Robert Mueller submits Russia report
Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are working together reviewing and analyzing special counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report this weekend along with a select few advisers, according to a Justice Department official familiar with the process.
The official told CNN that Barr and Rosenstein are still at the Justice Department at this hour, and the “principal conclusions” that Barr promised lawmakers will be derived from the special counsel’s report.
The official said Barr has conveyed to his team that he still wants to get the conclusions to the Hill this weekend, though CNN reported that it's not happening today.
The official also said the expectation continues to be that the document sent to Congress with the conclusions will be made public.
Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates’ case before Judge Amy Berman Jackson will be handed off to the DC US Attorney’s Office, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office said Saturday.
Gates continues to cooperate with prosecutors in several investigations and his sentencing before Jackson has been put off for more than a year since he pleaded guilty to two charges.
On Friday, Mueller handed his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election over to the Justice Department. His office is not recommending any new indictments.
Two other pending court cases that Mueller’s team alone had handled -- the criminal prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the pursuit of grand jury testimony from Andrew Miller, who is an associate of Roger Stone -- do not yet have hand-off plans finalized.
The DC US Attorney’s Office is already involved in several of the other ongoing criminal cases brought by Mueller, including against Roger Stone, the accused Russian “troll farm” backer Concord Management and Consulting and a fight for subpoenaed documents from an unnamed foreign-owned company.
Jessie Liu, the current DC US Attorney, is President Donald Trump’s pick to be the associate attorney general, the No. 3 position at the DOJ.
Attorney General William Barr is not sending the “principal conclusions” of the special counsel's report to lawmakers today, multiple Congressional sources and a DOJ official tell CNN.
In a letter to lawmakers yesterday, Barr wrote that he may be in a position to share them “this weekend.”
An aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary committee, says her office doesn't expect to receive an oral briefing from Attorney General William Barr or the Justice Department on special counsel Robert Mueller's report findings, rather it would be provided in writing, perhaps via email.
Attorney General Bill Barr will continue reviewing special counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report today at the Justice Department, according to a Justice official.
Barr arrived at the Justice Department shortly before 10 a.m., ET.
In his letter to lawmakers on Friday, Barr wrote that he may be able to release the "principal conclusions" of the report as soon as this weekend.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's motorcade arrived at the Justice Department shortly after Barr.
Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, vowed to "argue vociferously" to have special counsel Robert Mueller testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Cicilline told CNN Mueller's testimony would be valuable because he'd able to "walk the country through the report, walk the country through the findings he made, the evidence he collected, the conclusions he came to."
"This is about safeguarding our democracy, about understanding an attack by a foreign adversary. We invested a lot into this investigation, resources of the people of this country, and I think we owe it to them they fully understand what this report concludes and what the conclusions of the special counsel were and I think it would be very helpful to have Mr. Mueller come before the committee and really walk through paragraph by paragraph and explain it to the American people," he said Friday night.
Watch the moment:
The Republican National Committee is putting a positive spin on special counsel Robert Muller’s report Friday evening.
In talking points provided to its lists of supporters and obtained by CNN, the RNC says, “After two years, millions of taxpayer dollars, and multiple Congressional investigations confirming there was no collusion, it’s good this report has finally concluded.”
Though the reports findings have yet to be made public, the RNC is emphasizing that Mueller is not recommending any new indictments. Additionally, the talking points highlight that, “Since day one, the White House and Trump campaign have cooperated with investigators, turned over millions of pages of documents and participated in dozens of interviews.”
The talking points also slam the “dead wrong” speculation that there was interference with the special counsel during the investigation.
“As Attorney General Barr noted, the special counsel was able to complete the report without interference from the Department of Justice,” the talking points say.
The RNC also calls on Democrats to “drop their politically-motivated calls for never-ending investigations.”
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the Department of Justice to release special counsel Robert Mueller's final report to Attorney General William Barr regarding the prosecutorial decisions in his investigation— and other nonpublic records from the investigation.
The new Freedom of Information Act lawsuit came less than two hours after the Justice Department announced the Mueller investigation’s wrapped up Friday night.
The group also points out to the court a number of other documents Mueller was to prepare and transmit to the attorney general during his tenure.
“The public has a right to know the full scope of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and whether the President of the United States played any role in such interference,” the government transparency advocacy group wrote in the lawsuit in DC federal court. “The public also has a right to know whether the President unlawfully obstructed any investigation into Russian election interference or related matters. The requested records are vital to the public’s understanding of these issues and to the integrity of the political system of the United States.”
The group first asked the Justice Department in November 2018 for a wide swath of non-public records in the special counsel investigation.
The Justice Department said the unusual circumstances of the request allowed the agency more time to decide what to release — but DOJ also noted it could not “identify a particular urgency” to get information to the public quickly, according to the lawsuit.
Many other lawsuits already exist in the same federal court, from other groups seeking slivers of documents and disclosures related to Mueller’s investigation. Some have been successful to a limited extent, winning the public release so far of emails between the special counsel’s office and the media, and, in other situations, the unsealing of some court records, for instance.
The White House and President Trump's advisers are already framing today’s development as a positive sign.
One person told CNN “we won” and that the campaign has been absolved because there weren’t any charges related to conspiracy or obstruction.
“Zero indictments means we’re clear,” the source said. The source also said it’s an embarrassment for Democrats.
One White House official added “the fat lady has sung.”
The official also pointed out not one single Trump associate has been (or will be) charged with any collusion or any wrongdoing on the campaign or while Trump was in office.
The source added that it’s “absolutely embarrassing” for Democrats and the media who have been saying collusion for more than two years.
A Trump campaign adviser told CNN that "it’s a great day for America ... we won.”