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Robert Mueller

Mueller's probe is finished. Now what?

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Updated March 22, 2019 06:03 PM EDT

By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is not recommending any further indictments in the Russia investigation.

That's according to a Justice Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the confidential recommendation.

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Mueller notified Attorney General William Barr on Friday that he had concluded his probe of Russian election interference and any possible coordination with Donald Trump's campaign.

Updated March 22, 2019 05:11 PM EDT

By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 report, still confidential, marks the end of Mueller's probe but sets the stage for big public fights to come. The next steps are up to Trump's attorney general, to Congress and, in all likelihood, federal courts.

The Justice Department said Mueller delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr and officially concluded his probe of Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates. The report will now be reviewed by Barr, who has said he will write his own account communicating Mueller's findings to Congress and the American public.

Barr said he could release his account to Congress as soon as this weekend.

With no details released at this point, it's not known whether Mueller's report answers the core questions of his investigation: Did Trump's campaign collude with the Kremlin to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of the celebrity businessman? Also, did Trump take steps later, including by firing his FBI director, to obstruct the probe?

But the delivery of the report does mean the investigation has concluded without any public charges of a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and Russia, or of obstruction by the president.

It's unclear what steps Mueller will take if he uncovered what he believes to be criminal wrongdoing by Trump, in light of Justice Department legal opinions that have held that sitting presidents may not be indicted.

WASHINGTON (CIRCA) — After a nearly two-year investigation, it appears that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe is nearing its completion. Here is what you can expect next.

Several members of Mueller's team have announced their departure plans in recent days, setting Washington abuzz with speculation that the investigation is reaching its conclusion. Mueller has spent the better part of the past two years investigating Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. He has been famously hush-hush throughout the process, so little is known about what will be included in his final report, outside of some already public indictments of associates of the Trump campaign and others. How much the public will learn will likely depend on the actions of Attorney General William Barr.

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As Mueller's ultimate superior, it is Barr who holds all the cards when it comes to the probe's final report. Justice Department guidelines from the Clinton era dictate that Mueller must furnish Barr with a confidential report that details who he did and did not indict and why, according to a Politico report. It is then Barr's responsibility to summarize its findings and publicly acknowledge the investigation's completion.

The exact timing of Barr's announcement is as unclear as the contents of the report itself, though some media outlets reportedly put staff on standby Thursday.

Barr told Congress in January that he would publicize only the summary, though politicians in D.C. of all stripes appear to want information to be made public.

"I don't mind," President Donald Trump said on Wednesday. "I mean frankly, I told the House, if you want, let them see it."

Washington has been rife with speculation that the White House may get an opportunity to review the report before it is sent to Congress by citing executive privilege, a constitutional legal concept that allows the president to resist subpoenas from the legislative and judiciary branch.

"It's fundamental law that executive privilege cannot hide misconduct," said Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, while appearing on CNN. "You cannot use the executive privilege to hide misconduct by the president or anybody around him."

The end of the Mueller probe doesn't necessarily mean the end of all the issues surrounding it. There are still ongoing legal proceedings to be wrapped up, and House Democrats are in the midst of a new investigation looking into whether Trump engaged in obstruction of justice.

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