According to Reuters, the report was not immediately made public – Barr will have to decide how much to disclose – and it was not known if Robert Mueller found criminal conduct by Trump or his campaign, beyond the charges already brought against several aides.
Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, had been examining since May 2017 whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow to try to influence the election and whether the Republican president later unlawfully tried to obstruct his investigation.
The Russia investigation has cast a shadow over Trump’s presidency and ensnared key figures including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, national security adviser Michael Flynn and personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who already have either been convicted or pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller.
The big question now is whether the report contains allegations of wrongdoing by Trump himself.
Barr, a Trump appointee who took up his post in February, told lawmakers in a letter that he may be able to provide information to Congress on the report’s findings as soon as this weekend. Barr in his letter said he did not find any proposed actions by Mueller that were inappropriate or unwarranted.
Lawmakers from both parties, including the Democratic chairman and the top Republican member of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, called for prompt release of the report to key congressional committees and to the American public.
“I fully expect the Justice Department to release the special counsel’s report to this committee and to the public without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law,” said Doug Collins, the committee’s senior Republican, in a statement.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer – the two top Democrats in Congress – said it was “imperative” that the full report be made public and that the White House play no role in determining what is released.
“The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency,” they said in a joint statement.
Under the regulations governing special counsel investigations, the attorney general must share an outline of Mueller’s report with Democratic and Republican leaders of the judiciary committees in Congress but it is largely up to him what to make public.