If you've been waiting for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, your waiting isn't over. The good news is, you don't have to wonder anymore when the wait will end.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on the Russia investigation and President Donald Trump is expected to be made public Thursday morning, the Justice Department said Monday.Washington has been waiting for the release of the report, which has put Attorney General William Barr at loggerheads with congressional Democrats who have demanded the entire, unredacted document since Mueller recently concluded his nearly two-year investigation.
As things stand, the findings that we'll see on Thursday morning will be a redacted version of the final document, not the full and unedited Mueller report. Congressional efforts to obtain everything -- including the unredacted findings and the supporting materials -- will continue.
But chances are good that on Thursday morning, our understanding of the special counsel's report will at least be better than it is now. We'll have to deal with Bill Barr's redactions, but we won't have to rely exclusively on Barr's characterizations -- and non-summary summary -- of Team Mueller's work.
In the meantime, ABC News' Jonathan Karl reported yesterday that White House officials "have been briefed" on the yet-to-be-released report and there is "significant concern on the president's team," especially with regards to what former White House Counsel Don McGahn told Mueller and his investigators.
It's important to emphasize that MSNBC and NBC News haven't independently confirmed that reporting, but if Karl's correct and the White House has been briefed on Mueller's findings, it casts Donald Trump's latest tweets in an interesting light.
The president wrote over the weekend, for example, "Why should Radical Left Democrats in Congress have a right to retry and examine the $35,000,000 (two years in the making) No Collusion Mueller Report, when the crime committed was by Crooked Hillary, the DNC and Dirty Cops?"
Trump added in a series of tweets this morning, "Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction. These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS! ... The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax. That is, never forget, the crime. Since there was no Collusion, why was there an Investigation in the first place! Answer - Dirty Cops, Dems and Crooked Hillary!"
I won't pretend to know what's in the Mueller report or which side of the political divide will be satisfied with its contents. But I can't help but notice the shift in Trump's tone.
Remember, three weeks ago today, Trump was asked whether Mueller acted honorably in his investigation of the Russia scandal. “Yes, he did,” the president replied, adding that it “wouldn’t bother me at all” if the full Mueller report was released.
Two days later, Trump added, in reference to a document he had not read, “The Mueller report was great. It could not have been better.”
None of this bears any resemblance to the president's latest online tantrums.
A Republican close to the White House told Politico the other day, in reference to Trump, “He wouldn’t be bringing this up still if everything was hunky dory.” It’s a quote worth keeping in mind ahead of Thursday morning.