The Mueller Probe Is Finished. Now What?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday delivered his final report on potential Russian collusion and obstruction of justice to Attorney General William Barr. The Justice Department has notified Congress and Barr said that he may notify Congress of the inquiry’s “principal conclusions” as soon as this weekend. The only problem: Barr has full discretion about how much of the report to reveal publicly.

By the Washington Post’s tally, the special counsel’s investigation has resulted in criminal charges against 34 individuals. That included four campaign officials and advisers: former Chairman Paul Manafort, Deputy Campaign Manager Rick Gates, adviser George Papadopoulos, and self-described “dirty trickster” Roger Stone. It also included the president’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former personal attorney Michael Cohen. The vast majority of the rest of the indictees are Russian nationals, many of them directly tied to the DNC computer hackings and distribution of propaganda during the 2016 election.

The central mission of the special counsel investigation was to discover if any members of the Trump campaig—including, most importantly, Trump himself—conspired with Russia to meddle in the election. None of the Americans charged by Mueller are accused of that. Still, while Mueller appears to be done with his probe, Congress will likely continue its own investigations based off his findings, whether or not Barr provides enough details to Congress.

Barr should release the full report. Both parties appear to support this. Last week, the House voted unanimously on a nonbinding resolution to make the entire document—and supporting materials—public. The real test will be whether reflexively pliant GOP lawmakers have to defy any presidential grumblings. We’ll find out soon enough.

Joshua Alvarez

Joshua Alvarez is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal. He edits syndicated opinion columns at the Washington Post, and can be reached at joshuaalvarezmail@gmail.com.