“Events in the United States have unfolded more favorably than any operative in Moscow could have ever dreamed: Not only did Russia’s preferred candidate win, but he has spent his first term fulfilling the potential it saw in him, discrediting American institutions, rending the seams of American culture, and isolating a nation that had styled itself as indispensable to the free world. But instead of complacently enjoying its triumph, Russia almost immediately set about replicating it. Boosting the Trump campaign was a tactic; #DemocracyRIP remains the larger objective.” Frankin Foer in The Atlantic: Russia’s goal was never merely to elect Donald Trump. Now, Vladimir Putin is poised to complete the mission he began four years ago.

+ Under My Thumb: “Mr. Pence’s denial of this on national television, and his attribution of the denial to Mr. Flynn, put Mr. Flynn in a potentially compromised situation that the Russians could use against him.” Mary B. McCord in the NYT: Bill Barr Twisted My Words in Dropping the Flynn Case. Here’s the Truth.

+ I Fought the Law: “More than 1,900 former Justice Department employees on Tuesday repeated a call for William P. Barr to step down as attorney general, asserting in an open letter he had “once again assaulted the rule of law” by moving to drop the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.”