WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr was reviewing the special counsel’s confidential report on the Russia investigation Saturday to determine what should be made public after a nearly two-year probe that cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.
The Justice Department was expected to release the main findings as soon as Saturday, and Barr was at the department’s headquarters going over Robert Mueller’s report, a person familiar with the process said. The person requested anonymity to discuss Barr’s work.
The attorney general ignored reporters’ questions as he arrived at work.
Even with the details still under wraps, Friday’s end to the 22-month probe without additional indictments by Mueller was welcome news to some in Trump’s orbit who had feared a final round of charges could ensnare more Trump associates, including members of the president’s family.
The report was accessible to only a handful of Justice officials while Barr prepared to summarize the “principal conclusions.”
Trump, who has relentlessly criticized Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” was at his golf club in Florida on Saturday, and House Democrats were planning to gather by phone later in the day as they waited for Barr’s summary.
Word of the report’s delivery to Barr on Friday triggered reactions across Washington, including Democrats’ demands that it be quickly released to the public and Republicans’ contentions that it ended two years of wasted time and money.
The next step was up to Barr, who declared he was committed to transparency and speed.
The White House sought to keep some distance, saying it had not seen or been briefed on the report. Trump, surrounded by advisers and political supporters at his resort in Florida, stayed uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter.
With no details released at this point, it was not known whether Mueller’s report answers the core questions of his investigation: Did Trump’s campaign collude with the Kremlin to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of the celebrity businessman? Also, did Trump take steps later, including by firing his FBI director, to obstruct the probe?
But the delivery of the report does mean the investigation has concluded without any public charges of a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and Russia, or of obstruction by the president. A Justice Department official confirmed that Mueller was not recommending any further indictments.