The Mueller investigation into possible Russia - Trump campaign connection so far
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on a criminal investigation of President Donald Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign has been filed with the Justice Department.
The Mueller probe, which began in 2017, focused on possible Russian interference in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf along with potential obstruction of investigations into any interference. Other investigations, such as counterintelligence and congressional probes of Trump and his associates, continue.
Mueller is “not recommending any further indictments” as a result of his probe, according to a senior DOJ official, Fox News reported.
The New York Times also reported that “Mueller will not recommend any new charges be filed as a result of his investigation, a senior Justice Department official said.”
Attorney General William Barr “told congressional leaders in a letter late Friday that he may brief them within days on the special counsel’s findings,” The New York Times reported.
“I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” he wrote, according to the Times.
According to multiple news sources, Justice Department officials say Barr will not be releasing the findings Saturday, as a Fox News report had earlier said he hoped to do. The New York Times said the report’s conclusions will remain confidential for at least another day as Barr considers what to make public.
Democratic presidential candidates demanded that the report be released publicly.
“I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller’s full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law,” Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted.
Senator Kamala Harris called for “total transparency,” NBC News reported. “A declassified report must be made public immediately and Attorney General Barr must publicly testify under oath about the investigation and its findings, and provide all underlying materials to the appropriate Congressional committees,” Harris said, according to NBC.
“Release the Mueller report to the American people,” Beto O’Rourke wrote on Twitter.
In addition, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed suit against the Justice Department seeking the release of the report, according to CNN.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Saturday called for Barr to release Mueller’s entire report to Congress rather than a summary, which she called “insufficient,” Reuters reported.
“Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise,” Pelosi wrote in a statement, Politico reported.
The president and his staff are in Florida for the weekend. Trump had not publicly commented on the report as of Saturday. On Sunday, he posted messages reading “good morning, have a great day” and “make America great again,” to Twitter.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement via tweet Friday: “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 Mueller probe has resulted in the indictment and, in many cases, conviction of at least 34 people and three companies associated with Trump or his campaign.
They include adviser Roger Stone, former personal attorney Michael Cohen, former campaign chair Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, along with a number of Russian nationals and firms.
Some, such as Manafort, have faced charges for dealings other than those directly involving Trump or his presidential campaign. Several have pleaded guilty and cooperated with the Mueller probe. A number of those cases were handed off to U.S. Attorneys in New York and elsewhere for prosecution, and those investigations will continue after the filing of Mueller’s report.
In addition, Mueller’s investigation, focusing chiefly on allegations of Russian interference and White House obstruction, is only one of multiple probes into the 2016 election by Congress and other federal agencies. Numerous state investigations into Trump, his dealings and his associates also continue across the United States, particularly in New York, The New York Times reported.
Trump has frequently ridiculed the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” and denied wrongdoing. He also has argued that indictments of various former confidantes on charges other than those stemming from the 2016 campaign clear him of accusations of collusion.
Democrats and many Republicans in Congress have previously called for Mueller’s report to be made public, although Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., blocked a Senate vote on the question March 14, saying he did not oppose it but also wants earlier investigations of Hillary Clinton to be released, McClatchy reported.
Trump himself said March 20 that he doesn’t mind if the report is made public, The Washington Post reported.
“Let them see it,” he said.