Questions raised as Mueller report revealed to be 300 pages long
Democrats press US attorney general to release special counsel’s findings in full
US attorney general William Barr leaves his house in McClean, Virginia, on Monday. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Robert Mueller’s still-secret report on alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s election campaign is more than 300 pages long, according to a US justice department official, raising further questions about what the special counsel uncovered during his almost two-year investigation.
Mr Mueller wrapped up his investigation last week and filed a confidential report to William Barr, the US attorney general. Mr Barr has thus far released only a four-page summary of the special counsel’s conclusions.
The attorney general said in a letter to Congress on Sunday that Mr Mueller had not established any crime of conspiracy between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Mr Barr said he and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had determined there was no case to bring on obstruction of justice.
The New York Times reported on Thursday the length of the final report, which Mr Barr has said he was continuing to review to see what more he could release. Democratic lawmakers are pushing for the publication of the full report.
The length of the document has dispelled speculation that Mr Mueller might have filed a relatively bare-bones account of his 22-month long investigation into possible links and co-ordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The justice department regulations he operated under required Mr Mueller to explain only the decisions he made about whether to prosecute or not prosecute.
On Sunday, Mr Barr said the special counsel had decided not to make a decision either way on whether Mr Trump obstructed justice. Mr Mueller had instead laid out evidence about Mr Trump’s actions, some of which were still unknown to the public, Mr Barr suggested in his letter.
Mr Barr is expected to release further details of Mr Mueller’s report in the coming weeks.
The report has already become a political flashpoint in Congress. Earlier this week, top Democrats called on Mr Barr to provide lawmakers with a full copy. Their demand came hours after Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, blocked an effort by Democrats to pass a resolution calling on the justice department to release the report. The same measure had already passed the House by a vote of 420-0.
Leading Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Mr Barr’s delay of the release had “too much of the odour of political expediency to help the man who appointed him, President Trump”.
Another senior Democrat, House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, also demanded the report’s release. “No, thank you, Mr Attorney General. We do not need your interpretation. Show us the report and we’ll come to our own conclusions,” she said.
Republicans have launched a counter-attack against Democrats since Mr Barr released his summary. Mr Trump used an early-morning Twitter post to assail Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, which is investigating Russia’s influence on US elections.
“Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” Mr Trump wrote. He did not give specifics of his accusations against Mr Schiff, who has not been accused by authorities of leaking classified information.– Financial Times/Reuters