Attorney General William Barr could release his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report in the Russia investigation as early this weekend, but multiple outlets are reporting that it will not be released Saturday.
The development comes one day after special counsel Robert Mueller turned in his highly anticipated final report in the Russia investigation Friday, sparking calls from lawmakers for the report to be released to Congress, and in some cases, released in some form to the public.
Barr previously said that he will advise top congressional committee members about details from the report that he can release “consistent with the law,” even saying the DOJ aims to put out a summary “as soon as this weekend,” in a letter to Congress.
Though the report will reportedly not recommend any future indictments, the Russia probe has already brought charges against more than 30 individuals and entities, including several former members of President Donald Trump’s campaign or administration.
The AG was spotted at the Department of Justice Saturday morning, adding excitement to the flurry of speculation about his decision to process the report.
The development comes amid a busy day for congressional lawmakers who are crafting formal responses to the report’s release, including calls among top congressional Republicans and Democrats to discuss next steps after the report.
House Democrats are holding a 3 p.m. conference call that Fox News reported will include committee leaders like Committee on Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
In a letter released ahead of the call by Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, she wrote, “Even if DOJ chooses not to prosecute addition individuals, the underlying findings must be provided to Congress and the American people. The Attorney General’s offer to provide the Committees with a summary of the report’s conclusions is insufficient. Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise.”
Republicans reportedly held a call Friday, during which some apparently expressed relief that there would be no more additional indictments, but stressed the significance of Barr’s summary.
Congressional Republicans issued a wide variety of reactions to the report, with most agreeing with Democrats that the report should be made public, but some saying that no new charges meant the investigation was a political mission.
House Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise told Fox News host Sean Hannity Friday that the lack of new indictments “does vindicate President Trump” and “gives credence to those claims that this was a witch hunt.”
He added: “I’d like to see not only the report made public but how many tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were spent over nearly two years to meander around and, as you say, bully people.”
Last year, it was revealed that Barr sent a memo to the Justice Department, Trump’s lawyers, and lawyers representing others in the Russia probe that said Mueller’s obstruction probe, which followed the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, was “legally insupportable” and should not be sanctioned by the Justice Department.
Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report will be his interpretation of the special counsel’s findings, and legal experts told INSIDER it will be critical to see what and how much Barr reveals of Mueller’s conclusions in the obstruction case to know what could happen next.
Sonam Sheth contributed reporting.