The Latest: Mueller sentencing memo in Manafort case pending
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the special counsel’s Russia investigation (all times local):
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s sentencing memorandum for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was not publicly available late Friday, suggesting the document may still be under seal.
Mueller’s team was to have weighed in by the end of the day Friday on Manafort’s punishment in one of his two criminal cases. But the memo was not publicly filed by midnight Friday, an indication that the document includes sensitive information and that prosecutors are seeking a judge’s approval to redact, or black out, that material.
The sentencing recommendation comes as the 69-year-old Manafort, who led Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for several critical months, is already facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison in a separate case.
President Donald Trump is continuing to insist his 2016 presidential campaign did not collude with Russia as the special counsel is showing signs of concluding his investigation.
Trump said at the White House Friday that he won the election “because I was a better candidate … and it had nothing to do with Russia.” He adds that the report will say that “if it’s an honest report.”
Trump has repeatedly tried to undermine Robert Mueller’s work during the two-year probe. Mueller is examining Russian election interference and possible coordination with associates of the president.
At least six Trump aides or advisers have been charged in the investigation.
Six House Democratic committee heads are calling on Attorney General William Barr to make special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report public, including any “evidence of misconduct” by President Donald Trump.
In a letter to Barr Friday, the committee chairmen say “the public is entitled to know what the special counsel has found.”
Mueller is required to send a report to Barr and Barr is required to report to Congress. It’s unknown how thorough Mueller’s report will be, and how much Barr will decide to release.
The Democrats are warning against withholding information on Trump because of a Justice Department opinion that the president can’t be indicted. They say withholding evidence of wrongdoing because the president can’t be charged “is to convert department policy into the means for a cover-up.”
A report from special counsel Robert Mueller about the Russia investigation is not expected to be delivered to the Justice Department next week.
That’s according to a senior Justice Department official who spoke Friday to The Associated Press. The official couldn’t discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mueller is examining Russian election interference and possible coordination with associates of President Donald Trump.
It was not immediately clear when the report might come, though Mueller is believed to be wrapping up.
Under Justice Department guidelines, Mueller will deliver his report to Attorney General Bill Barr. Barr will then prepare a report for Congress.
The two-year probe has shadowed Trump’s presidency. At least six Trump aides or advisers have been charged in the investigation.
The White House says President Donald Trump will let his new attorney general decide whether to release the findings of the special counsel’s Russia investigation to the public.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump was “following the proper process” by putting the decision to William Barr. But she stressed that the White House was not concerned about the findings.
Sanders said Trump was president because he was the “better candidate,” adding that “he didn’t need to, nor did he collude with the Russians.”
Barr has said he wants to release as much information as he can. But he has also made clear that he ultimately will decide what the public sees, and that any report will be in his words, not those of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller is showing signs of concluding his investigation.