More questions than answers now that the special counsel concluded his nearly 2 year probe into whether the Trump election campaign colluded with Russia to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation is now in the hands of Attorney General Bill Barr. Barr now has some big decisions to make, and members of congress are seeking answers, quickly.
Barr wrote to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees that he is reviewing Mueller’s report. A Justice Department official tells CNN those conclusions are also expected to be made public. A senior Justice Department official added there will be no further indictments from the special counsel. In a major victory for the president, Mueller ended his probe without interviewing Trump. The President answered only a set of written questions about Russian collusion, none about obstruction of justice.
In the hours before Mueller officially ended his work, Trump continued railing against the Russia probe. While the formal investigation is over, speculation about what it found is only just beginning. Barr told congressional leaders “There were no such instances during the special counsel’s investigation” in which Mueller’s proposed actions were overruled by leaders at the Justice Department. Barr plans to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller to determine how much of Mueller’s confidential report can be released publicly and to congress.
Democrats quickly demanded the report be made public in its entirety. Since being appointed in may of 2017, Mueller has remained silent and out of the public eye. Mueller’s investigation has led to charges against 37 defendants and netted seven guilty pleas, as well as one conviction at trial, and Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone is set to go to trial in November for lying to congress. Also among those charged, 26 Russians and 3 Russian entities. Many of whom Mueller says worked to manipulate social media and hack democrats to benefit Trump in the 2016 election.
Mueller’s probe has also swept up several key Trump allies and confidants, including his campaign chairman Paul Manafort. His national security advisor Michael Flynn and his personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, but Mueller never brought charges against anyone in Trump’s orbit for colluding with the Russians to influence the election. It remains to be seen if Mueller found any direct evidence of collusion, or obstruction of justice, that may be detailed in the confidential report he delivered to the Attorney General.