democrats are likely to continue their own inquiries. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler said on Twitter that he planned to call Barr before his committee, and Trump isn’t out of the woods yet: many investigations and lawsuits remain. (Fancy a Southern District of New York tee, anyone?) Donald Trump Jr. celebrated the news with own-the-libs jabs on Instagram. Eric Trump’s post was a bit more understatedIvanka Trump tweeted an Abraham Lincoln quote, while Tiffany Trump and Melania Trump remained offline.

The Kremlin Annex protest has a new message for the President outside his window:

I, for one, am feeling similar to James Comey, in that we both have so many questions.

While Washington grapples with how it will move forward, Mueller is back to doing human things. Over the weekend he was spotted in his regular booth at Salt & Pepper in the Palisades and attending services at St. John’s Episcopal church on Lafayette Square, just steps from the White House. Anyway, here are 17 photos of Mueller smiling. I feel like we need this.

I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Email me at and follow me on Twitter. Adia Robinson ( contributed reporting today. Please subscribe to this newsletter.

Field of schemesDC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton plans to introduce a bill that would allow DC to purchase the RFK stadium campus, DCist and the Washington Post reported. Mayor Muriel Bowser showed support for the proposed legislation, titled the RFK Memorial Stadium Campus Conveyance Act, during her State of the District address, but made clear that it was not necessary to build another stadium on the lot. “There is no deal to bring a professional sports team to that site. Whether a stadium or sports arena is included in the reimagined RFK Campus is a debate for a future date, which we as a city must decide for ourselves,” she said. The legislation comes after backlash to the news in December that Redskins owner Dan Snyder attempted to get congressional Republicans to add a provision that could clear the way for a stadium into the federal budget.

Jungle fever: The National Zoo announced last week that giant panda Mei Xiang was “showing signs of estrus,” scientist-speak for “she looks ready to make some babies!” DCist first reported that the panda was out and about more, taking luxurious baths and splashing around in her pools. Could this mean we’ll get another adorable baby panda soon? Although the zoo says that her vocalizations make it clear she’s not yet ready to breed, mating season appears to be around the corner. (In the human dating world, we call that cuffing season.) Sounds like a good reason to go visit, especially after the recent government shutdown reportedly made all the animals at the zoo sad.

What’s on my mind: Partisan Etsy grift like this “There Is No Collusion” shirt, which retails for nearly $70!

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • This Virginia politician is not invited to our hypothetical dinner party.
  • Here are the foreign reporters who try to translate Trump for the rest of the world.
  • No deal? No problem. The British Embassy still plans to take part in EU’s Open House day this May.
  • The Coast Guard has responded to a lawsuit by local boaters who are miffed they can’t row while Trump is playing golf.
  • NIH doctor Anthony Fauci saved the day during jury duty.
  • Who says ice cream isn’t punk? Ex Hex has a custom flavor at a Mount Pleasant shop that’s cool enough to keep your street cred intact.

Our pick for things to do around town:

MUSEUMS For the first time, a previously unknown portrait of Harriet Tubman will be on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, starting in the Heritage Hall (through March 31) and then relocating to the “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition on the museum’s C3 level. The photograph was part of a photo album belonging to Quaker school teacher Emily Howland (1827-1929) and was acquired two years ago by the museum and the Library of Congress. Visitors may walk up for entry without a pass Monday through Friday starting at 1 PM to view the photograph and visit the museum. Free.

Good reads:

Catharine MacKinnon, the feminist legal scholar who helped define sexual harassment in legal terms, explains how the #MeToo Movement is changing the culture under the law. (The Atlantic)

Ashley Parker looks at Trump’s Twitter storm last weekend and asks whether it affected anything. (The Washington Post)

This Troy Patterson analysis of Mueller’s pared-back fashion sense came out last year, but it adds to our attempts to digest his report: The very plainness of the way Mueller dresses sends a message. (The New Yorker)

Big events from Washingtonian:

Do you really love the drip coffee from Swings? Adore the sweets at District Doughnut? Our annual readers poll is now live–take it and let us know your favorite things in Washington. You could win two tickets to our fabulous Best of Washington party in June.

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.