The full details of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election are soon to be published. The Tradefair team brings you the latest news in US politics...
"The Mueller investigation is totally conflicted, illegal and rigged! Should never have been allowed to begin, except for the Collusion and many crimes committed by the Democrats. Witch Hunt!"
- Donald Trump
It's been a long time coming, but the content of special counsel Robert Mueller's official inquiry into the reality of Russian interference in the 2016 US general election is now nearing publication.
The attorney general is widely expected to deliver Mueller's findings to Congress in the coming days.
An end to uncertainty over Russian collusion
Having been two years in the making, the release of the details of the probe will bring to an end months of uncertainty and recrimination between president Donald Trump and his political enemies.
The investigation has already led to several high-profile arrests and indictments, including former Trump campaign advisers Roger Stone, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, as well as the president's former lawyer Michael Cohen. The full detail of the report could prove a political bombshell in Washington.
Attorney general Bill Barr is now expected to reveal the report and its conclusions to Congress as early as next week. However, while the attorney general will receive the full details of Mueller's findings prior to publication, he is not obligated to release the report in full.
That said, Barr has previously stated a commitment to full transparency and therefore anything less than a complete and undoctored reveal to Congress is likely to result in significant unrest and claims of a cover-up.
A brief history of the Mueller investigation
Former FBI director Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to begin his investigation following claims that Russia had directly influenced voting and hacked several of the Trump team's rivals for the US presidency.
Focused on president Trump's business entanglements in Russia, the probe quickly uncovered several cases where conversations or meetings between the then-presidential candidate's team had lied about the scope and extent of Trump's dealings.
In November 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on charges relating to campaign violations and lying to Congress. It was the most high-profile indictment to date, but more could yet be seen depending on the outcome.
With the findings now just days away, should the report state there is significant evidence that Russia played an active role in bringing president Trump to office and that the president was directly involved in these dealings, there could be momentous change in US politics.
That said, should Trump be cleared of collusion, it will be a stunning victory for the president who has claimed his innocence and denounced the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" from the beginning.
The Mueller investigation is totally conflicted, illegal and rigged! Should never have been allowed to begin, except for the Collusion and many crimes committed by the Democrats. Witch Hunt!? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2019
What the report might mean for US markets
With the full impact of the Mueller investigation not yet known, it remains to be seen how major markets will react to the publication of this potentially inflammatory and game-changing report.
In recent days, the Dow Jones continued to trade strongly, with a 1.6 per cent rise over the last five days. At the same time, both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 markets have maintained gains recorded over the past week.
The impact of the Mueller report is yet to be seen in market activity; but whatever the outcome, it promises to be an important week in US politics as February draws to a close.
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