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WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has to end with a report. But anyone looking for a grand narrative on President Donald Trump, Russian election interference and all the juicy details uncovered over the past 21 months could end up disappointed.
The exact timing of Mueller’s endgame is unclear. Attorney General William Barr, who oversees the investigation, has said he wants to release as much information as he can about the inquiry into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 election. But during his confirmation hearing last month, Barr also made clear that he ultimately will decide what the public sees, and that any report will be in his words, not Mueller’s.
Some key questions:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE INVESTIGATION ENDS?
Mueller - Report - Kind - Bare-bones
Mueller will have to turn in a report of some kind when he’s done. It could be pretty bare-bones.
Justice Department regulations require only that Mueller give the attorney general a confidential report that explains the decisions to pursue or decline prosecutions. That could be as simple as a bullet point list or as fulsome as a report running hundreds of pages.
Mueller - Guidance - Signs - Conclusion
Mueller has given no guidance on what or when it will be, but there are signs a conclusion is coming soon.
The number of prosecutors working for Mueller has dwindled, and his team, which had sought an interview with the president, has not had meaningful dialogue with Trump’s lawyers in the past two months. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, is expected to leave the Justice Department in mid-March. That’s a likely indication that Rosenstein expects the special counsel’s work to be wrapping up. Matthew Whitaker, who was acting attorney general before Barr was confirmed, also has said the investigation is nearly done.
BARR - SAY - HE
WHAT DOES BARR SAY HE’LL DO?
Barr said he envisions two reports, and only one...
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