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Although the Mueller report has been delivered to the attorney general, the public still knows little of what is contained within it. In addition, numerous other investigations sparked by Mueller’s work are ongoing. Judy Woodruff asks NPR’s Carrie Johnson about details of the report’s delivery, what the White House has seen of it and what happens next.
We return now to our lead story.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation and turned over a report to Attorney General William Barr.
To help us understand what's next, I'm joined by NPR's Justice correspondent, Carrie Johnson.
Carrie, so we know, we have just learned within the last couple of hours that this report — this investigation has finished, and the report's been turned over to the Justice Department.
What happens right now? Do we — when do we find out what's in the report?
Well, we could find out something about the key conclusions by the special counsel as early as this weekend. That's according to the attorney general, Bill Barr, in a letter he sent to key members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
The Justice Department says the public may find out around the same time, as early as this weekend, some of the key conclusions. As for the meat and potatoes of this report, which I'm told is comprehensive, we may find out more about that after a longer deliberation by the attorney general special counsel, Mueller, and the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.
Carrie, do we have a sense of how many pages, how big a document this report is?
I pressed the Justice Department this afternoon about how much detail this report gets into. All they'd say at this point is that it is a comprehensive report.
A Justice Department source says the special counsel is not recommending any additional indictments, Judy, although we do know some of his work, some of the offshoots, have been farmed out to prosecutors in New York, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and DOJ headquarters as well.
And , Carrie, when we spoke a short time ago with the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, he pointed out that these recommendations, whatever they may be in this report, that this is separate from any counterintelligence work that was being done.
What do you think that may tell us? What do your sources tell us that may mean about this — these final conclusions?
Well, it depends on how Robert Mueller has decided to write this report and how the attorney general wants to interpret it.
Judy, I don't expect we're ever going to see some of the sensitive material that's secret that goes to sources and methods of American intelligence capacities that Adam Schiff may be able to see in Congress. The public may never get to see that.
But the open question right now is whether the Justice Department will decide to tell Congress and the American people a little bit more about why Robert Mueller decided not to charge certain people. That's been an ongoing source of controversy ever since the former FBI director, Jim Comey, decided not to charge Hillary Clinton with any wrongdoing, but said a lot of bad things about her.
The open question now is whether this Justice Department will make a different choice in this investigation.
And, as the attorney general's letter to Congress said, this report explains the prosecution or declination decisions, meaning declining to prosecute.
Just quickly, Carrie, what about the White House being notified about this? What's the protocol at this point in terms of sharing it with Congress, sharing it with the White House?
I'm told from the Justice Department that they did place a call to the White House Counsel's Office around 4:45 this afternoon to notify them the report was in.
The White House doesn't have the contents of this report, only the notification at this time. And, right now, the White House is deferring all questions and substance to the Justice Department, which, basically, is the way it should be and the way that investigations like this are run.
So, we don't know when and if the White House — assume at some point they will be briefed, but we don't know when.
Well, we are certainly waiting. And I…
We expect that, Judy, yes.
And I know you are waiting. And I'm guessing you're going to be camping out at the Justice Department this weekend.
Carrie Johnson with NPR, we thank you.
And on the "NewsHour" online right now, as we wait for that story, we do have much more on the Mueller report, including an in-depth timeline of the Russia investigation.
You can explore that on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.
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