Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions

The nation is waiting to hear the findings of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s just-concluded Russia investigation, and some answers could arrive soon.

Anticipation is growing that Attorney General William Barr might provide an update to lawmakers on Sunday, as no briefing was held on Saturday. He was spotted arriving at the Department of Justice offices around 10 a.m., and sources indicate that Barr could send a summary to Congress by the end of the day.

How much of the report will be released and how soon it will make its way to the public are top questions for both lawmakers and observers. Members of Congress speculated Sunday morning on the contents of the report and its meaning and honed their arguments in advance of any release of information.


House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerKlobuchar on impeachment: 'I'm the jury' Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report MORE (D-N.Y.) appeared on three separate Sunday morning shows, leading the charge among Democrats in arguing that the entire report, including the underlying evidence, should be made public.

"The report should go public in its entirety and see where the chips fall," Nadler said on "Fox News Sunday," adding that he would "absolutely" take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Nadler characterized the full report as critical to Congress's ability to conduct proper oversight.

"Congress must get all the information and the evidence that the Department of Justice may have in order to exercise our function of being able to hold the president accountable," he said on NBC. "If we don’t do that, if we can’t do that, the president is effectively above the law." 

He also argued on "Fox News Sunday" that it would be "equivalent to a cover-up" if the Department of Justice refused to release the underlying information behind Mueller's report under the reasoning that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE can't be indicted.

Nadler further asserted that Trump should not be able to assert executive privilege to shield certain parts of the report from going public, citing a 1974 Supreme Court ruling that compelled then-President Richard Nixon to comply with a request for tape recordings.

As Democrats prepare for a fight should the White House or Department of Justice resist making the report public, Republicans were quick to declare the conclusion of the investigation a win for Trump even as they await the full document.

"In their main core of the collusion or investigation of obstruction, they’re seemingly coming to the point that the president and those around him had nothing to do with this," Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsHouse Judiciary chairman subpoenas former White House lawyer McGahn Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report Democrats renew attacks on Trump attorney general MORE (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said on Fox.

"That is the core finding at least in what we’re seeing so far," he added, cautioning that lawmakers have not yet seen the special counsel's findings.

Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Liberal survey: Sanders cruising, Buttigieg rising Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Cuban negotiator says Trump's efforts to destabilize Cuba's government will fail Freedom to Compete Act would benefit many American workers MORE (R-Fla.) each said on Sunday that they "absolutely" want to see the entire report made public.

"This has consumed two years of the American people's time, and we need to have full transparency," Cruz said on "State of the Union" on CNN. "We need to know the special counsel's conclusions."

Rubio said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he'd like to see the underlying surveillance applications that factored into the start of the investigation of Russian interference and collusion as well.

"I would suspect that at the end of the day they are going to release the report," he said. "They’re going to redact intelligence information or classified information, and they’re not going to put things in there about people that is damaging to people that they chose not to prosecute." 

Trump, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically quiet. While he derided the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" more than 100 times on Twitter in 2018 alone, the president has yet to comment publicly on the conclusion of the investigation that has served as the backdrop to nearly his entire presidency thus far. 

"Good morning, Have a Great Day!" he tweeted early Sunday, breaking his silence on Twitter, which began Friday afternoon.

Trump spent Sunday morning at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., for a second consecutive day. Deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters that as of Sunday morning, the White House had not been briefed on or received an advance copy of the Mueller report, something Nadler warned against. 

"I certainly hope that does not happen, and I certainly do have a problem with that," Nadler said on Fox. "This is an investigation of the White House, of the president, of the people around them for alleged misconduct in various different ways and for subverting the Constitution in various different ways."

It remains unclear if or when Congress would have access to the special counsel's full report. Barr is likely to deliver a summary of Mueller's main findings, but the full document is expected to be scrubbed for classified information and evidence that might be relevant in other ongoing probes.

The special counsel's findings will in many ways dictate the direction Congress chooses to go next.

Republicans have largely expressed a desire to move on from questions about collusion and Trump's involvement, but Democrats have already launched additional investigations into the administration and the president's campaign and business.


Many top Democrats have held their fire on talk of impeachment proceedings, saying they'd prefer to wait for Mueller to conclude his investigation.

Now that the moment has arrived, some Democrats are continuing to take a wait-and-see approach.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOn The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report Pelosi, Dems struggle to find unity in Mueller response MORE (D-Calif.), one of Trump's most outspoken critics in Congress, said it's "too early" to judge whether impeachment is warranted based on Mueller's report.

Nadler, who as Judiciary chairman would oversee impeachment proceedings, took a similar position.

"It's way too early to talk about impeachment or not," he said. "As I said, our mandate is not to impeach the president or anything like that. Our mandate is to defend the rule of law and to vindicate our constitutional liberties and to buck up the institutions that have been weakened by the attacks of this administration, the institutions that we depend on for our democratic form of government."