WASHINGTON – Special counsel Robert Mueller has finished his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
After a 22-month investigation, charges against 37 defendants, seven guilty pleas and one conviction at trial, the Justice Department announced Friday that the special counsel’s office has wrapped up its probe into Russian election interference, possible Trump campaign collusion with Moscow and obstruction of justice.
The Justice Department informed Congress in a brief letter that Mueller has submitted a confidential report to Attorney General William Barr detailing the decisions his team made to prosecute or not prosecute those who were investigated.
Barr said he may provide Congress with “the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”
A Justice Department official described the report as “comprehensive.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House has not seen Mueller’s findings.
“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” Sanders said in a statement.
The completion of the special counsel’s investigation marks the end of one of the most dramatic chapters in Donald Trump’s presidency, one that led to numerous indictments against and guilty pleas by some of his closest associates. The conclusion of the investigation, however, opens a new chapter into the fallout from the report and a potentially fraught political battle over the extent to which its contents are made public.
It’s too soon to say what Mueller’s report will ultimately mean for the president but surviving the investigation without being subpoenaed for a sit-down interview with the special counsel’s team is a significant victory for Trump and his legal team.
It’s also not clear what Mueller uncovered about Trump’s involvement or advance knowledge, if any, of WikiLeaks release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The special counsel’s findings on the question of obstruction of justice are also unknown, but Trump’s allies will likely argue anything short of a criminal indictment proves the president did nothing wrong.
This story is breaking and will be updated.