Robert Mueller won't submit report to attorney general next week, DOJ official tells NBC News

  • Special counsel Robert Mueller will not deliver a report to the attorney general next week, as was previously reported by multiple outlets, a senior Department of Justice official told NBC News on Friday.
  • Attorney General William Barr was preparing to announce the completion of Mueller's investigation into any links between President Donald Trump and Russia as soon as next week, CNN reported Wednesday.
  • In a letter to Barr dated Friday, the chairs of six influential House committees suggested that withholding evidence uncovered by Mueller could be the means for a "cover-up."
Robert Mueller
Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
Robert Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller will not deliver a report to the attorney general next week, as was previously reported by multiple outlets, a senior Department of Justice official told NBC News on Friday.

Attorney General William Barr was preparing to announce the completion of Mueller's investigation into any links between President Donald Trump and Russia as soon as next week, CNN reported Wednesday. The outlet reported that those plans were subject to change.

In December, NBC News reported that a Mueller report could be delivered to the attorney general as soon as mid-February.

Democratic lawmakers have demanded that Mueller's findings be made public. Top Democrats have said that any potential talk of impeachment is contingent on whether Mueller uncovers new evidence of wrongdoing.

Earlier Friday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reiterated her demands that a report be provided to Congress and the public. She said that Mueller's potential report concerned matters that had "implications for the rule of law and stability of our democracy" and that they "cannot be hidden away."

"A summary written by Attorney General Barr in place of the Mueller report will not be acceptable," Feinstein said.

In a letter to Barr dated Friday, the chairs of six influential House committees suggested that withholding evidence uncovered by Mueller could be the means for a "cover-up."

"After nearly two years of investigation — accompanied by two years of direct attacks on the integrity of the investigation by the President — the public is entitled to know what the Special Counsel has found," wrote the Democrats, including Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, Rep. Maxine Waters of California and Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts.

A spokesperson for the special counsel declined to comment. Speculation about the conclusion of Mueller's inquiry, which began in May 2017, has been rampant since shortly after Mueller was appointed. The former FBI director has not provided any guidance about the expected duration of his probe.

The president said Friday that he had not discussed the release of the report with Barr. Earlier in the week he said he would let Barr determine whether the report would be released. Barr said during his confirmation hearings last month that he would try to make Mueller's findings as public as he could, but he did not commit to making a potential report public.

The Department of Justice regulations that apply to Mueller's work require him to provide the attorney general with "a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions" reached during the course of the investigation. The regulations neither require nor forbid Barr from making that report public.

The regulations do call for Barr to submit his own report to Congress, however.

"These reports will be brief notifications, with an outline of the actions and the reasons for them," the Justice Department said in a discussion of the special counsel regulations published in the Federal Register in 1999.