Weeks after special counsel Robert Mueller turned in his lengthy probe to Attorney General William Barr, the redacted report was released to the public Thursday.
Two years in the making, the scrubbed report’s release signifies the end of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. And while President Donald Trump and his camp are taking a victory lap, the redacted report’s release is almost certainly just the beginning of a bitter bipartisan battle.
Here’s a look at what’s to come.
Barr has volunteered to testify before the Senate and House judiciary committees May 1 and 2, when lawmakers are likely to bombard the attorney general with questions on the investigation.
He also spoke before Senate and House subcommittees last week, where he doubled down on his four-page summary’s stance on the investigation after some Democrats suggested the memo cast the report as overly favorable to the president. After Mueller’s report was made public, top Democrats said there were differences between Barr’s summary and the actual report, indicating he could face tough questioning next month.
If the House Judiciary Committee gets its way, yes. The committee’s top members have called on Mueller to testify following receipt of the full report and Barr’s testimony in early May.
Mueller has not made any public statements about the report or his plans to testify.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) said it was necessary for the special counsel to testify before the committee “as soon as possible so we can get some answers to these critical questions. Because we clearly can’t believe what Attorney General Barr tells us. ... Responsibility now falls to Congress to hold the president accountable for his actions.”
Barr said he expected Mueller would testify in the “next couple weeks.”
Saying they believe Barr is protecting the president by not publicly sharing the full Mueller investigation, Democrats are likely to press the attorney general to turn over the full report.
The House Judiciary Committee has already voted to authorize a subpoena for Mueller’s full report and all evidence gathered by investigators. A court battle could ensue.
Shortly after the report was released Thursday, Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) also vowed to “continue to press to release grand jury information and all the underlying evidence that is not protected due to intelligence concerns.”
While Washington breathlessly waited for the release of Mueller’s findings, Trump’s legal team said it was preparing a “counter-report” rebutting the special counsel’s investigation. The president has repeatedly railed against the investigation, referring to the probe as a “witch hunt.”
The counter-report, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Politico, was expected to be 34 or 35 pages long.
However, as of Thursday afternoon, the decision to release a counter-report no longer seemed guaranteed, with Giuliani saying there wasn’t enough new information for the Trump team to put out a report.
While the Justice Department has indicated no further indictments were expected from Mueller’s investigation, that doesn’t mean those involved in the Russia probe who remain unindicted are off the legal hook. Federal, state, and congressional investigations into potential crimes related to the Mueller probe are underway, including multiple investigations into the president’s inner circle by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.