Don’t expect a big reveal when Special Counsel Robert Mueller issues his final report.
According to NBC News, Mueller operates under strict rules that determine what information can be made public – and the full scope of what he and his team found might not ever be released publicly.
"Expectations that we will see a comprehensive report from the special counsel are high. But the written regulations that govern the special counsel's reporting requirements should arguably dampen those expectations," Chuck Rosenberg, a former federal prosecutor and NBC News analyst, told the news outlet.
Even though a 453-page report from independent counsel Kenneth Starr was released after a probe of President Bill Clinton in 1998, the Mueller investigation “won’t be anything like that,” NBC News’ Ken Dilanian wrote.
Dilanian explained Starr operated under the now-defunct independent counsel law that allowed him to call many of his own shots. But Mueller is a special counsel under Justice Department supervision, making him “subject to very specific regulations,” Dilanian wrote.
According to NBC News, current rules governing the Mueller probe say that at the conclusion of the special counsel’s work, “he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel."
The attorney general has to send a report to Congress; but there are rules about that too, NBC News reported, requiring it to be a “brief” notification “with an outline of the actions and the reasons for them."
The wildcard, NBC News reported, is if the Mueller report contains allegations of potentially impeachable offenses against the president, the details of which would have to be passed along to Congress.
A report will be sent over to the Justice Department in the next several weeks, NBC News reported, citing unnamed sources.