Robert Mueller has released his long-awaited final report on Russia. The final report is now in the hands of Attorney General William Barr. The report is confidential so no one knows when its contents will become public knowledge. There is possibility information can be slowly released over this weekend, but it is also possible that weeks could pass before we hear what the report contains.
Let’s take a quick look at what could happen from here:
There is a good chance that Barr will release the report to Congress soon, maybe even sometime this weekend as his letter to lawmakers suggested.
In his letter penned on Friday to lawmakers notifying them that he had received Mueller’s report he wrote, “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 stated in his letter that he would be consulting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller about what information could be released to Congress and the public.
When Barr called it a work day on Friday he stated that he would continue reviewing the report on Saturday. Justice officials confirmed earlier today that Attorney General Barr will continue to review the confidential report today at the Justice Department. He arrived at the Justice Department before 10 a.m. this morning. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s motorcade arrived at the Justice Department not long after Barr arrived.
Once Barr releases Mueller’s report the next move is up to Congress. Democrats are demanding the full report and all underlying evidence. Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, has already stated that his panel is prepared to issue subpoenas of both Mueller and Barr if necessary to speed up disclosure.
Many believe that Trump will direct the Justice Department to withhold information within the report and if that happens a court fight could lead to the Supreme Court.
David Cicilline, the Democratic representative from Rhode Island, has already spoken up and stated that he wants Robert Mueller to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Cicilline told CNN that he believes Mueller’s testimony would be valuable because he “walk the country through the report, walk the country through the findings he made, the evidence he collected, the conclusions he came to.”
“This is about safeguarding our democracy, about understanding an attack by a foreign adversary. We invested a lot into this investigation, resources of the people of this country, and I think we owe it to them they fully understand what this report concludes and what the conclusions of the special counsel were and I think it would be very helpful to have Mr. Mueller come before the committee and really walk through paragraph by paragraph and explain it to the American people,” Cicilline added.
“If the Justice Department doesn’t release the whole report or tries to keep parts of it secret, we will certainly subpoena the parts of the report and we will reserve the right to call Mueller to testify before the committee or to subpoena him,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement.
Members of the Republican Party are of course putting a positive spin on the investigation ending. Republicans believe that two years and millions of taxpayers dollars were wasted on the special investigation because they stand by their statements that there was “no collusion.”
Republicans are in many ways already claiming victory because the end of Mueller’s investigation came with no new indictments. Republicans also believe that because Mueller was able to complete his investigation without any interference from the Department of Justice that Trump had nothing to hide.
A lawsuit has already been brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center they are suing the Department of Justice for the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report and other nonpublic records.
The Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was filed less than two hours after Mueller concluded his investigation. In the lawsuit, the group points out that a number of other documents were prepared by Mueller during his tenure as Special Council.
“The public has a right to know the full scope of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and whether the President of the United States played any role in such interference,” the government transparency advocacy group wrote in the lawsuit. “The public also has a right to know whether the President unlawfully obstructed any investigation into Russian election interference or related matters. The requested records are vital to the public\rquote s understanding of these issues and to the integrity of the political system of the United States.”
While the Mueller probe’s conclusions have not yet been released, his two-year investigation has already resulted in indictments, convictions or guilty pleas for close to three dozen people and three companies. So far Mueller has charged 34 people and three Russian companies. Twenty-five Russians were indicted on charges related to election interference, accused of “hacking the Democratic email accounts during the campaign or of creating a social media campaign that spread misinformation across the internet.”
Five of Trump’s aides pled guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, and a sixth, Roger Stone, is still awaiting trial on charges that he lied to Congress and engaged in witness tampering.
It is unclear at this time if Donald Trump will have early access to Mueller’s findings. Sarah Sanders has suggested that the White House would not interfere. “We look forward to the process taking its course.”
However, Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told The Associated Press on Friday that the legal team would seek to get “an early look before they were made public.”
Donald Trump stated on Friday that he believes that Mueller’s report should be released to the public, despite the fact that he calls its very existence “ridiculous.”
“Let it come out, let people see it,” Trump told the media “Let’s see whether or not it’s legit.”
Trump also stated that he had no idea when the report would be released, but maintains his innocence, saying there was “no collusion” and “no obstruction. There was no nothing. With all of that being said, I look forward to seeing the report.”
So now my fellow Americans we wait.