After Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed his long-awaited report on its Russia investigation with the attorney general, the mainstream media appeared stunned by the revelation that there would be no further indictments.
According to a letter Attorney General William Barr sent to several senators, Mueller had concluded “his investigation of the Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters.” And is “not recommending any further indictments,” a senior DOJ official told multiple news outlets after the report was filed.
Attorney General William Barr letter to House & Senate Judiciary Committees Chairs & Ranking Members on Mueller Report pic.twitter.com/2XAlkLnBgT
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 22, 2019
A number of television personalities across multiple networks and Hollywood weighed in on the breaking news on March 22.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews appeared livid upon hearing reports that Mueller had handed his report to the Department of Justice. He said he found it “startling” that there were no further indictments and was upset that Mueller had never interviewed President Donald Trump in relation to the Russian investigation.
“Why was there never an interrogation of this president? We were told for weeks by experts, ‘You cannot deal with an obstruction-of-justice charge or investigation without getting the motive. … How could they let Trump off the hook?” Matthews asked during his show.
“He will not be charged with obstruction or of collusion without ever having to sit down with the Special Counsel Mueller and answer his damn questions. How could that happen?”
The liberal cable news host also looked visibly upset that there were no new indictments for Trump and his associates. He said, “How can the president be pointed to as leading collusion with Russia, aiding a Russian conspiracy to interfere with our elections if none of his henchmen, none of his children, none of his associates have been indicted?”
When guest speaker, NBC News national security reporter Ken Dilanian, suggested that the president couldn’t be indicted in a criminal sense as Mueller did not have the evidence, Matthews responded saying, “Maybe [Mueller] missed the boat here. Because we know about the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, we know about the meeting at the cigar bar with [Konstantin] Kilimnik. My God, we know about all of those meetings with [Sergey] Kislyak at the Republican convention in Cleveland. All these dots we’re now to believe don’t connect.”
Dilanian said, “Well, that’s the conclusion in front of us. All of that stuff was suggestive, it didn’t prove anything.”
CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also shared his thoughts on the news. He said the lack of indictments is “really good news for a lot of people around Donald Trump.”
“Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Jerome Corsi, the writer who had a draft indictment presented to him by Mueller’s office and they decided not to go forward with this. Let’s be fair here. There has been a lot of suspicion around certain people. And a lot of negative things have been said and imputation of criminal activity,” Toobin said.
“Mueller has said, I am not proceeding. There is no better news to receive than you are not being indicted by the United States government,” he added.
Similarly, Jim Acosta, CNN’s White House correspondent, reported that the White House was “celebrating quietly” after learning there were no new indictments. He told “AC360” anchor’s Anderson Cooper that the Trump administration was reacting to the news with “a fair amount of glee.”
“I talked to a Trump campaign adviser earlier this evening who said, ‘This was a great day for America and we won,’” Acosta said. “That’s how they feel right now.”
Liberal celebrities have taken to social media to share their reactions on the report’s filing.
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time, started the conversation about the Russian investigation by asking, “Did the Democrats put too much trust in the Mueller report? Because I don’t need the Mueller report to know he’s a traitor. I have a TV.”
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) March 23, 2019
Other stars also appeared surprised and upset by the conclusion of the investigation.
“It really doesn’t matter what’s in the Mueller report. If you’re waiting on THAT to determine he’s a lying, cheating, felon-you haven’t been paying attention,” screenwriter Molly McNearney tweeted.
It really doesn’t matter what’s in the Mueller report. If you’re waiting on THAT to determine he’s a lying, cheating, felon-you haven’t been paying attention.
— Molly McNearney (@mollymcnearney) March 22, 2019
Meanwhile, actor Jim Carrey wrote, “The Mueller report is out! The question now is…how low will this Barr go?”
The Mueller report is out! The question now is…how low will this Barr go? pic.twitter.com/IveGZzlcRo
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 22, 2019
The report is confidential and marks the end of Mueller’s Russia probe.
The letter also revealed that Barr intends to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller “to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the Special Counsel regulations, and the Department’s long-standing practices and policies.”
“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible,” Barr said in the letter. “And I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.”
On March 23, a senior Justice Department official told Fox News that Barr will not be sending the conclusion to Congress today.
“The Attorney General wants to get this out tonight,” the source said told the news website. “It will hit what is on everyone’s minds—no parsing of words, no games.”