- The special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his final report on the Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr.
- It’s not clear what details the report contains or what will be disclosed to the public.
- “The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” the White House said.
The special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly delivered his final report on the FBI’s Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr.
Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to oversee the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, whether members of President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favour, and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice in the investigation.
Washington has been on high alert for the report for the last several months, and Justice Department sources told several media outlets that senior officials expected a draft of the report by the end of March.
It’s unclear what the report contains. But the public will not see Mueller’s report itself; rather, they will see Barr’s summary of Mueller’s findings, which he will turn in to Congress and which Congress will in turn release to the public.
Mueller is reportedly not recommending any further indictments, and Barr has sent a letter to Congress that says he did not prevent the special counsel from taking any specific actions during the course of the probe.
Justice Department policy dictates that Barr tell Congress if he or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blocked Mueller from taking any actions. Barr’s letter to Congress said “there were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
Several Democratic lawmakers have criticised Barr for not agreeing to make Mueller’s report itself public.
Two congressional aides told INSIDER that if lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives feel that Barr inappropriately concealed or omitted information from Mueller’s report in his summary to Congress, they would take “appropriate legal actions” to obtain Mueller’s original report from the Justice Department.
Asked whether Democrats would subpoena Mueller’s report if necessary, one aide said “all options are currently on the table.”
The completion of a Mueller report does not mean the Russia probe will be over, however.
There are more than a dozen ongoing investigative threads and court cases that will continue long after the report is made public. There are also several witnesses who are still cooperating with prosecutors, and legal scholars said there may even be future indictments connected to the Mueller investigation and the Manhattan US attorney’s investigation into Trump’s business dealings.
President Donald Trump, who was in Florida on Friday, has repeatedly referred to Mueller’s investigation as a politically motivated “WITCH HUNT.” On Friday, sources told ABC News that Trump’s initial reaction to news that the Mueller report had been submitted was that he’s “glad it’s over.”
In a statement on this development on Friday, Trump’s attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow said, “We’re pleased that the Office of Special Counsel has delivered its report to the Attorney General pursuant to the regulations. Attorney General Barr will determine the appropriate next steps.”
Similarly, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”
The biggest question surrounding the investigation is whether Mueller found evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign in 2016 and the Kremlin.
Trump has repeatedly denied any allegations of collusion.
Mueller’s expansive inquiry has seen a number of key Trump associates land in serious legal trouble, including his former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. In some cases, Mueller handed off cases to other offices.
It’s against Justice Department policy to indict a sitting president, so even if Mueller recommended charges against Trump, it’s unclear what would come next.
- Read more about the Russia investigation:
- Mueller turned his final report in to Attorney General William Barr, but the Russia probe is nowhere near finished
- Here’s what happens next now that Mueller has submitted his report on the Russia investigation
- Here’s what ‘collusion’ actually means, and whether members of Trump campaign could have broken the law
- Here’s everyone who has been charged and convicted in the Russia probe so far
- Democrats demand that Attorney General William Barr release special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire report on the Russia investigation
- Read Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report
This article will continue to be updated.
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