Donald Trump; Robert Mueller (Getty/Photo Montage by Salon)

Robert Mueller's report is in: Reportedly recommends no further indictments

Mueller's report delivered Friday to Attorney General William Barr. Congress may be briefed this weekend


Nicole Karlis
March 22, 2019 9:58PM (UTC)

Robert Mueller's report is done. After an investigation that lasted nearly two years, the special counsel has finally delivered his report to the Justice Department on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the possible involvement of Donald Trump's campaign.

According to an Associated Press report, which was soon followed by other sources, Mueller has not recommended any further indictments. If true, that presumably means neither President Trump nor anyone else in his inner circle faces immediate criminal jeopardy. The probe had already resulted in 37 guilty pleas and 199 criminal charges. A Justice Department spokeswoman told the New York Times only a few law enforcement officials had seen the report as of Friday evening.

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Whether the report contains any dramatic new information that has not been yet disclosed in the existing prosecutions that have flowed from the Mueller investigation may not be clear for some time. Several of Trump's former close associates have been convicted of various crimes, including former campaign chair Paul Manafort and former personal attorney Michael Cohen. But to this point, no one in the president's inner circle has been charged with offenses directly relating to Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. If initial reports are correct, none will.

Attorney General William Barr will be the gatekeeper, at least for now, on how much information from the report will be revealed to the public. Barr indicated in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committees on Friday that he might brief them on Mueller's findings within the next few days.

“I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” Barr wrote in his letter to the committee chairs in both chambers.

Earlier this month, the House voted unanimously for a non-binding resolution to make the report's findings public. That resolution has no force of law, and the Senate declined to take it up after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a staunch Trump ally, objected.

Trump has not yet been personally briefed on the report, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. He has repeatedly claimed that the entire Mueller investigation was a "witch hunt," and recently tweeted that he believed there should be "no Mueller report" at all. Mueller's team never interviewed Trump personally, although the president answered a limited list of questions in writing.

“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course," Sanders said. "The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”

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Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, Trump's personal lawyers, also issued a statement in response to Mueller's filing.

“We’re pleased that the Office of Special Counsel has delivered its report to the Attorney General pursuant to the regulations," the two said in a statement. "Attorney General Barr will determine the appropriate next steps.”

Some of the Democrats hoping to replace Trump in next year's presidential election have issued statements demanding that Barr release the report to the public immediately. Others have asked that White House officials not be given a chance to view it beforehand.

“The Mueller report should be released to the public," Sen. Amy Klobuchar. D-Minn., said in a statement. "This decision is not about politics but about protecting our democracy."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., echoed those sentiments in his own statement: "As Donald Trump said, 'Let it come out.' 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.”


Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a news writer at Salon. She covers health, science, tech and gender politics. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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