Report: DOJ Expecting Completion of Mueller Report as Early as Next Week
The Justice Department could announce the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election as early as next week, according to a report Wednesday.
The scope and contours of what Barr will send to Congress remain unclear. Also unclear is how long it will take Justice officials to prepare what will be submitted to lawmakers.
Under the special counsel regulations, Mueller must submit a “confidential” report to the attorney general at the conclusion of his work, but the rules don’t require it to be shared with Congress, or by extension, the public. And, as Barr has made clear, the Justice Department generally guards against publicizing “derogatory” information about uncharged individuals. As a result, one of the most pressing questions Barr will face in the coming weeks is the extent to which Mueller’s findings should be disclosed to Congress.
CNN reports preparations undertaken by the Justice Department is the clearest sign yet that the nearly two-year-old investigation is drawing to a close, but cautioned that President Trump’s overseas trip to meet with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un could impact the “precise timing of the announcement.”
In a press conference last month, then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he believed Mueller’s investigation was “close to being completed.”
“Right now the investigation is I think close to being completed,” the Justice Department official told reporters. “I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible.”
Mueller, a former FBI director, was named by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Mueller’s team has indicted a total of 34 people — yet thus far, no charges of outright collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow have been filed.
Last month, Roger Stone, a veteran Republican operative and longtime Trump adviser, was arrested at his south Florida home by FBI agents on charges of making false statements to Congress and witness tampering.
Six Trump associates have pleaded guilty to various charges so far including his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former lawyer Michael Cohen and former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
The Justice Department, nor the special counsel’s office would comment to CNN regarding the report.
Meanwhile, House Democrats are stepping up their efforts to investigate President Donald Trump and his associates, hiring new lawyers and staff as they take on oversight responsibility and prepare for a showdown over access to Mueller’s report.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) confirmed last week that he hired two veteran lawyers and Trump critics — Barry Berke and Norman Eisen — as his panel gears up to investigate the Justice Department and review Mueller’s final conclusions. Nadler and other Democrats have pressured Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, to release as much of that report as possible.
The Agence France-Presse and Associated Press contributed to this report.