Mueller delivers Russia-probe report to US attorney general
Special counsel Robert Mueller presented to the attorney general Friday his report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible coordination between the Kremlin and Donald Trump ‘s campaign.
The probe, which began in May 2017, has spawned multiple criminal indictments of figures close to the billionaire-turned-president, including Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen , and one-time campaign manager, Paul Manafort .
Attorney General William Barr will make the decision on whether to make all or portions of the report public.
Trump, who has often denounced the probe as a witch-hunt, said Wednesday that he would not oppose the release of Mueller’s findings.
When asked at the White House if the public should be allowed to see the report, as Democratic lawmakers have urged, Trump said: “I don’t mind.”
“Let it come out, let people see it,” Trump he told reporters before departing for Ohio to tour a weapons plant and raise money for his 2020 re-election campaign.
Releasing the report would be “up to the attorney general ... and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said, describing Barr as well-respected.
But the president also renewed his claim that Mueller had a conflict of interest because he is a close friend of former FBI Director James Comey , who Trump dismissed.
Mueller was appointed to be special counsel shortly after Trump fired Comey.
The appointment of Mueller, a former FBI chief, was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from anything to do with the Russia probe because he had worked closely with Trump’s campaign.
Last week, even as Trump called Mueller’s investigation “illegal” and said that the probe should never have been authorized, the US House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of making the final report public.
Though the investigation has led to convictions for Cohen and Manafort, among others, none of those cases has touched on the core questions of whether Russia intervened in the 2016 election to assist Trump and if so, whether the real estate mogul’s campaign had illicit contacts with Russian officials.