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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia, Trump to be released Thursday, Justice Department says

Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (James Ledbetter/Flickr)

The waiting should end Thursday.

Attorney General William Barr plans to release the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election Thursday, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Monday. The investigation probed links between the Kremlin and President Donald Trump’s campaign, and the report could detail connections that did not produce criminal charges.

The 400-page document, anticipated since last month when the attorney general disclosed a bare-bones summary of its major conclusions, will be transmitted to Congress and made public at roughly the same time. Barr has said he will keep parts of the report secret.

For weeks, Democrats have demanded that Barr make the full, unredacted report public while President Donald Trump has seized on its major conclusions to declare “complete vindication.”

Trump has said he thinks the report should be made public, but also suggested that its disclosure might not lift the cloud that the investigation cast over his administration. “The Radical Left Democrats will never be satisfied with anything we give them,” he wrote Monday on Twitter.

Trump criticized the inquiry again Monday as a partisan investigation that “fabricated the whole Russia Hoax.”

Barr told lawmakers in a four-page summary last month that Mueller’s inquiry found insufficient evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Mueller did not reach a conclusion on the other major issue of the 22-month investigation: whether the president had sought to obstruct the inquiry. But Barr determined that the evidence offered by Mueller did not amount to a crime.

In one of the few passages from the report to become public so far, Barr quoted Mueller saying that on the question of obstruction, “this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Since Mueller delivered the document to Barr last month, a Justice Department team – including Mueller’s prosecutors – has been sifting through the document to remove secret grand jury information, material related to ongoing investigations, classified information and other material related to uncharged individuals who were swept up in the wide-ranging investigation. Barr has said he would remove four types of information from the report and color-code the redactions to signal the reasons for secrecy.

Barr canceled a scheduled Wednesday appearance in Cincinnati, where he was expected to take part in a law enforcement-related event.

Mueller’s investigation ended when he delivered the report to Barr, but a number of spin-off investigations are proceeding in Virginia, Washington and New York.

House Democrats are expected to fight for an unredacted version of Mueller’s report. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the chairmen of six committees have called for Barr to provide Mueller’s unaltered report to Congress. The Judiciary Committee voted April 3 to authorize Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to subpoena the report. Nadler has said he would issue the subpoena if Barr provides a redacted report.

Mueller’s inquiry began after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey. He took over a counterintelligence investigation that began the summer before when the FBI started seeing evidence of contacts between Trump associates and the Kremlin, which was then working to interfere with the presidential election.

Mueller’s office filed charges against 34 people and organizations and convicted several top aides to Trump, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former person lawyer Michael Cohen. But no charges were filed alleging that Americans coordinated with Russians to alter the election.


© 2019 USA Today

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