WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced Monday it expects to release on Thursday the long-awaited redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report.
Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Attorney General William Barr is expected to issue the report to Congress and the public on Thursday morning, nearly a month after Mueller wrapped up the department’s two-year, sweeping probe into Russia’s election interference, the Trump campaign, and President Donald Trump’s actions surrounding the investigation.
As news of the release date emerged, Trump took to Twitter to renew his calls for the investigation itself to be investigated by Barr and the Justice Department.
"INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!" Trump tweeted.
Barr, appointed to his post by Trump in December, has already told lawmakers he plans to investigate the "genesis" of the FBI's investigation into Russian election interference.
Mueller, who was tapped by the Justice Department to take over the Russia probe in May 2017, after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, issued on March 22 a more than 300-page report outlining his final conclusions. Mueller's "principal conclusions" were then whittled down to a four-page summary released by Barr two days later.
Congressional Democrats continue to push for Barr to release an unredacted version for lawmakers and have accused Barr of withholding information from the report that could be damaging to the president. They have also denounced his recent remarks that he believes Trump's 2016 election campaign was subject to “spying” by U.S. intelligence agencies.
The redacted version of the report will be released with Congress in recess and the majority of lawmakers in their home districts for the Easter and Passover holidays. Trump is expected to head to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday and remain there through Sunday, according to a Federal Aviation Administration travel advisory. His personal legal team -- attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow -- have said they are prepared to release their own rebuttal report, once Mueller's becomes public.
Barr has said he will offer color-coded redactions that explain why certain information is blocked from public view. The attorney general said he will omit information that falls into four categories -- grand jury information shielded by federal law, classified intelligence, matters that could affect other ongoing probes and information that could infringe on the privacy rights of “peripheral third parties.”
Mueller’s investigation, according to Barr’s four-page summary, concluded that there was no evidence the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election, “despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”
The special counsel did not draw a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice through a series of actions surrounding the probe — including his firing of Comey citing the Russia investigation as a cause — writing, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Barr ultimately rendered a decision that there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice, drawing fierce condemnation from congressional Democrats, who argue Barr’s decision was a political move taken to protect Trump.
The president on Twitter lauded the "great intelligence" behind Mueller's final report, while continuing to cast the probe as part of a "witch hunt." The investigation was led by Mueller, a Republican, but Trump repeated his long-standing claim that the special counsel investigation was stacked with Hillary Clinton supporters.
“The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax. That is, never forget, the crime,” Trump tweeted while en route on Air Force One to Minnesota, where he was to headline an economic roundtable.