It's almost two years old, and it's almost over.
At any time, Attorney General William Barr is expected to announce the conclusion of the investigation conducted by Special Advocate Robert Mueller in Russia.
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When that happens, the keen interest in the investigation into whether President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign was conspired with the Kremlin will crouch.
It's a lot to take. But do not worry. POLITICO has you covered. Here's our guide on the way forward and the myriad logistical questions that will help navigate this historic moment.
When will we know that the investigation is over?
Good question. That's what our writers, colleagues, friends, neighbors, parents, etc. told us. since the beginning of the investigation.
For a long time we had no answer. We still do not do it – not yet. But the prospects that Mueller is about to complete are announcing more solid day by day.
Last week, Mueller's office confirmed the departure of two senior prosecutors and the FBI also reassigned his chief senior officer to another post. In the Justice Department, a growing number of journalists have been posted in the press room, generally dormant, waiting for information on what will happen.
In short, everyone is on bedbugs, and the first news could arrive at any time. We are ready for Thursday, Friday or shortly thereafter. Several other factors also lead to the conclusion that the report is imminent, including the report of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein declared plan to leave his post in the coming weeks.
Who will make the announcement?
William Barr, the new Attorney General appointed by Trump and who took office in mid-February, is Mueller's last supervisor and should have the responsibility to announce that the investigation into Russia is over.
What will Barr announce exactly?
The Attorney General should simply state that the investigation is over and that Mueller has handed him a report detailing the investigation. But do not expect him to talk about this report – for the moment.
Instead, he will probably say that the DOJ is currently working on a summary of this report and perhaps giving an indication of when this summary could be done.
Under the DOJ Regulations used to name Mueller – written at the time of Bill Clinton – the special council must submit to Barr a confidential report explaining who was prosecuted and why, as well as who was not prosecuted and why. Barr then decides how much of this material to make public, if any. He only promised at his Senate confirmation hearing in January to publish a summary of the confidential report.
It also seems likely that we would know these steps through official letters to Congress, including the Judiciary Committees of the House and Senate. There is no indication that Barr plans to hold a press conference on this subject, although he eventually has to answer questions from journalists and lawmakers.
So, wait, will not it be an announcement that the Mueller report is available to the public?
That's the wait, yes. Sorry if you have been misled.
So ok. Suspense kills me. When will we see Mueller's report?
It's Barr's turn, who should need a few more weeks to review what Mueller has submitted. During this time, he will delete all classified information from the document, as well as that from a grand jury, which is private. He will also try to summarize what could be a considerable document for public consumption. This will become the lite version of Mueller's report that will be sent to Congress and made public.
That said, this is Washington, DC, it is possible that nuggets of the report begin to flow while Barr prepares the summary and proceeds to its deletion.
So what will this report say when it is finally released?
The answer to this question is something that only Mueller, his team, and perhaps some senior DOJ officials know at this point.
The expectations of the public could be great as the document is a page returner that explains the ins and outs of the 2016 presidential campaign, how and why the Russians have hacked the democrat mail accounts and if anyone in the world. Trump's orbit knew about it before or facilitated the crimes.
These expectations would probably be too high. Barr has only promised to unveil a summary of what Mueller told him about the prosecution and not prosecuted, but said the DOJ's policy is not to air dirty clothes from people if it does not lead to a criminal act.
Can the White House see it?
It seems likely that the White House will have the opportunity to consider the summary that Barr proposes to send to Congress.
If that is the case, White House lawyers will probably look in the document for information that they feel should be concealed because of the privilege of the executive, a right that presidents have long claimed not to disclose certain information to the public. The president's personal attorneys, including Rudy Giuliani, also said they would like to see the document in order to make corrections or to include other information.
Trump himself would probably have the right to see everything that is sent to the White House, but questions arise as to whether it would be appropriate for his personal attorneys to get a copy before he does. be made public. Another factor to consider: as the proposed report is released more widely, the chances of a leak increase.
Here's another ride: Trump has m said his legal team is preparing his own counter-report, which already had 87 pages last December.
Will someone else be charged?
It's another well-kept secret.
A wide range of people imprisoned in the investigation of Russia remain worried about their legal fate.
There is the eldest son of President Donald Trump Jr., who attended a meeting of the Trump Tower with Russians promising to "dirty" Hillary Clinton. Or conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, who exchanged several emails with Roger Stone, an associate member of Trump, about WikiLeaks, the group of activists who threw the Clinton campaign's e-mails in 2016.
Let's add to the tension: dozens of indictments still under seal have been filed in federal court for the past two years since Mueller worked. These could all be unrelated to Russia's investigation. But until Barr or Mueller gives a go-ahead – something that may never happen – Trumpworld can not totally expire.
Mueller's office also handed leads to the federal prosecutors of the Southern District of New York, who are investigating commercial transactions, the campaign and the fundraising for the inauguration of Trump.
In addition, several derivative or related investigations remain unresolved, including investigations into the actions of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an investigation into alleged false statements by FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, and a survey of work in Ukraine. led by the former Obama White. Counsel for the House, Greg Craig.
What happens to the current affairs in Mueller that have not yet come to fruition?
They will continue.
In recent weeks, Mueller's team has called on federal prosecutors to deal with cases that will last beyond the mandate of the special advocate. This move makes it easier for Mueller to give up his current business once he has closed his shop.
This was the case with Stone's lawsuits. The trial of Trump's long-time partner is planned will begin November 5 at the California Hospital to lie to Congress and have obstructed the investigation of the legislature on Russia. From the beginning, two US deputy lawyers from the Dc office have been discussing key elements of the Stone case, including many arguments in the preliminary hearings.
Other federal prosecutors are also ready to take charge of two other cases in the Mueller case: the indictment against a Russian "troll farm" online that allegedly sowed discontent in 2016, and a business charge Russian intelligence officers hacked e-mails from the Democratic Party the same year.
None of the 12 suspected Democratic hackers have been arrested. However, a company based in St. Petersburg and charged with trolling – Concord Management and Consulting – has hiring American lawyers and requires a lawsuit. National career security attorneys seem to be willing to handle that if it happens.
When does dismissal begin?
Wait, we are a few steps away from that.
First, Mueller's discoveries will be at Capitol Hill. If the summary report does not include specific details about the president's actions, expect a lengthy legal battle between the Democrats and the DOJ to gain access to the underlying investigative documents. of Mueller.
Secondly, Democrats will have to be almost uniformly convinced that Mueller has found evidence of "serious crimes" – the vague constitutional norm that can justify the sacking of the president.
To date, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has m said she sets the bar high for this standard. She warned that any attempt to remove Trump that did not include enough support from the GOP to succeed could have the opposite effect on Democrats. This is the last thing the Democratic Party leaders want for the 2020 elections.
Will Mueller ever speak?
It's certainly possible.
The famous special advocate with a tight mouth did not utter a single public word about his investigation during his two years of work. But the Democrats in the House say they will call Mueller to testify publicly if they do not get his report in full.
Nevertheless, current and former DOJ officials, legal experts and legislators on both sides have lowered prices. expectations that the Mueller, in the book, would break the script and provide much more than what has already been said in public about his investigation.