Special Counsel Sends Final Report to DOJ, Appears to Recommend No Further Indictments

By Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.
March 22, 2019 Updated: March 23, 2019

Special counsel Robert Mueller has sent his long-awaited report to Attorney General William Barr, according to a letter from Barr to several Senators.

“Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of the Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters,” the letter said.

Mueller is “not recommending any further indictments,” a senior DOJ official told Fox News.

President Donald Trump has not received the report yet, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a March 22 statement.

“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course,” she said. “The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”

The report is confidential, Barr’s letter reads, and marks the end of Mueller’s Russia probe.

Barr said he 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. “And I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.”

The letter also stated the attorney general “may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”

The letter was sent to chairs and ranking members of the judiciary committees in both the Senate and the House: Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.)

The Special Counsel’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mueller’s Journey

Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign in such interference, as well as any matters that arose from the probe. The scope of the probe was provided by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and was revised in August 2017, most of which remains heavily redacted (pdf). As a result, the full purpose of this memo remains unknown to the public.

The special counsel has secured indictments against some two dozen Russians, who are unlikely to ever appear in court, for alleged election meddling and cyber intrusions. He also indicted several Trump campaign associates for process crimes or violations unrelated to the Russian interference. None of the indictments substantiated the collusion allegations.

Several prominent prosecutors left Mueller’s office in recent months, hinting his final report was about to drop. Former-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Jan. 28 he thought the probe is “close to being completed.”

President Donald Trump recently said he wouldn’t mind having the upcoming Mueller report publicly released.

“Let it come out, let people see it,” Trump told reporters on March 20. “That’s up to the Attorney General … and we’ll see what happens.”

The President also said, he “look[s] forward to seeing the report.”

Trump has repeatedly slammed the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt.”

‘Angry Democrats’

Of Mueller’s team, most worked at the Department of Justice or FBI headquarters during the Obama administration. At least 13 are registered Democrats, according to The Daily Caller. That’s why Trump dubbed the Mueller team “13 Angry Democrats.”

At least 11 of them made campaign contributions to Democratic candidates, mostly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. None are currently registered as Republican.

At least two people were removed from or left the Mueller team due to bias against Trump in their internal communications. One was former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and the other was identified by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) as Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI attorney.

Lisa Page, former special counsel to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, left the Mueller probe before texts with Strzok emerged, revealing strong animus against Trump. She was also Strzok’s mistress.

Trump’s new attorney general, William Barr, committed during his Jan. 15 confirmation hearing to releasing as much of the Mueller report as laws and regulations allow.

Probe the Probe

Barr said he was shocked to see the text messages between Strzok and Page. Upon a request from Justice Committee Chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), he committed to find out if the FBI’s Russia investigation, which Mueller eventually took over, was conducted appropriately.

In 2016, the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to spy on Trump 2016 presidential campaign associate Carter Page, and in the warrant, the FBI used the Steele Dossier, a collection of unsubstantiated claims about Trump-Russia ties compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was commissioned by the Democratic National Committee and the 2016 presidential campaign of former State Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Evidence has since emerged that officials were aware the dossier is unverified and its source politically biased.

Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.