Mueller report is not the end of Trump's affair with Russia
Attorney General William Barr is set to release the Mueller report on Thursday, shedding light on many aspects of the investigation that has sparked massive speculation during Donald Trump’s first two years as president.
Roughly a month after receiving the report in the first place, Mr Barr’s release comes as Democrats have repeatedly and loudly demanded a full an un-redacted copy of the document, a request that appears unlikely to be totally met by the Justice Department.
On Wednesday night – the eve of the report’s release – the Washington Post said the department of justice would release a report that was only “lightly redacted”.
It said it will reveal that Mr Mueller decided he could not come to a conclusion on the question of obstruction of justice because it was difficult to determine Mr Trump’s intentions and some of his actions could be interpreted innocently. But it said it would offer a “detailed blow-by-blow of his alleged conduct”.
While most of the report remains under wraps, here’s what we know so far about what is inside — and what we might expect to learn.
The report says that Mr Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia during the campaign
Mr Barr indicated in a letter to Congress that the Mueller report found that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, in spite of numerous reports over the past two years indicating that Trump campaign officials met with Russian sources during that time.
With those reports as backdrop, the idea that Mr Mueller’s team determined no collusion or conspiracy existed has been a contentious one since Mr Barr’s letter was released.
The report will talk about Mr Trump’s decision to fire former FBI director James Comey
The existence of the Mueller investigation at all can actually be traced back to Mr Comey’s firing, which the former FBI director reportedly found out about by taking a look at news reports on television.
Mr Trump said following the firing that the Russia investigation played a part in his reasoning for the firing — leading to claims that the president obstructed justice in the firing.
Mr Barr has indicated he does not believe sitting presidents can obstruct justice while doing their job, and has indicated the Justice Department does not view the evidence on this issue as being weighty enough to bring charges against Mr Trump.
We may get more information about interactions between Mr Trump and Mr Comey before that firing
Mr Comey, after his firing, released memos he wrote just after meetings with Donald Trump, alleging that the president pressured him to drop the Russia investigation.
The report is likely to tell us a bit more about those meetings, and who was involved.
We will likely learn how much contact the Trump campaign had with Russia — including a now-infamous meeting in Trump Tower
We already know that Donald Trump Jr and several other top Trump campaign officials met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after being promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Mr Trump Jr and others have claimed they got no real intelligence from that effort, but it remains to be seen what the Mueller probe found.
At the centre of all the hacking and leaking that Russia managed to get away with is WikiLeaks, the platform where stolen emails from the DNC and Clinton campaign were published.
Roger Stone, a top adviser to Mr Trump, has some level of connection with that group. The extent of those talks, if any, could become apparent with the release of the report.