Mueller report to be made public on Thursday

Redacted report will be sent to Congress and made available to public

US attorney general William Barr has already released a four-page letter to Congress that detailed Mr Mueller’s ‘principal conclusions’ from the report. Photograph: Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg

US attorney general William Barr has already released a four-page letter to Congress that detailed Mr Mueller’s ‘principal conclusions’ from the report. Photograph: Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg

 

The US department of justice plans to release a redacted version of Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on Thursday in what will be a pivotal moment for Donald Trump’s presidency.

The publication of the nearly 400-page account of the special counsel’s investigation is expected to provide at least some answers to questions about links between Mr Trump and Russia, as well as claims that the president attempted to obstruct justice.

William Barr, the attorney-general, has said the special counsel did not establish any conspiracy between Mr Trump and the Russian government, and did not decide one way or the other on obstruction.

The expected release date, announced by a justice department spokesperson on Monday, means Washington will probably spend the Easter weekend poring over the document, digesting its implications and assessing the extent of redactions.

The report will lay out the reasons why Mr Mueller decided to bring prosecutions he has already announced and declined to bring others, while also outlining the evidence around the question of obstruction.

Mr Barr has said there will be four types of information redacted in the report, colour-coded by category. He has said Mr Mueller’s office was assisting with the redactions, which will cover secret grand jury material, sensitive intelligence information, material relating to ongoing investigations and anything that could affect the privacy and reputations of “peripheral” third parties.

The attorney general has come under fire from Democratic lawmakers for refusing to commit to hand over a full, unredacted version of the report, even if only to Congress. Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chair of the House judiciary committee, has prepared subpoenas for Mr Mueller’s full report and any underlying evidence.

Four-page letter

To date, Mr Barr has only provided a four-page letter that provided a limited glimpse into what he called Mr Mueller’s key conclusions, among them a statement that the report did not “conclude that the President committed a crime” of obstruction, but “also does not exonerate him”.

The attorney general, along with Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, decided Mr Trump had no criminal case to answer on obstruction. Mr Barr told Congress last week the report would explain Mr Mueller’s reasoning on the obstruction question. He said he would explain his own decision after the report’s release.

Mr Trump reacted on Twitter to the news of the report’s public release: “The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax. That is, never forget, the crime.........Since there was no Collusion, why was there an Investigation in the first place! Answer - Dirty Cops, Dems and Crooked Hillary!” – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019