• Ben Henschel

Mueller's report is imminent. But just how much will we get to see?

Updated: Jan 11

The inquiry regarding Russian interference in 2016's presidential campaigns and election conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is finally complete, after years of interviews and thousands (and thousands, and thousands) of documents. But just how much of it will us citizens get to see?

That's always been the question, whether you want the report publicized or not. Those who do — including many of the 2020 democratic candidates and just about anyone anti-Trump — say all of it should be given to the public, insisting that they, the people, are entitled to it. Those who do not usually cite the most recent Tweet the president spouted out condemning the report and its conductors.

But before any of that, we ultimately need to consider how much can be released. People on both sides tend to forget that we're dealing with Russian interference, including that of high-up oligarchs, holier-than-thou lawyers and officials tied to the Russian government. That stuff (sometimes) threatens national security, so those parts of it may be exempt from release.

Then there's the section — the only one where Mueller is asked for an opinionated deviation from the fact-led report (restricting to avoid Ken Starr-level saturation of opinion in report) — on who Mueller declined to interview and why.

It's unlikely that many details regarding the Trump defense team's refusal to give a live interview to Mueller (despite many attempts from Mueller's team attempting to persuade them) will be released. It's likely to be an unflattering set of descriptions, considering the wide range of reporting that suggests Trump's team was too afraid that he'd perjure himself to let him speak on his own (specifically Bob Woodward's "Fear," click this link to read my views on the tell-all).

So yeah, it's important to keep in mind that yes, it's okay – we probably won't see all of it. It's really all up to Attorney General Robert Barr, who received the report Friday and reportedly was reading it that night. But we should absolutely see the parts that don't affect national security.

Both President Trump and Barr over the last few weeks have expressed their willingness to put out as much of the report as possible. Barr told reporters that he could be ready to give Congress an update on the report's contents as soon as this weekend. Trump tweeted that he'd be fine with the public seeing the full report, still claiming he did no wrong and had nothing to hide.

Part of the problem, it seems, are the sky-high expectations that are coming with this report. Many (especially the Krassensteins on Twitter) seem fully convinced that Mueller's report will provide impeachable evidence, or at least evidence to prosecute him after he leaves office. It's highly unlikely that anything impeachable will be included; but it's not out of the question to assume further evidence will be introduced that will allow further investigation by other parties to begin.

In any event, the Mueller report is being blown a bit out of proportion. But it will undeniably change the way the Trump and the White House operates for the rest of this term — whether it's an I-told-you-so attitude from Trump if little hard evidence of collusion is present, or a daily swarm of defensive, try-to-distract-you Twitter rants — and the attitude of Trump's re-election.

Some further truth should be coming in this week, whether publicly released or not. But whenever and if ever the public does get a glance at the full report, you can snag it in print below.


Check out this report by The New York Times on the progression of the Mueller Report — from what started it up until the events that took place leading to its delivery to Attorney General William P. Barr.