Can The Mueller Report Be Released?

With everyone waiting for the expected news of the submission of the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, there remains a remarkably unresolved question of what Attorney General Bill Barr can actually give to Congress. I have previously discussed how giving the report to Congress would require the redaction of a host of information under privacy, classification, and executive privilege rules.  However, the threshold question is what the statute contemplates.  The answer is: not much.

Under the regulations for the Special Counsel, Mueller is required to give Barr a confidential report.  Barr is expected to then inform Congress of that submission in a brief letter.  He may at that time give a time frame for sending a summary to the Congress. 

A summary however is not quite what many in Congress – in both parties – are demanding.  The regulations however state that the report to Congress should be “brief notifications, with an outline of the actions and the reasons for them.”

So can Barr actually send a redacted version of the Mueller Report. I think that he can but not as his summary under the law.  The Executive Branch has the authority to waive privileges and other restrictions over executive material.  I do not believe that the regulations bar the release of the Special Counsel report in stating what is required in terms of a report.  What is required is not a limit on what is permitted.  

Clearly Barr could balk at the release of a redacted report by pointing out that both Democrats and Republicans attacked former FBI Director James Comey for his extemporaneous public comments on the conduct of Hillary Clinton after rejecting criminal charges.  However, this is a bit different. A Special Counsel investigation has a more robust reporting requirements and the regulations themselves acknowledge the mandatory reporting duty is “to help ensure congressional and public confidence in the integrity of the process.”

Moreover, that language comes in the “discussion” portion of the regulations. The prior section states:

“The Attorney General may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions. All other releases of information by any Department of Justice employee, including the Special Counsel and staff, concerning matters handled by Special Counsels shall be governed by the generally applicable Departmental guidelines concerning public comment with respect to any criminal investigation, and relevant law.’’

That seems an expression acknowledgment that “other releases” are permitted and not prohibited.

President Donald Trump has already stated that the report should be public – a statement that would seem to waive executive privilege objections to its release.  Barr could submit the report to Congress under that mandate. He could also hand over the report at the request of Congress or due to a subpoena.  He could expressly state that he is not waiving privilege arguments for the future but turning over the information in light of Trump’s direction.

Thus, the Barr summary will not – and cannot – be the report itself.  However, if President Donald Trump continues to maintain that the Report should be made available to the public, he (and Barr) have the power to guarantee that it is made available.

43 thoughts on “Can The Mueller Report Be Released?”

  1. If the Mueller report was released as pure fact, line by line, it would be a total bore and probably left unread by almost everyone. The Report will need more than just the facts. It’s acceptance will be based on how good a novelist Mueller actually is.

    1. it’s probably going to be a survey of the indictments, and very very little about anything that was not charged as a crime. usually the factors that go into NOT bringing charges, they hold close to the vest as a matter of policy. the AG is sure to follow that policy here to the maximum extent.

      so it will be anticlimactic. but then again, Dem leadership has understood that for months. I posted articles here months ago where they started letting the rank and file know it would be a big let down.

    1. today on NPR a commentator was talking about the Syrian civil war and refered to the Soviet Union. Like, Russia today, he literally called it the Soviet Union, and nobody corrected him. This shows the pack mentality they have.

  2. The “they-sayers” say that today, Friday March 22nd, 2019, is the supposed due date for Mueller’s confidential report to AG Barr. Here’s just two samples of the eeksie peeksie crowd reading tea leaves at the links below:

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/19/18273255/mueller-report-news-date-trump-russia
    2 days ago … Robert Mueller’s team says it will be very busy in the coming days … that Mueller’s final report and the conclusion of his work are imminent.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/20/guide-end-mueller-probe-1230488
    1 day ago … Several other factors are also leading to conclusions that the report is imminent, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s stated …

    1. Excerpted from the first article linked above:

      Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office asked a court for an 11-day extension on a filing deadline Tuesday — claiming that, for the time being, key attorneys on their team were too busy with “the press of other work.”

    2. Excerpted from the second article linked above:

      There are dozens of sealed indictments that have been filed in D.C. federal court over the two years Mueller’s been at work. These could all be unrelated to the Russia probe. But until Barr or Mueller gives an all-clear — something that actually may never come — Trumpworld can’t fully exhale.

  3. I will be happy when the photos of MuleErr are off the media and off this blog. Tank Dog the photos of Hillary are fewer. I want to see the report. Hey Zeus Christo this is getting old. Y’all know what those three words mean– don’t ya?

    1. And you just said, “Christchurch” – “mosque” in the same sentence.

      Is that even possible? Does that make sense? Does it make nonsense? I surmise it’s the latter.

      Incidentally, the Quran requires Muslims to convert or kill “unbelievers” or infidels.

      Who would allow a “mosque” in “Christchurch?”

      1. “Who would allow a “mosque” in “Christchurch?”

        Yes, who/why have they been throw these house of Stain everywhere?

        But don’t miss the real headline:

        Batshiit Crazy Islamic Shooting at Christchuch!

