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Like sands through the hourglass by @BloggersRUs

Like sands through the hourglass

by Tom Sullivan

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing to release findings from his probe into Russian 2016 election interference soon after the November 6 mid-term elections, Bloomberg reports, citing an two unnamed officials:

That doesn’t necessarily mean Mueller’s findings would be made public if he doesn’t secure unsealed indictments. The regulations governing Mueller’s probe stipulate that he can present his findings only to his boss, who is currently Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The regulations give a special counsel’s supervisor some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released.
With rumors the sitting president could fire Rosenstein in a bid to shut down the investigation Trump considers a witch hunt never far below the fold, the timing of the release could determine if, when, and how those findings reach the public. Rosenstein could resign or face firing after the election, one reason, officials said, he is eager for Mueller to wrap up the investigation.

Despite ridiculing the investigation since it began and after countless "NO COLLUSION" tweets, Trump again on Sunday claimed he had "no intention" of shutting it down. “I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind.”

There’s no indication, though, that Mueller is ready to close up shop, even if he does make some findings, according to former federal prosecutors. Several matters could keep the probe going, such as another significant prosecution or new lines of inquiry. And because Mueller’s investigation has been proceeding quietly, out of the public eye, it’s possible there have been other major developments behind the scenes.
Those may arise from all the hours of testimony and cooperation provided by former Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as well as Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Despite pressure to end the probe by deadlines set by the administration, it would not be unprecedented for such an investigation to go longer. The Starr investigation into President Bill Clinton took four years. The investigation into Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, took almost two, Bloomberg reminds.

ABC News adds detail on the possible fate of Mueller's findings:

Rosenstein is required by regulation to notify the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of the investigation and provide them with an explanation of any instance where he blocked a proposed action by Mueller’s team.

He could also release Mueller’s report to the public if he determines that the release “would be in the public interest,” according to the regulation, but considering Trump’s tumultuous relationship with the Justice Department and its leaders, Rosenstein might not be in a position to make those decisions when Mueller finishes his work.

Trump has never made his tax returns public. Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general during the Obama administration, helped draft the regulations. He recommends Rosenstein transmit “interim reports” to Congress to to preserve Mueller’s investigation against future interference by the Trump White House:
“Rosenstein could, right now, tell Congress (or even a small group of members, with appropriate safeguards, including secrecy) what has happened — what Mueller has learned so far, whether Rosenstein has ever said “no” to Mueller and where the investigation is headed now,” he wrote in the Washington Post. “Such a move would be unusual, to say the least. But it is a way for Rosenstein to safeguard his legacy. And it could also safeguard the very principle that no one is above the law. Not even the president — and not even this president.”
The final insult of this insult presidency will be if Trump's legacy proves the contrary.

In North Carolina this morning, polls are open for early voting.

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