WASHINGTON – Special Council Robert S. Mueller III has submitted a report on his request for Russian involvement in the 2016 election to the lawyer William P. Barr, according to the Justice Department, and concludes a survey that has consumed the nation and cast a shadow over President Trump in almost two years.
Mr. Barr told Congress leaders in a letter late Friday that he can shorten them within a few days on the special council's results. "I may be able to advise you on the main conclusions of the Special Council as soon as the weekend," he wrote in a letter to the management of the court and the Senate court committees.
Mr. Barr wrote that he "remained committed to as much openness as possible and I will keep you informed of the status of my review." He also said that officials of the Ministry of Justice never needed to check Mr Mueller because he proposed an inappropriate or unjustified investigative step – a measure that Mr. Barr would have been obliged to report to Congress according to the regulations. His statement suggests that Mueller's investigation continued without political interference.
Since Mueller's appointment in May 2017, his team has focused on how Russian operators attempted to float the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone tied to the Trump campaign, consciously or unknowingly, collaborated with them. While the survey, which began months earlier by the FBI, revealed a far-reaching Russian influx operation, no public evidence has arisen that the president or his assistants illegally helped it.
Nevertheless, the damages of Mr. Trump and those in his circle have been extensive. Half a dozen former Trump aides have been accused or convicted of crimes, primarily for being a federal investigator or congress. Others remain investigated in cases such as mr. Mueller's office provided federal prosecutors in New York and elsewhere. Dozens of Russian intelligence officials or citizens, along with three Russian companies, were prosecuted in cases likely to slam in court because the defendants cannot be extradited to the United States.
Only a handful of law enforcement officials have seen the report, a legal department spokesman, Kerri Kupec, said. The Department of Justice officials reported the White House about 20 minutes before they told lawmakers, Kupec said. Mr. Barr's Chief of Staff told Emmet Flood, the White House lawyer who works with Russia's investigation. She said some members of mr. Mueller's team will remain in the office.
Although mr. Mueller's report is complete, continuing some aspects of his investigation, and can be monitored by the same prosecutor when they are relocated to their old jobs in the Justice Department. For example, recently submitted court documents suggest that investigators are still investigating why the former Trump campaign, President Paul Manafort, reconsidered campaign follow-up data in 2016 to a Russian associate as prosecutor said was tied to Russian intelligence.
Mr. Mueller looked extensively at whether Mr Trump prevented justice from protecting himself or his co-workers. But despite negotiations months, prosecutors could not personally interview the president.
Mr. Trump's lawyers insisted that he only responded to written questions from the Special Adviser. Although, according to today's Justice Department policy, a incumbent president may not be prosecuted, Trump's lawyers worried that his answer in an oral interview could lead to political consequences, including persecution, or put him in legal danger when out of service.
Not since Watergate has a special prosecutor's inquiry so enchanted the American public. Mr Trump has helped make Mr Mueller a household name, attacking his investigation on average about twice a day as an unfair, politically motivated attempt to invalidate the election. He has never forgiven former lawyer Jeff Jeff Sessions to re-use from Russia's investigation, a measure that cleared the way for his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, to appoint Mueller.
Mr. Trump repeated his attacks on special councils this week and said that Mueller decided "out of the blue" to write a report and ignored that the rules required him to do so. But the president also said the report would be published because "tens of millions" of Americans would like to know what it contains.
"Let people see it," Trump said. "There was no interaction. There was no obstruction. There was nothing."
Mr.. Barr told congress leaders that he would decide what he would release after hearing both mr. Mueller and Rosenstein.
In court, the evidence that the Mueller team has had time has come. Any respondent who is not yet awaiting trial, either pleaded guilty or convicted by a jury. Despite the fact that no American has been afraid of illegally plotting with the Russians to lean the election, mr. Mueller a web of lies by former Trump aides.
Five of them were found to have deceived federal investigators or congresses about their interactions with the Russians during the campaign or transition. They include Mr Manafort; Michael T. Flynn, Presidential First National Security Advisor; and Michael D. Cohen, Mr Trump's former lawyer and long-term matchmaker. A sixth former adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr., will face trial in November on allegations of lying to Congress.
Those who know Mr Mueller, a former F.B.I. Director, predicted a brief, legalistic non-sense report – nothing like the 445-sided constitution that Kenneth W. Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton, produced in 1998. Operation under a current law governing independent councils, Mr. Starr had much more room than Mr. Mueller to determine his own investigation limits and to judge.
The rules governing Mr Mueller, who are under the supervision of the Justice Department, only require that he declare his decisions to either seek or refuse to seek criminals in a confidential report to the lawyer. The Bar Association is then obliged to notify the management of the court and the committees of the House and the Senate.
During his Senate Confirmation, Barr heard that releasing as much information as possible and saying "The country needs a credible solution to these issues." But he may be reluctant to release that part of Mr. Mueller's report which may be of the greatest interest: who the specialist advisor refused to prosecute and why, especially if Mr Trump is on that list.
The long-term practice of the institution, with rare exceptions, is not to identify people who were merely investigative targets to avoid injustice to their reputation, especially because they would have no chance to defend themselves in a court. Mr. Rosenstein, who has supervised Mr. Meller's work and can get a statement about what is released is a firm belief in that principle.
In a letter of May 2017 that the president seized as a reason for his decision to fire James B. Comey as the FBI director Rosenstein criticized Mr Comey for announcing in the previous year that Hillary Clinton, when a presidential candidate, would not guilty of a crime for abusing classified information as state secretary. Releasing "derogatory information on the subject of a rejected criminal investigation," wrote Rosenstein, "is a textbook example of which federal prosecutors and agents learn not to do".
The weighting of the principle of public right to know is even more filled with the President's case. About mr. Mueller refused to prosecute mr. Trump, perhaps he should not have been ruled out due to lack of evidence, but by the legal opinions of the Justice Department that a incumbent president cannot be prosecuted. The institution's legal adviser has repeatedly informed that the stigma and burden of being prosecuted would damage the president's ability to lead.
Mr. Trump has said the decision to release it to Mr. Coniferous. But behind the scenes, White House lawyers prepare the possibility that they may have to argue that any material is protected by executive privileges, especially if the report discusses whether the president's interactions with his top aides or legal advisers are evidence of barriers to justice. 19659002] Representative Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat and Head of the Household Committee, has argued that the Chamber believes Presidents are protected from prosecution making it increasingly important for the public to see Mr. Mueller's report.
"To argue that a seated president cannot be charged and then hold back evidence of inaccuracy from the congress, because the president cannot be charged, is to convert the DOJ policy to cover funds," he said before the House approved its non-binding resolution to reveal the special council findings.
Some predict that some information from the Mueller report will not meet either Trump's critics or his defenders, especially given the public's high expectations of answers. An investigation from the Washington Post-Schar in February illustrated the sharp division in public opinion: It found that those who were investigated believed most Republicans not evidence of crime as mr. Mueller's law had already proven in court, while most Democrats believed he had proven crimes he had not even claimed.
In recent weeks, new signs have emerged that the special council's work ended. Five prosecutors have left, reducing the team from 16 to 11. Mr Mueller's office confirmed that Andrew Weissmann, a top lawyer, is also expected to leave soon. A key F.B.I. agent, W. W. Archey, has been transferred to another post.
Mr. Rosenstein was expected to leave the justice department in mid-March, but may be long-term to see the report in its conclusion.