One of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors will soon leave his post, a spokesman said on Thursday, confirming a move likely to add fuel to speculation that the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 US election is nearing an end.
Lawmakers today overwhelmingly passed a resolution, 420 to 0, urging the Justice Department to publicly release Mueller's report on whether there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. But it's still not clear how much of the report, which will be submitted to Attorney General William Barr, will ever see the light of day.
It called for any report Mueller sends to Barr to be released publicly - except for any classified material. It also calls for the entire report to be given to Congress.
But the effort did not move forward after Republican Sen. He said he has no reason to believe that Barr won't follow the regulations.
"This resolution is critical because of the many questions and criticisms of the investigation raised by the president and his administration", said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.
News outlets have reported that Mueller & Co. were in the process of writing a final report on the investigation, which looked into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation as well as possible obstruction of justice on the part of President Trump.
Four Republicans voted present: MI congressman Justin Amash, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, Arizona congressman Paul Gosar and Kentucky congressman Thomas Massie.
Some Democrats have voiced concern that Barr could withhold evidence of possible misconduct by Trump, under Justice Department policies that oppose bringing criminal charges against a sitting president and discourage releasing explanations when a person has not been charged with a crime. Those regulations require only that the report explain the decisions to pursue or to decline prosecutions, which could be as simple as a bullet point list or as fulsome as a report running hundreds of pages.
In February, six House Democratic committee chairs, led by Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of NY, made a similar request in a letter to Barr. Mueller has not indicated when he will complete the report, though an announcement on Thursday about the coming departure of a senior prosecutor on his team stoked speculation that it could be soon. The letter asked for a public release of the Mueller report and that the attorney general provide to Congress any information in the report that can not be publicly released by law.