President Donald Trump at the Oval Office in the White House on Nov. 27, 2018.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images file
WASHINGTON (NBC NEW) – The conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on President Donald Trump has been sent to Congress at approximately 3:45 p.m. ET, a Department of Justice official says.
Attorney General William Barr transmitted his summary findings to lawmakers and they are expected to be made public a short time after.
Providing Mueller’s “principal conclusions,” as Barr has referred to them, to lawmakers comes after the transmission of Mueller’s report to Barr on Friday that concluded an investigation which has resulted in the indictments of 34 people, infuriated the president and threw the administration into turmoil.
The long-awaited end of the probe came almost two years after Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
Among those who have been criminally charged are Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn; former campaign chairman Paul Manafort; longtime ex-political adviser Roger Stone; former personal lawyer Michael Cohen; and numerous Russian nationals. There have been a number of guilty pleas and convictions — but none of the charges have directly accused Trump or anyone in his orbit of conspiring with Russians to help Trump get elected in 2016.
There will be no more indictments now that the probe is over, NBC News has learned.
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Trump refused be interviewed with Mueller — his lawyers said they were concerned about a “perjury trap” — but he did submit written responses to the special counsel’s questions in November.
Mueller was appointed special counsel on May 17, 2017 — eight days after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director. Comey had been leading the investigation into Russian meddling and any possible Trump campaign involvement.
The president initially said he’d removed Comey at the urging of Rosenstein and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but he later told NBC “Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt it was his decision, and the president cited his frustration with the Russia probe.
That fueled law enforcement concerns that Trump was trying to obstruct the investigation — fears that were heightened a day after the firing, when he hosted two Russian diplomats in the Oval Office. “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump told them, according to The New York Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Those and other actions taken by the president since the probe began led Mueller to investigate whether Trump was trying to obstruct justice in the case, sources have told NBC News.