        1. Chinese Muslims arrived in New Zealand in the 1870’s. Arab Muslims, mostly from Lebannon and Iraq, arrived in New Zealand in the first decade of the 1900’s. However, the Muslim population of New Zealand grew the most beginning in the 1970’s. Political strife in Indonesia and The Philippines led some Muslims from those countries to immigrate to New Zealand.

          1. African tribal leaders sold their own relatives and countrymen to Middle Eastern slave traders with the Africans first arriving in the British colonies in 1619. Did you say post-facto remediation? “Crazy Abe” Lincoln did and he’d like to say a few words now on both appropriate remediation and compassionate repatriation.

            Go ahead, Abe.

            Ahem!

            “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”

            “Crazy Abe” was a great thinker conceiving the definitive plan pertaining to the “…injurious tendency…” of “…discordant intermixture…” “…in the composition of society.” *

            Unfortunately, someone changed his mind.
            __________________________________

            *
            “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

            – Alexander Hamilton

  4. JT one way or another that report will be in public hands. Now, what the real problem is will Trump enablers believe anything that might be in it. It has been very public knowledge with most Americans that Trump supporters do not, can not live with facts, truth, or logic. If the Mueller report does not fit their idea of justice then they will yell and scream about that the report was written by the “Deep State” or HRC. Barr might be able to hide certain things, but he can’t hide what will go down in SDNY, NJ, DC, or any other state laws which are certain to show the world what a unfit man-child Trump is, and has been.

    1. From Wikipedia:

      Beryl Alaine Howell (born December 3, 1956) is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Currently, she is the federal judge supervising the Grand Jury in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

      [end excerpt]

      Judge Howell is the one who decides the fate of Mueller’s grand jury information–provided that someone (say, Nadler, for instance) asks Judge Howell to release that grand jury information. Since the request would presumably come from Congress, Trump might assert executive privilege over “presidential communications” with some of the witnesses who had testified before Mueller’s grand jury. However, since Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. never worked in the Trump White House, the “presidential communications” privilege could not be properly asserted over their communications with Trump.

      IIRC (“?”), Paul Manafort may be the only one of those four people who testified before Mueller’s grand jury. Since I’m still not a lawyer, I don’t know whether Manafort effectively waived attorney-client privilege over all of his grand jury testimony or whatever he told Mueller during his interviews while the cooperation-agreement was still in place. But I still don’t see how any form of executive privilege could be asserted over any grand jury testimony or evidence. A dispute between the Executive Branch versus the Legislative Branch ought not to infringe upon the independence of The Judicial Branch. That’s when we most need the Judicial Branch to be independent.

      1. Not with “Beers” Kavanaugh sitting there just waiting to put down the 5th vote. Independent judicial is not in the cards, ask Mitch “I stole it” McConnell.

    1. Saw that. My guess is that will be released with his tax returns. Since Trump is fond of mocking the military records of perceived enemies, he should put up or shut up.

  5. Who is Robert Mueller? Mueller was the FBI Chief under President Jesus Soetoro Obama, when the latter, without judicial charge, incinerated with a drone strike American Muslim 16 year old Anwar Al-Awlaki (on foreign soil).

    After Obama committed this cold blooded felony murder of an otherwise innocent American child, Mueller and Obama had a talk, maybe over some lovely cognac, maybe after a nice taxpayer paid gourmet meal. At that time, Mueller told Obama that Obama had legal cover to repeat the same murder, even on American soil, if and when Obama so desired.

    That is who Robert Mueller is.

    Hey progs: has Orange Man committed any such cold blooded murders?

    How would the current MSM react if Orange Man committed the same type of felony murder of a Muslim American child for which they earlier blessed their little Baby Jesus Obama?

        1. Actually, his 8 year old daughter. Like most types of war, “collateral damage”, or killing of innocents is unavoidable. Drones are less likely to do this than conventional bombings or even manned assaults. Obama instituted a policy of reporting known deaths due to collateral damage. Trump just rescinded that policy.

          “WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday weakened a rule that required the government to annually make public its estimates of civilian bystanders killed in airstrikes outside conventional war zones — increasing the secrecy that cloaks one of the most contentious aspects of the fight against terrorists….”

          https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/us/politics/trump-civilian-casualties-rule-revoked.html

      1. First Jesus Obama killed the father, then the 16 year old son, both with the same name. Nice try, Obama boot licker.

      2. OH WOW, Anwar was “involved” in X! Why didn’t you SAY SO? THAT makes the lack of judicial charge OK, then, right? OF COURSE! How stupid of me! /sarc off

        Were you there with Anwar when he got “involved?” If not, who told you that crap you just posted? Oh, yeah, right, we know: the Judge, the Jury, and the executioner, all the same guy, Jesus Obama.

        Anwar committed the “crime” of his name appearing on Obama’s infamous “Kill List.” Explain Mr. Obama Boot Licker exactly how this Kill List does not violate Article 1 of the US Constitution.

