Robert Mueller wrapping up two-year probe

Washington Post,
Publish Date
Friday, 22 February 2019, 3:47PM
Special counsel Robert Muellers Russia investigation is nearing an end. Photo / AP
Special counsel Robert Muellers Russia investigation is nearing an end. Photo / AP

US Justice Department officials are preparing for the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and believe a confidential report could be issued in coming days.

The Special Counsel's investigation has consumed Washington since it began in May 2017, and it increasingly appears to be nearing its end.

Mueller could deliver his report to Attorney-General William Barr next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Regulations call for Mueller to submit to the attorney-general a confidential explanation as to why he decided to charge certain individuals, as well as who else he investigated and why he decided not to charge those people. The regulations then call for the attorney-general to report to Congress about the investigation.

An adviser to President Donald Trump said there is palpable concern among the President's inner circle that the report might contain information about Trump and his team that is politically damaging, but not criminal conduct.

Even before he was confirmed by the Senate, Barr had preliminary discussions about the logistics surrounding the conclusion of Mueller's inquiry, a second person said.

CNN first reported yesterday that Mueller could send a report to Barr as early as next week.

How detailed either Mueller's report or the attorney-general's summary of the findings will be is unclear. Lawmakers have demanded that Mueller's report be made public, but Barr has been noncommittal on that point, saying he intends to be as forthcoming as regulations and department practice allow. He has pointed, however, to Justice Department practices that insist on saying little or nothing about conduct that does not lead to criminal charges.

The end of the probe would not mean the end of criminal investigations connected to the president. Federal prosecutors in New York, for instance, are exploring whether corrupt payments were made in connection with Trump's inaugural committee funding.

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