Although Special Envoy Robert Mueller is still far from completing his investigation into Russia's possible interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, legal experts are already discussing the best way to end it.
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The public learned this week The Special Adviser's team told President Trump's lawyers that they were preparing a report on the President's actions in office and that a second report could follow up on their findings on Russia's interference, several said Sources familiar with these discussions. The disclosure of Müller's plans to publish a report first reported by the Washington Post and endorsed by ABC News has quickly led to discussions in the legal community on how to proceed.
Under Federal law, Mueller must present a confidential report to the Deputy Prosecutor General Rod Rosenstein at the conclusion of his investigation, which explains the decisions of the Special Adviser on whether or not a prosecution is justified.
Rosenstein will decide if this report will be published.
Rosenstein must "notify" the Chairpersons and senior minority members of the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee by law "of the conclusion of the investigation" "with a statement for each action", but he is under no obligation to provide the full report publish congress. Since the members of Congress are conducting their own separate investigations into possible interferences in the Russian elections, they may try to request the Special Advisory Service's report if Rosenstein refuses to surrender it.
Müller's team will navigate in unknown waters when determining the nature of the report to be submitted. Mueller is the first special adviser appointed under new regulations to investigate an incumbent president.
"There are two models," said Paul Rosenzweig, former Advisor to Independent Legal Adviser Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater investigation. "Mueller could write a brief report, about ten pages: I came, I saw, I did this, that's the result, goodbye," said Rosenzweig.
Or at the other end of the spectrum, Muller could write a full report with everything they've found, seen, and done, said Rosenzweig, who recalled that The Starr The bill of impeachment of President Bill Clinton contained two hundred pages of text, four volumes of exhibits, and at least two Van Full documents.
"When it matters, does Mueller see the job as a traditional law enforcement or as a public truth commission?" Asked Rosenzweig.
Rosenzweig told ABC News that he would champion the "minimalist model" if he was in Müller's team because Congress did not duplicate the idea of the "public truth commission" when he dropped the independent legal bill that an independent lawyer submits his findings directly to the public. "I would take this lesson to heart," he said.
But Jonathan Turley, law professor at George Washington University Law School, demanded a full account of Müller's findings and hopes that the Special Adviser will write a detailed report that Rosenstein publishes.
"The public has lost confidence in the spins of both parties in Congress," said Turley ABC News. "It is really necessary that a full and independent report be presented to the public, and without such a record it will be difficult for this deeply divided country to go beyond these controversies."
Harold Krent, Dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said that if Mueller is already preparing reports for Rosenstein, it could mean that his investigation is complete. "They would not want to submit an interim report that sets their goals," Krent said. If it were his decision, Krent said he would prepare two reports, one for public consumption and a more detailed report for Rosenstein and selected members of the congress.
"I feel that whatever Mueller does, should he vent on the side of transparency, there are so many discussions and fears, and it is important that the public understands the principles involved in accusing or not to sue. "
A spokesman for the Mueller team declined to comment on the status of the investigation.
Presidential Attorney Jay Sekulow told ABC News that "we are not discussing any real or alleged discussions between our Legal Department and the Special Issues Bureau."
ABC News Mike Levine, John Santucci, Katherine Faulders, Jordyn Phelps, and Matt Mosk all contributed to the report.