Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading the FBI inquiry into Russia’s interference in our elections during the 2016 campaign season, is close to announcing two key findings from his investigation, according to sources with knowledge of his plans.
Mueller will make pronouncements explaining two core issues related to the probe, according to reports from Bloomberg. First, he will say whether he believes members of President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign coordinated or colluded, in an illegal fashion, with Russians who have ties to the Kremlin. Second, he is also set to announce whether he believes Trump, in the two years since the investigation took hold, made efforts to impede the investigation’s aims and whether him doing so constitutes a charge of obstruction of justice.
The charge is a felonious offense and could result in Congress pushing forward impeachment proceedings against the president, especially if a Democratic Congress comes into power after November’s midterm elections.
Mueller, perhaps not wishing to interfere with the outcome of those electoral contests, won’t make his announcement until after they’ve commenced, but will present his report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shortly after the election, the sources said.
Even after Mueller has concluded those aspects of the investigation, however, the American people might not find out what exactly his recommendations may be.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 17, 2018
That’s because the regulations surrounding Mueller’s role as special counsel only allow him to deliver the report to his direct superior, which in this case is Rosenstein. At that point, it’s up to Rosenstein to decide what to do with it — whether it should be released to the general public, or even if it should be forwarded to members of Congress to consider.
What Rosenstein will do with Mueller’s report is anyone’s guess, and his motivations may be impacted by several factors. On the one hand, he’s a member of the Trump administration and has certain allegiances to the president, but on the other, his current position may be temporary — as recently as earlier this month, questions abounded about whether he’d have a job under Trump for much longer, according to reports from the Inquisitr.
The sources did not say what Mueller’s conclusions in the report he will give Rosenstein will be. They did, however, state that Rosenstein himself has been pressuring Mueller to complete the report in the immediate future.
Again, this could be for myriad reasons. Rosenstein, fearing he could be replaced after the midterms, might possibly be rushing Mueller to ensure a report gets out at all, to prevent the president from appointing a new Attorney General who might close the investigation upon taking residence in the Justice Department. Then again, Rosenstein may be rushing Mueller in support of Trump, to bring the investigation to an end himself and to placate his boss.
Trump himself has been vocally opposed to Mueller’s investigation, often calling it a “witch hunt” according to reporting from the New York Times. Yet Mueller’s work has resulted in more than two dozen indictments or guilty pleas, against both Russians who the special counsel has charged interfered with American elections, as well as against top members of Trump’s presidential campaign