Attorneys working on the Russia probe or past special investigations are warning President Donald Trump’s critics to prepare for disappointment when special counsel Robert Mueller releases his report following the November elections, Politico reported Friday.
The media has covered Mueller’s Russia probe since May 2017, with commentators on both the right and left arguing that Trump’s presidency hinges on its result. Politico, however, spoke with defense attorneys on the Mueller probe and more than 15 other government officials with experience in the Trump-Russia, Watergate, and other investigations. They said the report is likely to underwhelm and not be released publicly.
“That’s just the way this works,” John Q. Barrett, a former associate counsel who worked on the Reagan-era Iran-Contra investigation told Politico. “Mueller is a criminal investigator. He’s not government oversight, and he’s not a historian.”Unlike the recent releases of exposes like Bob Woodward’s “Fear,” the DOJ will not pair its report with accompanying media appearances. There’s also no requirement that the special counsel send the report to Congress, as he only needs to provide it to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal.
Reports suggest Mueller is planning to release his findings after the midterm elections in November. Two U.S. officials told Bloomberg that Mueller could very well continue his investigation after presenting his findings to Rosenstein, however. (RELATED: Mueller’s Jig Is Up — But That’s Not Enough)
Even if the report is released publicly, however, it will have to go through screening to take out any grand jury testimony and classified information, as required by law. Mueller also has virtually complete discretion as to what the report will contain, and given his silence during the course of the investigation, he’s likely to err on the side of caution, according to Politico.
For his part, President Trump has been totally dismissive of the investigation, referring to it as a “WITCH HUNT” for months.
“I view it as an illegal investigation,” he told The Daily Caller in September. “It should have never been started. It should have never been allowed to start. You know, I’m not a target of this investigation, just in case you don’t realize.”
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