The Mueller report: what we know and don’t know

Special counsel Robert Mueller has completed a report on his findings in the Trump-Russia investigation, the Justice Department announced Friday.

So far, the report’s actual details have not leaked. But Justice Department officials have been disclosing some procedural information about what the report looks like, and when the public might get to see it.

The latest is that Attorney General Bill Barr has been reviewing the report at the Justice Department Saturday, but he will not release any findings to Congress today.

We’ll collect the newest information about what government officials are saying — and the key questions that still need answers — in this post.

What Attorney General Bill Barr said in his letter to Congress

  • Mueller has “concluded his investigation.”
  • Mueller has submitted a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached — that is, whom he’s decided to prosecute and whom he opted against charging.
  • The report is now in the hands of Attorney General Bill Barr.
  • There were no instances in which a “proposed action” by Mueller was blocked by his Justice Department superiors due to being “inappropriate or unwarranted” under DOJ practices.
  • Barr says he “may be in a position to advise” Congress of Mueller’s “principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”
  • He says he’ll also “consult with” Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public.”

Other details the Justice Department has given reporters on background

  • A Justice spokesperson said a “comprehensive” document laying out “principal conclusions” that few people have seen will likely be given to Congress by Monday or earlier — and this document is expected to be made public as well, per ABC News’s Joshua Hoyos.
  • Mueller had the report delivered to the Justice Department this afternoon, and “just after 4:30 pm,” the Justice Department notified Emmet Flood, Trump’s top White House lawyer handling the Russia investigation, that the report was in, according to the New York Times’s Katie Benner.
  • Mueller is not recommending any further indictments, a Justice official told multiple reporters.
  • Barr and Rosenstein both were seen arriving at the Justice Department Saturday morning. The pair are reviewing the report together, a Justice official told Zoe Tillman of BuzzFeed News.)
  • Shortly after 1:20 pm Eastern on Saturday, a Justice official told multiple reporters that Mueller’s findings would not be submitted to Congress that day.

What we don’t know

  • We don’t know anything about what the report actually says about its central topics: Russian interference with the 2016 election, and obstruction of justice.
  • We don’t know how much of the report will be made public. The regulation governing Mueller’s work says the report is to be “confidential,” yet Barr has said he wants to make much of it public. Potential issues with this include grand jury secrecy laws and Justice Department policies not to release derogatory information about uncharged individuals.
  • It’s not clear whether the Mueller report will try to tell a comprehensive story and answer the public’s questions, or whether it will stick closely to the question of whether laws were broken.

Perhaps the biggest unanswered question is what the report will say about President Trump himself. Does it make clear Mueller does not believe Trump engaged in any criminal activity? Or does it lay out a prosecutorial fact pattern about the president, as a potential prelude to impeachment?


For more on the Mueller probe, follow Andrew Prokop on Twitter and check out Vox’s guide to the Trump-Russia investigation.