FLASH: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has handed in his report on on the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 Presidential election and any potential wrongdoing by President Trump. No further incitements coming.
SC Mueller submitted the report to US Attorney General William Barr, the Top US law enforcement official.
The report was not immediately made public, as AG Barr will have to decide how much to disclose, and it was not known if Mr. Mueller found criminal conduct by President Trump or his campaign, beyond the charges already brought against several aides.
Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, since Y 2017 had been examining since whether President Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to try to influence the election and whether the President later unlawfully tried to obstruct his investigation.
President Trump has denied collusion and obstruction. Russia has denied election interference.
In a letter to lawmakers, AG Barr said SC Mueller had concluded the probe, that he is reviewing the report and will be consulting the Deputy AG and SC Mueller to determine what information from it can be released to Congress.
Mr. Barr, a Trump appointee confirmed by the Senate in February, told the lawmakers he may be able to provide information to Congress on the report’s findings as soon as this weekend. He offered no details of SC Mueller’s findings.
“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
Under the regulations governing special counsel investigations, the attorney general must share an outline of the Mueller’s report with Democratic and Republican leaders of the judiciary committees in Congress but it is largely up to him what to make public.
The Russia investigation has cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s Presidency and ensnared Key figures including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and national security adviser Michael Flynn, who already have either been convicted or pleaded guilty to charges brought by SC Mueller.
The Big Q: Does the report contains allegations of wrongdoing by President Trump himself?
President Trump has called it a “witch hunt” and accusing SC Mueller of conflicts of interest.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow meddled in the election with a campaign of email hacking and online propaganda aimed at sowing discord in the United States, hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and helping President Trump.
SC Mueller’s investigators have looked into a large number of contacts between people associated with President Trump’s campaign and Russia such as a meeting in New York’s Trump Tower between members of the president’s inner circle including his eldest son and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer 5 months before the election.
Mr. Mueller sought to determine whether the campaign coordinated with Moscow, though it was not immediately clear whether the special counsel found evidence of a conspiracy.
Mr. Mueller also examined whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice by trying to hinder the investigation, looking into acts such as urging FBI Director James Comey to drop a probe of General Flynn’s contacts with Russia, the subsequent firing of James Comey, his attacks on the Special Counsel, dangling of pardons for former aides and the ouster of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
sc Mueller has brought charges against 34 people, including Russian intelligence officers, and 3 Russian companies, including 1 described as a “troll farm.”
Regardless of whether the report is released, SC Mueller’s team already has signaled the direction of the investigation through indictments and hundreds of related court filings that have offered extensive details about Russian interference in the election.
Congressional Democrats, who took over control of the US House of Representatives in January, have said they plan to push for a release of the full Mueller Report and said they would subpoena it and file suit if necessary. That action is going nowhere.
Several House committees are conducting aggressive investigations of President Trump and people around him. Those actions are also going nowhere.
Have a terrific weekend.
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