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LETTER OF THE LAW

William Barr has the Mueller report and plans to brief Congress this weekend

By Heather Timmons

Special counsel Robert Mueller has handed his report about his two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to US attorney general William Barr, the Department of Justice said today (March 22).

The report explains Mueller’s decisions about prosecution. It reportedly does not recommend any further indictments in the Russia probe, according to multiple outlets, who quoted an unnamed senior Justice Department official.

In a letter to Congress, Barr said that he had found “no instances” in which a “proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued,” and said expected to brief congressional Judiciary committees about the “principal contents” as soon as this weekend. Information in the report will also go to the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

Right now, everyone else, including Donald Trump’s White House, must sit and wait.

“The next steps are up to attorney general Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, minutes after the Justice Department’s announcement. “The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”

Barr said he would “consult with Deputy Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public.”

Barr’s letter was addressed to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, senator Lindsey Graham, congressman Jerrold Nadler, senator Diane Feinstein, and congressman Doug Collins:

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:

I write to notify you pursuant to 28 C.F.R. $ 600.9(a)(3) that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with “a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General” or acting Attorney General “concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” 28 C.F.R. $ 600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.

The Special Counsel has submitted to me today a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. $ 600.8(c). I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.

Separately, I intend to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Special Counsel 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, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.

Finally, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of this notification “would be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. $ 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you

Sincerely,

William P. Barr Attorney General