        Let’s just eliminate the whole judicial system, and return to a Monarchy where the King or Queen just adds names to a Kill List and kills them with a drone strike, even on US soil as our dear Mueller instructed Jesus Obama.

  6. The report will be an exercise in self-justification by a bad man. It’s face value will be nil.

    1. Trump’s best defense is still that he didn’t know what he was doing; he was just doing it–willfully but not knowingly. IOW, no criminal intent. Sound familiar?

  7. One telling comment was “it will have to be released as a dossier not a report.” My first comment is centered around the notion an all powerful and far reaching ability did not begin to get started and the most obvious were ignored.

    Short of something like a long term term fly on the wall. Huma Gotcha comes to mind first and one other source. That almost endless well of those who went fifth amendment etc from the various staffs. Little Rock to DC to NYC to and from … everywhere.

    The untapped sources of those whose combined knowledge once freed of prosecution will have stories worth telling and selling.

    Huma Gotcha heads that list

    1. huma has nice hair and eyes. but her mouth is too big. eventually it will open and who knows what will issue forth

  8. Preposterous. Can the Mueller Report be released? Can the People, through their Congress, impeach and convict Mueller for “malicious prosecution?” There’s a question. The ultimate power is impeachment and that is the People’s power. The Mueller Report is as vacuous, fraudulent and corrupt as the Warren Report.

    I’m going to take a wild guess that every act of the U.S. government is approved or denied by the People and every publication of the U.S. government is the property of the People, as represented by Congress and the Senate. In two shakes of a lamb’s tail, the People, through their legislative branch, may order the sealing or release of any and all documents. The only question is, do the People care and do the People want their documents enough to compel their representatives?

    The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

    Congress declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941.

  9. Turley wrote, “President Donald Trump has already stated that the report should be public – a statement that would seem to waive executive privilege objections to its release.”

    There’s no way that Trump waives executive privilege without knowing what’s in Mueller’s confidential report to AG Barr. There may be a fair number of issues that AG Barr is required to conceal from Trump. But Trump is definitely going to want to know as much as possible about over what Trump is waiving executive privilege.

    P.S. The special counsel’s confidential report to the Attorney General is hardly the only sort of report that the special counsel can issue. Stayed tuned for more on the varieties of reports that Mueller could make.

    1. The title, professor, is used as a matter of etiquette, protocol and respect…or not.

      Showing disrespect is narcissistic.

      “When you think of a narcissistic person, you imagine someone who is almost impossibly self-centered, grandiose, and attention-seeking.”

      – Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

      Does that sound familiar?
      __________________________________________________________

      “And in the end

      The love you take

      Is equal to the love

      You make”

      – Lennon/McCartney

        1. Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
          But she doesn’t have a lot to say
          Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
          But she changes from day to day
          I wan to tell her that I love her a lot
          But I gotta get a belly full of wine
          Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
          Someday I’m gonna make her mine–Oh yeah!
          Someday I’m gonna make her mine.

          Shave and a hair cut
          Two bits

        2. I rest my case.

          Thank you for the demonstration of the hysteria and incoherence the Founders perceived when they rightfully restricted women from the vote; all the while understanding that women had an integral, imperative natural function, making the nation, which kept them occupied and unavailable.

          Whatever would you do without “Generational Welfare,” “Affirmative Action Privilege,” and the balance of your socially engineered, redistributionist “entitlements?” When you radical, extreme feminists, Feminazis, eliminate men, whom will you exploit and leech from for you success, before, that is, your “society” collapses due to a non-existent population? How will you ever “break through the glass ceiling” without men there to install the ceiling?

          1. You never would have conceived of the ceiling had we women not brought you men up out of the caves you were living in to see The Sun shining down through the tress in the canopy of the forest.

            Now go rock your own cradle, you ingrate, you.

              1. Well not the end.

                I doubt that. Humans didn’t subdue lions individually and by their bare hands and muscle but by pack behavior and tools of assault. Women would be fully capable of that, though it would take more of them to haul the prize back to the fire.

    2. Here’s a rough-hewn working list from the world’s greatest close reader, Marcy Wheeler, of the variety of possible reports from Mueller other than the last one on the list that Trump expects:

      1.A request for a conspiracy indictment naming Trump as a defendant, which would be denied, therefore triggering a report of that denial to the Judiciary Committees (but which would also presumably result in an indictment of others).

      2.An overarching conspiracy indictment including Don Jr and other players, with Trump named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

      3.A Road Map akin to the Watergate one, sharing grand jury material with the House Judiciary Committee; this would be a strong possibility in case of option 2.

      4.No further indictment, but a report showing a great deal of evidence a conspiracy took place, with The Report explaining why (including Presidential prerogative on foreign policy) it can’t be indicted, with or without an accompanying HJC Road Map.

      5.Some kind of report submitted as a counterintelligence report, in addition to indictments (a possibility some have floated but which I believe to utterly misunderstand the nature of Mueller’s task).

      6.The Report showing much ado about nothing.

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