Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation

Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE has delivered his confidential report to Attorney General William Barr, signaling the end of a two-year investigation that has dominated 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’s term in office.

Barr told the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that he is reviewing the report and "may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend," according to a letter circulated by the Justice Department. 

Barr said he intends to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHeavy lapses in judgment are politicizing the justice system Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' MORE and Mueller "to determine what information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law." 

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The White House said Trump has not been briefed on the report.

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

Trump's personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, also said they were awaiting Barr's decision.

“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.”

The attorney general said during his confirmation hearing that he would make public as much about Mueller’s inquiry as possible consistent with the law, but he was careful not to commit to releasing the report in its entirety.

"I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed at to the status of my review,” Barr wrote in the letter sent to the congressional committees Friday evening.

Barr also said there were no instances during which he blocked Mueller from taking certain steps in the course of his investigations; he was required to report to Congress of any such actions and explain them under the regulations governing the special counsel.

Trump has said he will defer to Barr, who was confirmed in February, on whether to release Mueller’s report, but has continued to attack the investigation.

“I have a deputy, appoints a man to write a report on me, to make a determination on my presidency,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network airing Friday. “People will not stand for it.”

Weeks of speculation that Mueller was close to wrapping up culminated in Friday's announcement, which brings to a close an investigation that has dogged Trump for nearly two years. 

Mueller has not recommended any future indictments. 

The Mueller probe began shortly after Trump fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump rips Krugman, NYT after columnist writes GOP no longer believes in American values Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment Heavy lapses in judgment are politicizing the justice system MORE, who was in charge of the bureau’s original investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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Mueller’s investigation explored the possibility that Trump’s campaign coordinated with Moscow to interfere in the election, and whether Trump obstructed justice.

Mueller, a former FBI director himself who earned broad respect from current and former officials as well as members of Congress, has proceeded with his probe quietly for 22 months amid frequent and biting attacks from the president and his allies.

Mueller has secured a conviction against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortPoll: Nearly half of Republicans say no one on Trump campaign committed a crime It is wrong to say 'no collusion' The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE and guilty pleas from former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s former personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump's job approval ticks up 2 points: Gallup Dem lawmaker: 'Very serious doubts' that IRS is 'properly auditing' Trump Trump, businesses sue Oversight chairman to block subpoena for financial records MORE.

Manafort, who at one point cooperated with Mueller, was sentenced to a total of 7 1/2 years in prison in mid-March.

Still, none of the offenses alleged by prosecutors included conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow to meddle in the election, leaving the question at the heart of the special counsel’s probe unanswered.

Trump has also long denied that his campaign colluded with the Kremlin to interfere in the election. He has consistently derided the investigation as a “witch hunt,” casting it as a probe run by officials biased against him. The president publicly berated his first attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump poised to roll back transgender health protections Trump claims Mueller didn't speak to those 'closest' to him And the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin MORE, for recusing himself from the investigation, attacks that eventually precipitated Sessions’s resignation last November.

Six associates of Trump and his campaign were ultimately charged in connection the investigation with false statements, obstruction, financial crimes and other offenses. 

Republican operative Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneThe Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? End of Mueller shifts focus to existing probes Heavily redacted Mueller report leaves major questions unanswered MORE, a longtime friend and informal adviser to Trump, was the most recent person to be charged in the investigation for lying about his communications regarding WikiLeaks and other offenses. Stone plans to fight the charges and is slated for a November trial in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Mueller also unveiled charges against more than a dozen Russians who ran a troll farm in St. Petersburg, Russia, that spread divisive content to American audiences on social media as part of a broader plot to interfere in the election. And the special counsel indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the emails of high-level Democrats.

Now that Mueller has concluded his probe, the focus will shift to Barr and what he does with the special counsel's findings. House Democrats have signaled they are prepared for a fight with the Justice Department if they are unsatisfied with what Barr releases about the special counsel's investigation. 

"After nearly two years of investigation — accompanied by two years of unprecedented attacks on the integrity of the investigation by President Trump — the public and Congress are entitled to know what the Special Counsel has found," six House committee chairs said in a statement Friday evening.

"The Justice Department must now release to the public the entire report submitted by Special Counsel Mueller to the Attorney General," they said.

Updated 8:30 p.m.