Robert Mueller has submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr, but it remains unclear when and how much of the report will be shared with Congress and the public

By Adam Carlson
March 22, 2019 05:22 PM
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Robert Mueller (left) and President Donald Trump
| Credit: Alex Wong/Getty; Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty

The special counsel’s investigation into the connections and possible “coordination between” the Russian government and President Donald Trump and his aides has been completed, the attorney general told Congress on Friday.

Robert Mueller, the former FBI director leading the probe, has submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr, but it remains unclear when and how much of the report will be shared with Congress and the public. That decision is Barr’s, The New York Timesreports.

“I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” he wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, according to a copy of it shared with reporters and posted on social media by lawmakers.

NBC News’ Tom Winter reports that there will be no additional indictments.

American intelligence officials believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in an effort to boost Trump’s chances over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton — largely through the Russian hacking of Clinton-related emails and then, via WikiLeaks, their release.

Both Trump and the Russian government have always adamantly denied any conspiracy. As part of his investigation, Mueller also looked at whether the president obstructed justice, according to the Washington Post.

The president gave written answers to questions from Mueller’s team but did not sit for an interview.

While several Trump campaign and administration officials have been ensnared in Mueller’s investigation — which has tallied some seven guilty pleas and 37 defendants, per CNN — there have been no charges that they helped carry out the Russian campaign against Clinton.

In his letter, Barr wrote he will discuss next steps on the report’s release with his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, and Mueller — “to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the Special Counsel regulations, and the Department’s long-standing practices and policies.”

“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible,” Barr wrote to the committees, “and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.”

In a brief statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah 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.”

In a joint statement, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, called on Barr to make public the full scope of Mueller’s findings.

“Now that Special Counsel Mueller has submitted his report to the Attorney General, it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress,” they said, adding, “The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Judiciary chair, wrote on Twitter that he expected that he and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee, “will be briefed more thoroughly about the report in the coming days.”

An official with the Department of Justice described Mueller’s report as “comprehensive,” CNN reports, but its full contents are not yet known. Barr’s letter notes only that it explains Mueller’s various decisions to prosecute or not prosecute.

Some Republicans joined the call for the report to swiftly be made public.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted that he expected the Justice Department to release Mueller’s report “to this committee & public w/o delay and to maximum extent permitted by law.“

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, perhaps the president’s most aggressive ally on the Judiciary Committee, was silent on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of news that the report had finally been issued to the DOJ.

Mueller was authorized from the start to pursue matters that arose from his initial investigation of the president and Russia, and the most significant prosecutions from his work were largely unrelated to the 2016 campaign itself.

Michael Flynn, the disgraced general and former Trump national security adviser, admitted lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador after Trump was elected and Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, will spend years in prison for financial crimes and conspiracy.

Roger Stone, a longtime aide, was the last notable Trump associate targeted by Mueller. He was arrested in January on seven charges, all related to efforts to mislead and obstruct Congressional probes into Russia and the Trump campaign. He has pleaded not guilty.

Mueller was named special counsel in the summer of 2017 in the wake of Trump’s surprise firing of James Comey, who was then the director of the FBI.