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Update2: Less than two hours after the release of the Mueller report, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit has been filed against the Department of Justice by the Electronic Privacy Information Center seeking its public release.
“The public has a right to know the full scope of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and whether the President of the United States played any role in such interference,” the government transparency advocacy group wrote in the lawsuit in DC federal court. “The public also has a right to know whether the President unlawfully obstructed any investigation into Russian election interference or related matters. The requested records are vital to the public’s understanding of these issues and to the integrity of the political system of the United States.” –CNN
According to CNN, the group asked the DOJ for a large production of non-public records in the special counsel investigation, however the DOJ said it would need time to decide what to release.
Update: Lawmakers are expected to receive the report’s principal conclusions this weekend, as Barr suggested might happen in his letter.
The expectation is that lawmakers will receive the principal conclusions, in writing, from Barr this weekend, according to a Justice Department official. That distillation from Barr will be made public, says the Justice official. – @LauraAJarrett reports https://t.co/lyjO5sefeK
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 22, 2019
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report is complete, nearly two years after he was named to oversee the investigation into obstruction of justice, possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and literally anything else that came up.
On a quiet Friday afternoon, the Department of Justice notified the key lawmakers that Attorney General William Barr has received the report.
Barr has told congressional leaders he is “reviewing the report and anticipate that [he] may be in a position to advise [them] of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.” Meanwhile, Mueller has indicated that there are no further indictments expected.
.@FoxNews: DOJ source says Mueller not recommending new indictments.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) March 22, 2019
Next, a debate will ensue between Barr, the White House and lawmakers over how much of the report will be made public.
It is long past time for @realDonaldTrump to now declassify everything related to DOJ/FBI surveillance of his campaign and administration, illegal leaks of top secret information, and corrupt operation of America’s top law enforcement agencies. The public deserves to know.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) March 22, 2019
Of note, Barr told Congress in a letter that Mueller did not overreach his mandate during his investigation.
“Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with “a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General” or acting Attorney General “concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.”
“There were no such instances,” writes Barr.
Well that’s going to make it a bit harder for the MSM and Dems to spin but they’ll do it anyway. https://t.co/ZMa90ISlcF
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 22, 2019
In total, Mueller was able to net five guilty pleas for crimes almost exclusively unrelated to wrongdoing by President Trump or his campaign, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
the full extent of what Mueller learned hasn’t been revealed — and may not be if he or Barr decide to withhold details that the special counsel didn’t feel involved crimes he felt he could prosecute.
Mueller’s decision to issue a final report indicates that he chose not to indict other major figures in his investigation, including members of Trump’s family and the president. However, if he secured any indictments under seal, they could be handed off to other elements of the Justice Department, such as a U.S. attorney’s office. –Bloomberg
We now get to look forward to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and other Democratic lawmakers, who now control the house, continuing the investigation and Russian collusion and “literally anything else” they can come up with. In fact, probably right up until the 2020 election. We would imagine a sharp dropoff in accusations upon a second Trump victory.
We understand that they have discussed issuing subpoenas to force disclosure and perhaps even public testimony from Mueller.
“We’re going to insist on the underlying evidence,” said Schiff in February on ABC‘s “This Week.”
“If you take the position that the president cannot be indicted, and the only remedy for improper, illegal or other conduct is impeachment, then you cannot withhold that information from Congress, or essentially the president has immunity,” he added.
In a statement following Friday afternoon’s news, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said “Barr must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence,” and that the White House should not “interfere in decisions” related to how much should be made public.”
U.S. House judiciary panel told to expect Mueller report at 5 p.m. ET, according to media reports pic.twitter.com/Mo4G7XAoPN
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 22, 2019
Old Chuck: We need legislation to protect Bob Mueller.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) March 22, 2019
We wonder why it hasn’t leaked by now? Surely the anti-Trump media has friends in high enough places based on their network of “anonymous sources.”
Conservatives have been celebrating the late Friday submission as a win, following several rumors that Democrats would be dealt a “dud.”
5 things that didn't happen in Mueller probe: 1) Did not indict Trump Jr, Kushner, or others said to be in jeopardy. 2) Did not charge anyone in Trump campaign/circle with conspiring with Russia to fix 2016 election 1/2 https://t.co/irQR62869v
— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 22, 2019
3) Mueller did not subpoena the president. 4) The president did not fire Mueller. 5) The president did not interfere with with Mueller probe. All 5 non-events were the subject of thousands of hours of media speculation. 2/2 https://t.co/atx2iYBPqY
— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 22, 2019
The Mueller report has been delivered to Attorney General Barr.
I repeat the Mueller Investigation is coming to an end and he’s delivered his report to the Attorney General.
Can’t wait to see the excuses when Trump is not charged. CNN & MSNBC made fools of themselves.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) March 22, 2019