On Friday, March 22, Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally submitted his report on the investigation into the possibility of alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. Mueller's report took almost two years to complete, and it's now in the hands of Attorney General William Barr. As you await Barr's release of the report to Congress and the public, you might be wondering: What happens after the Mueller report? Though it's been submitted to the attorney general, there are multiple next steps that may keep the report front and center for weeks or even months to come.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Mueller sent a security officer to deliver the final report to Attorney General Barr on Friday, March 22, and shortly thereafter Barr sent a letter to House and Senate Judiciary committees informing Congress that he received the report. Though the findings of the report have not yet been made public, Barr wrote that he remains "committed to as much transparency as possible" and that he intends to consult with Special Counsel Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to determine what information can be released to Congress and the public. Barr noted that he may be able to share "the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend."
According to a tweet from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Friday, March 22, the White House has not received or been briefed on the special counsel's report.
Though Barr will decide how much of the information is released, Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have said they're willing to take legal action if they don't get access to the full report, per the Associated Press. That could include a decision to subpoena Special Counsel Mueller, sue the Trump administration, and engage in battle with the Justice Department itself. The special counsel's office declined to comment to Elite Daily's inquiry regarding a possible subpoena. The White House and the DOJ did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the possibility of legal action from Democrats if Barr doesn't release the entire Mueller report to Congress. On the day Mueller submitted the report, Rep. Schiff tweeted, "Mueller’s investigation began as a counterintelligence inquiry into whether individuals associated with the Trump campaign were compromised by a foreign power. By law, that evidence he uncovered must be shared with our Committee. And his report must also be made public. Now."
The Special Counsel’s investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers corruptly interfered in our elections, and whether unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation. The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.
The DOJ did not respond to Elite Daily's inquiry regarding Pelosi's statement about the release of Mueller's report.
So what does the Mueller report mean for President Donald Trump? The report contains details about the possible relationship between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and interference by Russian operatives. Trump has long denied any wrongdoing, and he's repeatedly called the investigation a "witch hunt." Though Mueller isn't recommending any more indictments based on his findings, it's important to note that the special counsel and DOJ believe you cannot indict a sitting president, per the New York Intelligencer. As of publication, no one except the special counsel and the attorney general know what is in Mueller's report, so it remains to be seen what legal action may be taken at a later time, if any, based on the contents of the report. Elite Daily reached out the White House for comment on the possibility of legal action against Trump after leaving office, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
According to USA Today, the special counsel's investigation wound up indicting "34 people and entities," with charges brought against former Trump associates including Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Roger Stone. Manafort will serve a 73 month sentence for pleading guilty on charges of conspiracy against the United States. Representatives for Manafort did not immediately return Elite Daily's request for comment on the sentencing. Flynn accepted a plea deal to cooperate with the special counsel is awaiting sentencing for pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators. Cohen will serve a 3 year sentence for pleading guilty to financial crimes and lying to Congress. Elite Daily reached out to Cohen's representation for comment on his sentencing at the time, but did not hear back at the time of publication. Stone was indicted for allegedly lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his interactions with "Organization 1, which appears to be WikiLeaks. Stone denies the charges and "look[s] forward to being fully and completely vindicated."
With all the legal action that has already come from the Mueller investigation, it's clear that the end isn't really the end at all. Again, the contents of Muller's final report are not yet known, so time will tell what will follow from the release of it. Per USA Today, Democrats reportedly have a conference call set for 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, and Democratic Committee chairs to discuss the next steps with regard to the Mueller report. Elite Daily reached out Speaker Pelosi's office for confirmation of the call, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
While the report may be officially completed and submitted, the legal and political battles that will likely ensue in its wake are far from over, so stay tuned.