Where is the Mueller report? Washington can barely handle anticipation


WASHINGTON – The president's lawyer has no idea of ​​the date of the report.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, was sitting alone among the tourists who were at the Washington International Hotel on Friday. He ran a tablet with one hand and held a cell phone in the other while waiting for the news of the long-awaited report. Robert S. Mueller III, a special council to investigate the links of the Trump campaign with Russia, had gone from one handshake to the other.

"Stay in touch," he tells the person on the other end of the line. "Tell me what's going on, O.K.?"

Like the rest of Washington, Mr. Giuliani is tired of waiting.

"They said it would be around noon or noon," Giuliani told a reporter who approached him about half past one. According to his sources – according to everybody sources – Mr. Mueller was late. All that Mr. Giuliani could do was continue to scroll. "It will not be Saturday, so they have to do it today."

He paused: "It's the fourth or fifth time that a story like this is published."

And yet, as he murmured around Washington that the report was imminent, he still believed that on Friday, the report would be officially forwarded from Mr. Mueller's office to the office of William P. Barr. , the Attorney General.

Starting early in the morning, this same anticipation took on other remarkable forms. Reporters and photographers have gathered around the office building located a few blocks south of the National Mall, where the special advocate has his offices. At least half a dozen press cameras have positioned themselves outside the garage, hoping to spot Mr. Mueller driving his sensitive Subaru into the garage.

The cameramen filmed the entrance and exit of each car.

Throughout the afternoon, bystanders – employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and tourists from the Bible Museum – stopped to watch the cameras, curious to find out what attracted attention to a colorless and bureaucratic office complex.

"I have the report in my purse!" Joked a woman while walking.

At one point, when two of Mueller's investigators left for lunch, they noticed the group of cameras and quickly turned to cross the street.

At 2 pm, an increasingly impatient group wanted the sign that something – no matter what – could refer to a Mueller-related activity located one mile away from the Department of Justice, Pennsylvania headquarters. Avenue.

The cameras flashed just after 2 pm when two senior prosecutors investigating Mr. Trump for obstructing justice – James L. Quarles III and Andrew D. Goldstein – left together in a BMW sedan that was heading in that direction.

Inside the Ministry of Justice, journalists filled the press room and ran out of seats. Rumors about the arrival of the report at noon were dispelled once Mr. Barr had lunch at the department's underground cafeteria.

Outside, only one protester took part in the action, placing posters in front of the Ministry of Justice indicating "Rule of Law," "F.B.I. = Stasi "and" Abuse FISA "in the big planters on the sidewalk outside the building. He shouted "folder for sale" to the few passersby.

The man, who would identify himself only as "T. Pardy, "told a reporter that the investigation of the special advocate was" the fruit of the poison tree ". He then started banging on a five-gallon bucket, shouting "an abuse of FISA".

Not everyone has adopted such a theatrical approach while waiting for the report.

Newt Gingrich, Occasional Advisor to the President and Past Speaker of the House Strongly defending the work of Ken Starr, the independent lawyer who investigated President Bill Clinton, said he was taking a casual approach.

"We will know," Gingrich said in an interview. "So, I do not have to wait." He added that he thought the public should have the chance to see Mr. Mueller's report, with "obvious exceptions".

A discreet approach has been adopted in the same way in the White House.

"I have no idea of ​​the Mueller report," Trump told a group of reporters before boarding Marine One and leaving for Mar-a-Lago, his winter retreat in Florida.

The Trump campaign has given a harsher tone to a text addressed to its supporters: "President Trump has endured the WITCH HUNT for two years," said the campaign, before asking them to conduct a survey to determine whether or not they were going to work. it was time to investigate. end.

Back in the White House, a group of aides left in the West Wing area and accessible to journalists turned off the television. They seemed more concerned about the flood problem that had emerged from Thursday's rains than by the content of the report or later.

Air Force One departed the Andrews Common Base with gusts of wind that may suggest what could happen later in the day. The aircraft cabin shook and trembled as Mr. Trump headed for a quieter sky in Palm Beach.

Once aboard the plane, the president and his assistants were clearly aware of the anticipation regarding the Mueller report, but instead focused on the stories they preferred to tell and the information that they had. they preferred to tell, such as the president's decision to undo The Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on North Korea because of its personal affection for Kim Jong-un.

Mr. Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, his main spokesperson, also declared their victory over the Islamic State on the way to Palm Beach. The two sword cards indicated that the last tiny village occupied by the terrorist group in Syria had fallen.

When Mr. Trump arrived in Florida – under blue, sunny skies and with very little wind – Mr. Trump did what presidents often do: he came in sight for a small group of supporters gathered along from the plane.

There was a hint that Mr. Mueller's report was at least somewhere in the spirit of the President's mind: Emmet T. Flood, counsel for the President in the Special Council's investigation, the accompanied to Palm Beach.

As the day approached, Twitter watchers began betting on the location of the report, creating fictitious explanations of Mr. Mueller's activities.

"Robert Mueller sweating in front of his laptop, fixing a Word document containing only the words" Mueller's report "and a flashing cursor," wrote comedian Patrick Monahan on Twitter, try to fan fiction.

At this point, not even Peter Carr, Mr. Mueller's famous spokesperson, could seem to withstand the fun of people: "Ha," Mr. Carr wrote in response to a NBC reporter who sent Mr. Monahan's tweet.

Meanwhile, Mr. Giuliani was waiting at the President's Hotel, in case he needed his services. Palm Beach, he says, was still in his thoughts.

"I could still go," he said. "I want to play golf."


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