Special counsel Robert Mueller owes Congress and the American public a full report on the extent of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.
This is not simply my opinion. I’ve taken everything but the first ten words of that paragraph directly from former FBI director James Comey’s March 2017 description to the House Intelligence Committee of the ongoing investigation that two months later was turned over to Mueller.
This was at heart a counterintelligence investigation. The potential filing of criminal charges was literally an afterthought, placed in the second-to-last paragraph of Mueller’s remit:
“If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.”
So once Mueller has figured out exactly what happened — which may or may not be very soon — he will of course deliver his findings to the Justice Department as well as distribute it through intelligence channels.
But the main goal of a counterintelligence investigation is crystal clear: it’s to make sure that whatever happened doesn’t happen again.
Generally, that information is very closely held, on a “need to know” basis, so as to not tip off the enemy.
But in this case, it’s clear that the parties who “need to know” are the U.S. Congress and the American people.
So do not be overly concerned about the limits placed on special counsel reports in general, or about grand jury secrecy.
We should expect a full report from Mueller. Nothing less than the future of our democracy depends upon it.
For more on this, including the interviews I conducted to reach this conclusion, please read my (admittedly premature) April 2018 article: Mueller’s big reveal is coming, and it could be bigger than anyone thinks.