The Mueller Report release date is finally here. Roughly four weeks after the historic investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller ended and the findings were delivered to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, a redacted version of the Mueller Report was released today to the public.
At over 400 pages, the Mueller Report focused on Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, and it sought to find out whether Donald Trump or his associates conspired with Russia to affect the election and whether President Trump obstructed federal investigations. In his four-page summary of the Mueller Report, Attorney General Barr wrote that the special counsel's probe "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election."
Barr also noted that the Mueller Report reached no conclusion on the matter of obstruction by President Donald Trump. The Attorney General's four-page "principle conclusions" includes a quote directly from the Mueller Report, stating, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” But Barr stated that he determined that the evidence collected in Mueller's investigation was "not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense."
Before releasing the Mueller Report on Thursday, Barr held a press conference to discuss the report's major findings and reiterated that it did not prove collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Russia's interference in the election “did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign, or the knowing assistance of any American,” Barr said on Thursday morning.
Now, the public can read the Mueller Report for themselves — or at least the redacted version of the report, with some key information deleted due to concerns about national security and other ongoing investigations, among other reasons.
Here's everything you need to know, including where to find the Mueller Report online on Thursday, April 18, and how and where to buy a copy.
Where Can I Read the Mueller Report for Free?
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, the redacted Mueller Report was posted as a pdf file at the Department of Justice website. The document's official title is "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In the 2016 Presidential Election," by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, and it runs a total of 448 pages.
You can read the Mueller Report online for free at justice.gov/storage/report.pdf.
Where Can I Get a Copy of the Mueller Report?
While you can read the Mueller Report pdf file for free online, it's also possible to buy your own copy — in print, or as a Kindle book or other kind of digital e-book.
Amazon and other booksellers have been accepting pre-orders of the Mueller Report for over a month. Among the publishers selling copies of the Special Counsel report are Scribner, which is selling a version of the Mueller Report with additional reporting and analysis by Washington Post reporters for $10.50 on Amazon, and Skyhorse, which is publishing The Mueller Report with an introduction by Harvard Law scholar Alan Dershowitz for $9.20.
Print copies of the Mueller Report will not be available right away; some time is needed for the books to be made and distributed. A Scribner representative told Publishers Weekly that it would get an e-book version ready for purchase within two or three days of the Mueller Report's release, and that the Mueller Report paperback would be available within five to eight days. Barnes and Noble has also promised a free electronic Nook version of the Mueller Report that could be available in digital format as early as Thursday, April 19.
Originally, publishers gave their versions of the Mueller Report a tentative release date of March 26, 2019, but that was just intended to be a placeholder. As of Wednesday, the "release" date for the Mueller Report listed on Amazon was April 30, 2019, but that too was just an estimate.
If you're wondering how publishers can sell the Mueller Report, copyright law generally holds that anyone can publish and sell reports that are made by the federal government and released to the public. That being said, you don't have to buy the Mueller Report — because, as stated above, it's easy to read the Mueller Report for free online.
When Will the Full Mueller Report Be Released?
The Mueller Report being released today is the redacted version. For obvious reasons, there has been an increase in searches online for the meaning of "redacted." What "redacted" means here is that the version of the Mueller Report released today has been edited and censored, with certain material deleted or obscured so the public can't see it.
Attorney General Barr said that the redacted Mueller Report would not include four kinds of information: grand jury material; foreign intelligence; information related to ongoing investigations; and information that affects the privacy or reputations of "peripheral third parties who were not charged" during the Mueller investigation.
Some have voiced concerns that the redacted Mueller Report available today could possibly be misleading because it was edited severely, with passages deleted so as to protect President Trump or his allies. But it is unclear when (or if) the full Mueller Report will be available to the public, or even to members of Congress.
So far, federal judges have denied requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act that would have made the full Mueller Report public. But during a hearing this week U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton acknowledged concerns many have about the secrecy surrounding the Mueller Report and the redactions being made by Attorney General William Barr. “The attorney general has created an environment that has caused a significant part of the public … to be concerned about whether or not there is full transparency,” Walton, a judge appointed by President George W. Bush, said in court.
Congressional Democrats are also considering several options to get access to the full unredacted Mueller Report. As the Washington Post summed up, Democrats have said that they will issue a subpoena to see the full Mueller Report. If Barr refuses to cooperate, they may take their battle to court, request that some specific passages are unredacted, or use some other strategy to strongarm Barr into releasing the Mueller Report or some parts of it.
Members of Congress could even seek the impeachment of William Barr if he is persistent in the refusal to release the full Mueller Report to them, and "if the legal battle gets to this point, we’re in uncharted territory," the Post reported.