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U.S Justice Dept. expecting Mueller Report

February 22, 2019 | Expert Insights

The U.S. Department of Justice may announce that special counsel Robert Mueller has given the attorney general his report on the federal Russia investigation. After the expected announcement, U.S. Attorney General William Barr will review Mueller’s findings and submit his own summary to Congress.


The ongoing Special Counsel Investigation also referred to as the Mueller Probe or Mueller Investigation is a United States law enforcement and counterintelligence investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The order appointing the special counsel is dated May 17, 2017.

The investigation includes possible links or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government and any matters that arise directly from the investigation. The scope of the investigation includes potential obstruction of justice by Trump and others. 

Conducted by the U.S Department of Justice Special Counsel’s Office, the investigation is headed by Robert Mueller, a Republican and former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Mueller has also taken over other FBI investigations, including those into former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.


The report filed with the U.S General Attorney’s office will be confidential while Mueller will have to explain his decisions at the conclusion of his work. Attorney General Barr has discretion over the information that is made public and will most likely limit the disclosure.

Trump has denied any collusion and repeatedly slammed the Russia probe as a “witch hunt.” Moscow has also denied the allegations against them. So far, 34 individuals and three companies have pleaded guilty, been indicted or otherwise been swept up in the inquiry, including several former Trump advisers.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have said that they plan on using Mueller’s court filings to paint a picture of wrongdoing by Trump’s advisers. The probe has also spawned several other investigations that are being handled by other offices, which will be carried on even after Mueller’s report is filed.

Robert Mueller has been successful at extracting guilty pleas from a number of Trump’s associates. Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight felony counts of financial crimes in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, following which he pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S and obstruction of justice. Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn also pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

Mueller further secured pleas from Manafort's business partner, Rick Gates, Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan, former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, lobbyist W. Samuel Patten, and Richard Pinedo. All of them agreeing to cooperate as witnesses in the investigation. In February 2018, he indicted 13 Russian citizens and 3 companies, the Internet Research Agency being the most notable one. Another group of 12 members belonging to a cyber espionage group Fancy Bear were indicted in July 2018.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was also under investigation. He was referred to the US Attorney's office of the Southern District of New York. Roger Stone, one of Trump’s longest advisors was indicted of seven charges in January 2019.

On January 30, 2019, an FBI court filing revealed that someone located in Russia was also attempting to discredit the special counsel investigation through Twitter. Russian people have also sent falsified documents to reporters.

Trump and his supporters have criticized the expenditure related to the investigation. By December 2018, the probe had approximately cost $25 million, while gaining about $48 million through legal asset seizures.

After accepting the report, the attorney general has to inform the Judiciary committees of Congress of the findings. Barr has just been appointed the Attorney General after the previous general, Jeff Sessions, resigned in November at Trump’s request. He has previously served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush between 1991 and 1993.


Our assessment is that the report could be submitted by early next week. Barr, who was confirmed by the Senate last week, said during his confirmation hearings that he would make public as many of Mueller’s findings as possible. The findings, although confidential, could change the political outlook of the U.S.