The Russia probe, led by special counsel Robert Mueller, was chosen as the top political story of the year.
It narrowly beat out the sweeping story of fallout from sexual harassment, which touched on every industry, caused the resignations of a senator and members of Congress and continues.
The selection happened through Twitter, where more than 4,700 users voted on the final matchup of a March Madness-style 64-story tournament.
The final four included the Women’s March and the firing of James Comey, the former FBI director. It was a clear indication of what readers saw as the two big thematic stories of the year — Russia and women/sexual harassment.
But, in the end, it was the Russia probe that won out. It has ensnared four people who worked on the Trump campaign, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, far less than he could have been charged with. But Flynn got a better deal because he is cooperating with the investigation, which could indicate Mueller is climbing even higher up the ladder of Trump’s inner circle.
Mueller’s tenure has come under sharp criticism from conservatives and allies of President Trump looking to discredit the investigation. It’s sure to be a closely watched and consequential story in 2018.
There were 285 bracket submissions from users. And one man won out — Dave Steadman (@davesteadman). (He wins NPR Morning Edition host David Greene’s voice on his voicemail.) Here’s Dave’s bracket:
You can view the full results here:
Happy New Year!