Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just submitted a report about his Trump-Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr, according to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other major news outlets. This of course raises more questions than answers, but suffice it to say that things are about to get very real.
As of this moment, there are no real details available about what Robert Mueller’s report says, or what it even covers. Some major news outlets are characterizing the submission of this report as the “end” of Mueller’s investigation, but we’re not sure we buy that notion, considering that just a few hours ago evidence surfaced that Mueller’s grand jury is still ongoing in at least one criminal case. Regardless, all heck is about to break loose in rapid fashion. Here’s what you can expect.
William Barr now has to decide how much of Robert Mueller’s report to give to Congress. Keep in mind that whatever Barr gives to Congress, it’ll almost surely get promptly leaked to the public. Barr knows this, so he could decide to make a simultaneous public release. In any case, if the Democrats in Congress believe that Barr’s version of the Mueller report is incomplete or inaccurate, they’ll quickly take steps to get their hands on the whole thing.
We’ll see what happens on the indictment front. Rudy Giuliani has spent all day insisting that Robert Mueller won’t bring any more indictments, but he’s consistently unreliable, and again, as of today Mueller is still trying to push a witness into appearing before a grand jury, whose sole purpose is to bring indictments. If Mueller has built criminal cases against additional people, he can easily hand them off to the SDNY or other permanent federal prosecutors. If there are sealed indictments in play, they could surface at any moment for all we know.
Of course the central question here is what Robert Mueller’s report reveals about Donald Trump’s crimes, the Trump 2016 campaign’s criminal connections to the Kremlin, and what the Trump-Russia scandal was really all about. We’re about to officially find out soon. In the meantime, expect Trump’s allies to spin this report as inaccurately as possible, even as pundits everywhere are left to take mere guesses about what’s in it. Take everything you hear today with a grain of salt.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report