Mueller report: Here's what you need to know ahead of its release
WASHINGTON - Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full, albeit redacted, Trump-Russia report will be released on Thursday, the Justice Department said.
Though Attorney General William Barr has already summarized the report's key findings in a letter, this will be the first time that the public will lay eyes on the results of Mueller's complete investigation, which has taken place over the span of nearly two years.
The redacted report from the probe will be sent to Congress and also made available to the public, DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said. Mueller sent his final report to Barr on March 22.
Here is a look at what you can expect to see when the report is released:
The report will likely be redacted and color-coded.
Barr has said he is redacting four types of information from the nearly 400-page report: grand jury information, classified information, ongoing investigations and derogatory information.
The redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by notes explaining the decision to withhold information, he said.
New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler has said he is prepared to issue subpoenas “very quickly” for the full report if it is released with blacked-out sections. That would set a potentially long-lasting legal battle in motion.
"Because we may have to go to court to obtain the complete text of the special counsel's report, and because the president may attempt to invoke executive privilege to withhold that evidence from us, it is imperative that the committee take possession of these documents, and others, without delay," Nadler said earlier this month.
Congressional Democrats cite precedent from previous investigations in saying they want to see it all.
But some Republicans defending Barr are also citing precedent, saying it is appropriate to keep at least some of the information from Congress and the public.
Barr also said that he could be open to releasing some redacted details after consulting with congressional leaders, though he said he did not have plans to ask a court for permission to disclose secret grand jury testimony.
There will be a DOJ press conference ahead of the report's release.
Barr will hold a press conference at the Department of Justice at 9:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, while the report will be released at 11 a.m.
But Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday tweeted “this is wrong” regarding the press conference's planned occurrence prior to the report’s release.
“I’m deeply troubled by reports that the WH is being briefed on the Mueller report AHEAD of its release,” Nadler tweeted.
Attorney General William Barr previously said the report's conclusions indicated no criminal conspiracy.
The report's release will be a test of Barr's credibility as the public and Congress judge the veracity of a four-page letter he released relaying Mueller's “principal conclusions.”
Barr’s letter said Mueller didn't find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government but found evidence on "both sides" of the question of whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
In his letter, Barr noted that Mueller's team did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice. Mueller also did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice; instead, he presented evidence on both sides of that question.
But Barr has made his own decision that Trump shouldn't be prosecuted for obstruction.
Barr will testify before Congress about the report following its release. Democrats are calling on Mueller to do the same.
Rep. Nita Lowey, the Democratic chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said she was taken aback that Barr had reduced Mueller's report to a four-page letter in just two days. "Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it's more suspicious than impressive," Lowey said.
Barr is to testify on the report itself at separate hearings before the Senate and House Judiciary committees on May 1 and May 2.
Nadler confirmed the May 2 date on Twitter and said he would like Mueller to testify. Other Democrats are also calling on the special counsel to testify.
There will be a rebuttal from President Donald Trump's attorneys.
Meanwhile, Trump and his allies have unleashed a series of broadsides against Mueller's team and the Democrats pushing for full release of the final report.
“No Collusion - No Obstruction!” the president tweeted on Tuesday.
Trump's lawyers are also putting the finishing touches on a rebuttal to Mueller's report.
Rudy Giuliani, one of the president's attorneys, said Tuesday that their document will be dozens of pages long. He said it will be published in the hours after the release of Mueller's report.
Overall, Mueller brought charges against 34 people — including six Trump aides and advisers — and revealed a sophisticated, wide-ranging Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. Twenty-five of those charged were Russians accused either in the hacking of Democratic email accounts or of a hidden but powerful social media effort to spread disinformation online.
Five former Trump aides or advisers pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in Mueller's investigation, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. A sixth, longtime confidant Roger Stone, is awaiting trial on charges including false statements and obstruction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.