Democrats were never relying on putting the Russia investigation at the center of their presidential campaigns.But the freedom to rebrand President Donald Trump as a criminal had been widely viewed as a major potential asset — a crowd-pleaser, at minimum, and an undercurrent to Democrats’ broader effort to portray Trump as unfit for the presidency.

The Mueller report’s findings cut deeply into that prospective line of attack. After a summary of Mueller’s report concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to find Trump conspired with Russia to win the 2016 election, Democrats seeking to unseat the president joined a chorus of partisans calling for the full report’s release.

But they also emerged from the weekend confronting the near-certainty that Trump will not be felled by an outside investigation, and that the 2020 campaign — in a period of relative peace and economic prosperity — will be waged on familiar ground advantageous for an incumbent president.

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