A month after reports first surfaced that Robert Mueller was close to submitting his final report to Attorney General William Barr, the day finally arrived.
The special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election “and related matters” is complete. And “Bobby Three Sticks” has in fact delivered his confidential report to the Department of Justice.
“The investigation is complete. It’s concluded”, a DoJ spokeswoman said Friday.
“Special Counsel Mueller will be concluding his service in the coming days,” his spokesman Peter Carr said in an email to reporters, adding that “a small number of staff will remain to assist in closing the operations of the office for a period of time.”
In a letter to Lindsey Graham, Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Nadler and Doug Collins, Barr contended that he “may be in a position to advise” Congress of Mueller’s “principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”
Here is that letter:
As you can see, Barr intends to do some “consulting” with both Rod Rosenstein and Mueller himself in order to figure out what information beyond the principal conclusions can be shared with Congress and the public “consistent with the law”.
That is generally “consistent” with Barr’s answers when pressed by Congress during his confirmation hearing about whether he would commit to total transparency with regard to the report.
As ever, it really doesn’t matter what Barr decides. There is no chance that this doesn’t ultimately leak and even if, by some miracle, Barr’s DoJ manages to suppress it, Democrats on the Hill have made it clear they’ll move heaven and earth to ensure a coverup isn’t possible (that all-hands-on-deck effort would include subpoenas and, if necessary, lawsuits).
Critically, no additional indictments from Mueller are forthcoming which means that, at least as far as the special counsel probe itself is concerned, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner escaped without being criminally charged. Obviously, the same cannot be said for many of the other unfortunate souls close to the president and his campaign.
Jerry Nadler – who issued sweeping document requests earlier this month as part of what looks to be a long-shot impeachment bid – said this on Twitter:
We look forward to getting the full Mueller report and related materials. Transparency and the public interest demand nothing less. The need for public faith in the rule of law must be the priority.
“I fully expect the Justice Department to release the special counsel’s report to this committee and to the public without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law”, Doug Collins said.
Here is the full joint statement from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi:
Speaking to reporters on Friday evening, Schumer made it clear he won’t “draw any conclusions” yet.
Mitch McConnell echoed calls for transparency and openness, although you can take that with a grain of salt.
Predictably, Mark Meadows is already saying there’s “no collusion” despite having no clue what the report actually says. Here’s his “official” statement via Twitter:
The Mueller report delivery suggests no more indictments are coming from the Special Counsel. If that’s true, it would mean we just completed 2 years of investigating ‘Russian collusion’ without ONE collusion related indictment. Not even one.
Why? Because there was no collusion
Friday marks the beginning of a fight that could end up in the high court and could, ultimately, lead to Trump’s removal from office, although it is impossible to predict how this will play out.
Irrespective of what the report shows (or doesn’t show), Trump’s legal hell will drag on for the foreseeable future and will likely haunt his children’s children’s children. Trump’s “brand”, to the extent it had any shred of legitimacy prior to his presidency, is tarnished forever.
One thing we know for sure is that Trump will find some way to spin the conclusions as favorable to him. You can expect to hear “totally vindicated” or some derivation thereof from his Twitter account at some point.
As you go about your weekend routine, remember that the standard greeting whenever you approach a friend, a family member or a total stranger is now “no collusion, no collusion”.
Amusingly, Trump – who is in Mar-a-Lago – was on the phone with Angela Merkel when the news broke.
After initially insisting the president’s legal team welcomed the report and will allow Barr to make a determination about where things go, Rudy Giuliani would later say Trump’s lawyers will request an early look at the findings before anything is made available to the public.
The president never sat for a formal interview with Mueller.
And Mueller never said a word publicly.