Mueller delivers Trump-Russia probe report
No new indictments expected; attorney general may brief congressional leaders this weekend
WASHINGTON – Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday delivered a report on his inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General William Barr, the Justice Department said, bringing to a close an investigation that has consumed the nation and cast a shadow over President Trump for nearly two years.
Barr told congressional leaders in a letter that he may brief them on the special counsel’s “principal conclusions” as early as this weekend, a surprisingly fast turnaround for a report anticipated for months. The attorney general said he “remained committed to as much transparency as possible.”
In an apparent endorsement of an investigation that Trump has relentlessly attacked as a “witch hunt,” Barr said Justice Department officials never had to intervene to keep him from taking an inappropriate or unwarranted step. The department’s regulations would have required Barr to inform the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committees about any such interventions in his letter.
A senior Justice Department official said Mueller would not recommend new indictments, a statement aimed at ending speculation that Trump or other key figures might be charged down the line. With department officials stressing that Mueller’s inquiry was over and his office closing, the question for both Trump’s critics and defenders was whether the prosecutors condemned the president’s behavior, exonerated him in their report – or neither. The president’s lawyers were already girding for a possible fight over whether they could assert executive privilege to keep parts of the report secret.
Since Mueller’s appointment in May 2017, his team has focused on how Russian operatives sought to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential race and whether anyone tied to the Trump campaign, wittingly or unwittingly, cooperated with them. While the inquiry, started months
Report on Page A6
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation has consumed the nation.