The conclusion of the Mueller investigation into whether Trump colluded with Russia in the election has been submitted. And, Mueller’s report will be governed by rules written in the wake of the Starr Report. We explain.
Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
WASHINGTONÂ â€“ The Mueller investigation. Heard of it?
After a year and 10 months of suspense, special counsel Robert Mueller has completedÂ his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. And, well itâ€™s been a long time coming.
Thirty-four people have been indicted since Mueller opened his review in May 2017, including some of President Donald Trump’s closest advisers and Russian intelligence operatives. Muellerâ€™s investigation has already revealed many details about a sophisticated effort to influence the election and a campaign trying to benefit from that work.
But what his final report looks like remains a mystery.Â
Hereâ€™s your guide on what to expect from the Mueller report and what happens next now that Mueller is done: Â
What will beÂ in the report?
Muellerâ€™s confidential report will explainÂ why he filed the charges he didÂ during the investigation, and why he might have declined to bring charges against anyone else. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Friday it was “comprehensive,” but declined to elaborate.Â
More: Special counsel Robert Mueller delivers report marking end of investigation into Trump’s campaign, Russia
Sorry, but you probably won’t see the reportÂ
After all the anticipation (and nail biting), you probably wonâ€™t get to see the Mueller report. At least for a bit.Â
Why? Justice DepartmentÂ rulesÂ require that Mueller submit a â€œconfidentialâ€ report when his work is done. NowÂ his boss, Attorney General William Barr, gets to decide what happens. (Barr is the guy who will decide what the public can see, and when). The only thing Barr is required to reveal is whether Muellerâ€™s bosses ever overruled him, which he said Friday did not happen.Â
Trump has said he doesn’t have a problem with the report becoming public.Â
More: Robert Mueller has spent two years investigating Trump, and he hasn’t said a word. It’s possible he never will.
Will we ever hear from Mueller himself?Â
Those who know him are betting on no.Â
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Mueller isnâ€™t required to make public statements about his work, according to Justice Department rules, so he doesnâ€™t need to deliver a public record of his findings.
Plus, heâ€™s stayed quiet since he was tappedÂ in May 2017Â to head the probe, despite intense public interest and scrutiny (including from the president).
Those who know Mueller say he’s reluctant to speak publicly even when the circumstances seem to require it, so he’sÂ unlikely to do on his own at the end of this saga.Â
So, will Barr make the report public?
Now that Barr has announced the probe is complete,Â he says he could alert lawmakers in the coming days to its findings. Those findings will likely beÂ made public at the same time, according to aÂ Justice Department spokeswoman.Â
Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete, it was sent to Attorney General William Barr. What happens after that?
More: Read Attorney General Barr’s letter to Congress announcing end of Mueller’s Russia probe
BarrÂ said in a letter to CongressÂ Friday afternoonÂ thatÂ he was “reviewing the report, and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”Â
So, that means the public is likely to get some gist of what Mueller found in his lengthy investigation.Â
The claws are coming out
Congress wants to see Muellerâ€™s findings and isÂ preparing for a fight to see it.Â
Lawmakers from both parties â€” yes, both Republicans and Democrats â€” plan to press for accessÂ not just to the report but also to the evidence he gathered during the investigation.Â The demands would almost certainly set up a battle between Congress and the Justice Department.
More: What happens after Robert Mueller delivers his report? Congress braces for legal and political battles.
More: Rep. Adam Schiff: Democrats could sue if Robert Mueller’s Russia report isn’t made public
In particular, newly powerful House Democrats are exploring ways they could force the administration to turn over findings and evidence it might prefer to keep secret.Â
â€œWe expect the full report,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. “If we donâ€™t get it, weâ€™ll do what we have to do to get it. If that means subpoenaing it, weâ€™ll subpoena it.”
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voted 420-0 in March to insist that they get a complete copy of whatever Mueller turns in.
Will that be the end?
Mueller is just one of many potential legal problems for Trump and his inner circle. The list of investigations encircling the president seems to be growing by the day.Â
More: Michael Cohen’s testimony prompts a new question: In web of Trump investigations, is anyone safe?
Both the targets and the total number of investigations is unknown, but we know various probes have examined Trump’s campaign, family, charity foundation, inaugural committee and his businesses.
In New York:
- The state attorney general subpoenaed two banks this week for financial records relating to several Trump Organization projects,Â the New York TimesÂ reported.Â
- Federal prosecutors are still investigating campaign-finance violations within Trump’s campaign even after his former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violations stemming from hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen has said he made the payments at Trumpâ€™s direction.
- Cohen said heâ€™s been in â€œconstant contactâ€ with federal prosecutors in New York about other investigations, but wouldnâ€™t elaborate.
- Trumpâ€™sÂ inaugural committeeÂ was subpoenaed in FebruaryÂ as part of an investigation into the groupâ€™s fundraising activities.
- State authorities in New York have been investigating Trump’s private foundation.
In Washington and Maryland:Â
- Attorneys general inÂ Maryland and the District of ColumbiaÂ filed a lawsuit alleging Trump violated the Constitution’s Emolument’s clause, which bans gifts and payments from foreign governments. The case could allow officials some insight into Trump’s business dealings and potential conflicts of interests.Â
- Lawmakers are just getting started. The Democratic-led House JudiciaryÂ Committee opened a sweeping investigation this month into Trump and his associates,Â requesting documents from 81Â “agencies, entities, and individuals” connected to the administration and Trump’s private businesses.
- The House Oversight Committee is also examining a wide array of topics, including Trump’s communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House efforts in a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia, whether Trump played any part in securing top-secret security clearances for members of his family and whether Trump violated the Constitution by accepting profits from foreign governments. The Committee welcomed Cohen earlier this month, then laid out an investigative road map that could include other Trump Organization employees.
- The House Intelligence Committee is expanding its own investigation of Russian election interference.Â
Contributing: Kevin Johnson, Bart Jansen and Brad Heath
Attorney General William Barr has confirmed Robert Mueller has delivered his report upon completing his investigation into Russia meddling in 2016.