Mueller report: what will full version reveal?

Justice Department to release redacted version of Trump-Russia report this week

Robert Mueller, who served as special counsel for the US Department of Justice
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The US Justice Department has announced that it will release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, prompting a furious Twitter offensive from President Donald Trump.

Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec announced that the report would be published on Thursday, but did not specify “how much of the special prosecutor’s report will have been redacted by the time Congress and members of the public have a chance to read it”, The Independent says.

Nevertheless, the paper adds that even in its reduced form the release of the report is set to make 18 April “one of the most hotly anticipated days in Washington DC for several years”.

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The report, which investigates allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election – including possible collusion between Moscow and Trump’s campaign – has been the subject of fierce debate since its findings were submitted to US Attorney General William Barr in late March.

Barr, a close ally of Trump, elected to release only a four-page summary of the report, in which he claimed that the “investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities”.

Trump was quick to claim that he had been “totally exonerated”, but Barr’s truncated summary was just as quickly deemed unsatisfactory by Democrats, who have been lobbying hard for the publication of the entire 400-page Mueller report.

Trump has not taken kindly to further scrutiny over the contents of the full report, posting a series of tweets in which he – once again – attacked Democrat lawmakers.

“Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction,” Trump said. “These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!”

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He added that the report – which he claims was “written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters)” should have “focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax”.

“That is, never forget, the crime,” he added.

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The exact contents of the report are the subject of intense speculation in Washington. The Associated Press reports that Trump’s claim that Mueller has “already ruled” that no obstruction of justice took place is “false” and that the President has “misrepresented” Barr’s summary.

In reality, according to Barr’s summary, Mueller presents the evidence for and against the obstruction allegations, and declines to give a verdict.

However, New Statesman suggests that Barr’s summary may have omitted key details, noting that it would be “surprising” if “after 22 months Mueller should have left his job unfinished and declined to rule one way or another on the obstruction of justice issue”.

It remains to be seen whether the redacted copy of the report due for release on Thursday will shed light on this issue – but Reuters suggests that this “may be just the first move in a longer fight that could play out in the courts”.

The news agency says that congressional Democrats have “demanded the release of the full report with nothing blacked out”, as well as access to the evidence received by Mueller.

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