Robert Mueller, the former FBI director tasked with leading the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has completed a nearly two-year probe that drew the wrath of Donald Trump as it brought down some of the president’s top men.
Attorney General William Barr, who was confirmed on Feb. 14, has received Mueller’s report, according to a letter he sent to members of Congress. He said there were no instances in which the Justice Department overruled any action taken by Mueller’s team.
“I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” Barr wrote. He said he remained “committed to as much transparency as possible.”
Barr had testified during his Senate confirmation hearing that he believed in transparency surrounding the Mueller probe but that he didn’t believe the full report could be made public. He also indicated to senators that concerns about Trump’s privacy could restrict what info is released to the public but said he would send a summary of the investigation to Congress.
“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in response to the report. “The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”
Mueller’s special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia began in May 2017 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. With then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused from the matter, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to take charge of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election as well as any involvement from the Trump campaign.
Mueller’s team secured guilty pleas from former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates and former Trump fixer Michael Cohen. The special counsel also secured the indictment of Trump associate Roger Stone as well as the indictment of dozens of Russians it charged in connection with Russia’s pro-Trump social media campaign and the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
Stone’s case will now be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which has been involved in the case since the beginning. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is handling investigations that grew out of the Mueller probe, including the case involving the National Enquirer, which admitted to paying off women who claimed they had affairs with Trump in order to keep such stories “from influencing the election.”
Trump, his legal team and his supporters on Capitol Hill have waged a yearslong public relations campaign against Mueller, the FBI and the Justice Department that severely damaged public opinion of federal law enforcement. By this year, just 34 percent of Trump voters had even a fair amount of trust in the FBI.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.