Eli Ridder | Report
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday handed in a highly-awaited report on his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and potential wrongdoing by President Donald Trump, the Justice Department said.
Mueller handed over the completed report to the top U.S. law enforcement official, Attorney General William Barr, the agency said. The report was not immediately made public and no details are known from document, including whether any criminal conduct was found beyond the charges already laid against campaign aides.
Mueller did not recommend any further indictments, a Justice Department official said. Any further prosecution would come from the Southern District of New York as the special counsel’s office winds down.
Barr said that he may send Congress a summary of the findings by “the weekend”. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said soon after the story broke that the next steps are up to the attorney general, and that she looks forward to “the process taking its course”.
“The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” Sanders added in her statement.
Democrats have already started to call for the probe to be made public in full.
Russia has denied election interference and Trump has denied collusion and obstruction.
The Russia probe has severally impacted the Trump presidency, making headlines often as actors close to the president were ensnared in charges that stemmed from Mueller’s work, though the charges were not necessarily collusion-related.
Ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and national security Michael Flynn have all either been convicted or pleaded guilty to charges that have been brought against them by Mueller. More than 30 others have been charged as part of the probe.
These cases will likely be taken over by the Justice Department and continued by prosecutors from the agency.
At-large is the answer to the question of whether the report contains allegations of criminal wrongdoing by the president himself, currently unknown.
It was opened in 2017 by ex-Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein General after the recusal of the then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Earlier on Friday, Trump continued his efforts to undermine the Mueller report on Fox Business, saying that “people will not stand for it”. The president has not made any statement since the report was delivered around 5 p.m. on Friday.
The White House was reportedly made aware about 20 minutes before the report was delivered.
As of Friday evening, there are 10 remaining prosecutors in the special counsel’s office in Washington, D.C. — six from the Justice Department and four from private practice, spokesman Peter Carr said.
Trump himself is in Palm Beach, Florida where a Republican Party dinner was scheduled take place at the Mar-a-Lago Resort, where the president is a frequent visitor. Several reports indicate that the usually more relaxed presence of staffers around Trump in Florida has been increasing as advisors flock to his side.
Image from previous files.