Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr, the biggest questions are: Is the public ever going to see it? And, if so, how much? But at this point, it’s not even clear whether Congress will get to review the entire original document.
The findings from Mueller’s 22-month investigation, which came to an end last Friday, were revealed in bits and pieces through 215 criminal charges and 34 indictments. Mueller was tasked with investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, as well as any coordination or links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. According to a four-page summary of Mueller’s conclusions that Barr released on Sunday, the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Barr also said that Mueller had not made a decision on obstruction of justice, but both he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined that Trump had not committed obstruction. Trump and his allies have declared themselves vindicated.
But the final findings, which reportedly run to at least 300 pages excluding exhibits, could offer important insights into Mueller’s legal reasoning and explain whether the evidence he collected in the obstruction and conspiracy cases was either substantial but not enough to rise to the level of a criminal offense, or flimsy and not even close to criminal. (The special-counsel regulations require that the office’s final report at the very least explain its prosecution and declination decisions, even if it doesn’t present all the underlying evidence the team amassed.)