Mueller report on Trump, Russia expected to be released Thursday

As Washington counted down to the release, Donald Trump stepped up his attacks in an 11th-hour effort to undermine the report's findings.

A redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russian Federation investigation is expected to be released Thursday morning, the US Justice Department said Monday. "Answer - Dirty Cops, Dems and Crooked Hillary!"

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders repeatedly tried to make the same case on TV talk shows on Sunday.

"The Special Counsel. did not draw a conclusion - one way or the other - as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction", Barr wrote.

Democrats immediately called for Mr Mueller to testify and for his report to be released. While the prospect that the Democratic-led House of Representatives would begin the impeachment process to try to remove Trump from office appears to have receded, the House Judiciary Committee will be looking for any evidence relevant to ongoing probes into obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power by the president or others in the administration. Jerry Nadler of NY, is poised to try to compel Barr to turn over an unredacted copy as well as the report's underlying investigative files.

Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec did not provide a precise time, but said the report, which Barr has described as almost 400 pages long, will be released both to Congress and the public.

The attorney general told Congress he hopes to release the almost 400-page report this week, with portions blacked out to protect certain types of sensitive information. The attorney general then sent Congress a four-page letter that detailed Mueller's "principal conclusions". Barr said that he reviewed Mueller's evidence and made his own determination that Trump did not commit the crime of obstruction of justice. Barr said he did not believe the evidence was sufficient to prove that Trump had obstructed justice.

The scores of outstanding questions about the investigation has not stopped the president's allies from declaring victory.

"Since there was no Collusion, why was there an Investigation in the first place!" The president himself seethed at a political rally that the whole thing was an attempt "to tear up the fabric of our great democracy".

The White House declined to comment, but the president criticized the report in two tweets Monday. But Barr's statement in the letter that "most" of Trump's actions that had raised questions about obstruction were "the subject of public reporting" suggested that some actions were not publicly known.

The victory lap was deliberately premature, they said.

Trump unleashed a series of tweets on Monday - including two just minutes after the Justice Department's announcement - focusing on the favorable toplines in the previously released summary produced by Attorney General William Barr. A number of White House aides have privately said they are eager for all Russian Federation stories, good or bad, to fade from the headlines.

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