Robert Mueller | KERA News

Robert Mueller

Al Drago / Associated Press

Special counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday that charging President Donald Trump with a crime was "not an option" because of federal rules, but he used his first public remarks on the Russia investigation to emphasize that he did not exonerate the president.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after the Trump administration invoked executive privilege over the contents of the Mueller report.

The developments Wednesday escalated the confrontation between congressional Democrats and the White House over documents related to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"We are now in a constitutional crisis," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., after the vote.

Attorney General William Barr testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report.
Associated Press

Private tensions between Justice Department leaders and Robert Mueller's team broke into public view in extraordinary fashion Wednesday as Attorney General William Barr answered questions in front of the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr declined to appear before a hearing scheduled on Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee following hours of sometimes tough back-and-forth on Wednesday in the Senate.

The chairman of the House panel, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said that Barr was risking a contempt of Congress citation and that he would go ahead with his planned hearing — with an empty witness chair if necessary.

Attorney General William Barr arrives to testify during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report.
Associated Press

UPDATE: 4:55 p.m. Wednesday, May 1

Attorney General William Barr has told members of the House Judiciary Committee that he will not testify before their committee Thursday.

Attorney General William Barr has released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to Congress and the public.

The special counsel spent nearly two years investigating attacks on the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians behind it.

Attorney General William Barr speaks alongside Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, right, and acting Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O'Callaghan, left, during the news conference, Thursday, April 18, 2019.
Associated Press

Eager to get in the last word ahead of the public release of the special counsel Robert Mueller report on Russia election hacking, Attorney General William Barr on Thursday laid out in advance what he said was the “bottom line:” No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government hackers.

Read the full report, with redactions, for yourself.

Updated at 7:24 p.m. ET

When President Trump learned two years ago that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, he was distraught.

Trump "slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm f***ed,' " according to the report by special counsel Robert Mueller that was released Thursday in redacted form.

Attorney General William Barr leaves his home in McLean, Va., on Wednesday morning, April 17, 2019. Special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 election is expected to be released publicly on Thursday.
Associated Press

At 8:30 a.m. Central on Thursday, Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to deliver a press conference at the Justice Department before the expected release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Updated at 12:33 p.m. EST

The Justice Department says it plans to release special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Thursday morning. Here's what you need to know.

What is it?

The leaders of the House Judiciary Committee agreed on Monday to call special counsel Robert Mueller to appear for a hearing. The question now is whether Mueller would agree.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the panel's ranking member, opened the bidding with a letter in which he asked the chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., to invite Mueller to testify later this month.

Although the committee expects to hear from Attorney General William Barr, Collins wrote, it must go to the source to learn all it needs to know about the special counsel inquiry.

Updated at 11:3o a.m. ET

As the Justice Department prepares a redacted version of the Mueller report for release later this month, the House Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for the full report and its underlying investigative evidence.

The committee also authorized subpoenas for figures in the Trump orbit, including former White House counsel Don McGahn; McGahn's former chief of staff Ann Donaldson; former adviser Steve Bannon; former spokesperson Hope Hicks; and former chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr has told congressional leaders that he anticipates being able to give them a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on his investigation into Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election by "by mid-April, if not sooner." Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for lawmakers to see the full report without redactions, though members of both parties have called for its public release.

Days after Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report, overwhelming majorities of Americans want the full report made public and believe Barr and Mueller should testify before Congress, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Only about a third of Americans believe, from what they've seen or heard about the Mueller investigation so far, that President Trump is clear of any wrongdoing. But they are split on how far Democrats should go in investigating him going forward.

There were two headline "principal conclusions" out of Attorney General William Barr's publicly released letter to Congress about the now-concluded Russia probe conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller:

  1. It "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election."

Leaders of the Justice Department have sent a summary of Robert Mueller's main findings to key members of Congress. The special counsel's office completed its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Friday.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election, according to a summary of findings submitted to Congress by Attorney General William Barr.

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election," Barr wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees on Sunday afternoon.

Robert Mueller may have completed his report, but other investigations into President Trump are expected to carry on for months.

There are, broadly, two kinds: those being undertaken from within the executive branch and those being run by members of Congress — mostly Democrats in control of major committees in the House.

The Russia investigation has ended, and special counsel Robert Mueller's report is now in the hands of Attorney General William Barr. Barr sent a letter on Friday notifying Congress that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had concluded.

Following Justice Department regulations, Barr addressed his letter to the leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees.

Read the text of the letter below.

Updated April 2 at 4:52 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report has been a long time in the making.

Mueller was appointed in the spring of 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Updated at 7:46 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr received a report on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller about the findings from Mueller's investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election.

The White House is reflected in a puddle, Friday March 22, 2019, in Washington, as news breaks that the special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian election interference.
Associated Press

This report originally published at 4:31 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2019.

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday turned over his long-awaited final report on the contentious Russia investigation that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump's presidency, entangled Trump's family and resulted in criminal charges against some of the president's closest associates.

The Russia investigation could be on the verge of a spectacular finale — or it could be about to puff out like a damp firecracker.

Or, as has been the case so often before, Washington could be gearing itself up for a fireworks display that doesn't even happen. Despite some indications that special counsel Robert Mueller could be wrapping up, there has been no official word from the Justice Department confirming that's so.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

President Trump's nominee to serve as attorney general vowed to permit Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller to complete his work and said it was "very important" for the public and Congress to know the results.

This week in the Russia investigations: Could Roger Stone, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks be in Mueller's crosshairs after Election Day?

Down the stretch

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has been running ultraquiet since the end of the summer, but he could resurface soon — and he may make a hell of a splash.

Updated at 6:48 p.m. ET

The office of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has notified the FBI about an alleged scheme to discredit Mueller that apparently backfired on Tuesday, a spokesman confirmed.

News organizations including NPR have received information about claims related to the alleged scheme. Reporters have so far not been able to verify them.

When the special counsel's office became aware of them last week, it alerted the FBI, said spokesman Peter Carr. The FBI declined to comment.

The alleged scheme

This week in the Russia investigations: The collusion mystery may be insoluble, Mueller and his team fly around to the dark side — perhaps — and punishment for Papadopoulos.

Updated at 7:03 p.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, has pleaded guilty to eight counts in federal court in New York, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday evening.

They include five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two counts involving unlawful campaign contributions.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, President Trump responded to a story published in The New York Times that detailed extensive cooperation between White House counsel Donald McGahn and the inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller into obstruction of justice and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

This week in the Russia investigations: The White House is trying to burn the clock to get into a better political position to handle the Russia imbroglio. Why it might — or might not — work.

Time trouble

In the championship chess match that is the Russia imbroglio, President Trump and the White House are hoping that Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has stumbled into what players call "time trouble."

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