Robert Mueller, the special advocate who spent nearly two years studying Donald Trump's ties to Russian influence in the 2016 US election, will leave the Justice Department in the "coming days," a spokesman said.
Mueller spent the investigation for 674 days before handing over a 400-page report to Attorney General William Barr. "He will complete his service in the coming days," DOJ spokesman Peter Carr told Quartz today. A "small staff remains in support of the closure of the office," said Carr. He said he did not have any specific information on which day, Mueller would leave or whether his departure would be consistent with Barr's promise to distribute a revised version of the report before mid-April.
Even though Mueller's departure is imminent, big questions remain as to what the investigation actually found. The four-page summary of Barr's report, released on March 24, was criticized by colleagues at Mueller for not accurately portraying the contents of the report, leaving out "alarming" details found in the Washington Post. The White House claims that the report "totally relieves Trump," even though Barr's summary quotes Mueller as a letter: "This report does not rule out that the president has committed a crime, nor does he relieve him."
The House The Judiciary Committee voted on April 3 to approve summonses for the full, unprocessed report and underlying evidence. Barr and possibly Muller might be asked to testify before the committee. In previous special investigations into misconduct by US presidents, Congress eventually gained access to prosecutors' reports and the underlying information.
Senate Republicans have now blocked a move to publicize the Mueller report five times.
Will Mueller be able to speak after he has quit?
As more and more questions arise about what the lengthy investigation into the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 elections revealed and how this could be prevented in 2020, many ask: Why not? "Mueller just came out in public and clarified things ?
After all, former FBI officials, including Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was released a few days before his pension, after a decade-long government began a career with media flashes after their departure. They wrote books about their experiences and talked to them about cable news channels and morning talk shows.
Even after leaving the DOJ, Mueller is unlikely to launch interviews with the news media about the investigation or even about the unique role he played in American democracy. First of all, that's not his style, former colleagues told Quartz.
And although Mueller has signed a contract with the Ministry of Justice to conduct the investigation, it is unlikely that he has a special secrecy agreement that prevents him from publicly discussing the investigation. Nevertheless, for ethical reasons, he is still prohibited from doing so. to disclose privileged information, such as information about the internal workings of the executive, which is normally protected from disclosure by the common law principle known as the deliberative process privilege or something derived from grand jury statements. Carr did not answer questions about Mueller's plans after he left, or whether he could speak freely about the unclassified parts of the investigation.