The TAKE with Rick Klein
Interested in The Note?Add The Note as an interest to stay up to date on the latest The Note news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
A day expected to answer some of the biggest outstanding questions of the Trump presidency starts with even more questions.
Attorney General William Barr's decision to hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. Thursday -- before special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report is released -- serves up a fresh batch of political concern over the investigation's conclusion.
When it comes time for the report itself to be released to Capitol Hill and the public, color-coded redactions and all, the political arguments surrounding the Russia investigation and all that stemmed from it could be more complicated than when the day started.
Those loyal to President Donald Trump remain anxious about who else -- if anyone -- might be implicated, and what else Mueller learned about the president's behavior. There could be more targets for Trump's wrath, depending on how much detail Mueller and his team get into.
On the other side, Barr referenced a few weeks back what Mueller "leaves unresolved" and "views as 'difficult issues' of law and fact concerning whether the President's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction." This could throw questions of impeachment squarely back into the mix for Democrats.
Barr's decision not to prosecute can't be appealed. But by speaking in advance of Mueller once again, it will be easier than ever to question the political motivations surrounding this moment.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Regardless of any possible revelations in the redacted Mueller report on Thursday, the special counsel has already informed the American public quite a bit about the scope and sophistication of the Russian operation to influence Americans and voting ahead of the 2016 elections.
In February last year, Mueller's team indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for exploiting social media to spread "fake news," promote discord in the United States and engage in what they called "information warfare."
In July 2018, the special counsel's office indicted 12 additional Russian intelligence officers for hacking Democratic targets, including the Democratic National Committee, and then releasing stolen information online.
Since the last presidential election, voters have grappled with myriad headlines, such as the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica harvesting personal Facebook information without users' knowledge as early as September 2015.
As a result, there continues to be anxiety with some voters about whether the run up to the next presidential election will feel any safer, and questions as to whether Congress or the federal government more broadly have done enough to stem this type of interference and protect elections going forward.
The TIP with Trish Turner
On the eve of the redacted report's release, it's unlikely we'll see a cascade of press conferences. A number of lawmakers may appear on evening cable shows or send out tweets, but a few notable members are overseas on congressional delegation trips.
Democrats have criticized the timing, in the middle of a two-week recess with lawmakers scattered across the globe and a holiday weekend that begins on Friday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, is in London and doesn't return until Friday. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham is also overseas. Barr is expected to testify on the report in front of Graham's committee on May 1 and then the House Judiciary Committee the following day.
ONE MORE THING
Special counsel Robert Mueller has conducted his nearly two-year investigation shrouded in secrecy, choosing to speak through indictments and court records with few if any leaks despite intense national scrutiny. But on Thursday, the American people will finally have a chance to read Mueller's findings for themselves. Here are five things to watch for when the redacted version of the special counsel's report is made public: https://abcn.ws/2IsoIIe
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Thursday morning's episode features ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams, who breaks down the different aspects that will be redacted in the Mueller report, which is set to be released Thursday. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl and Political Director Rick Klein speak with political adviser Jim Messina, who managed former President Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012, about who can beat Donald Trump among the field of candidates in the 2020 Democratic primary. https://abcn.ws/2IrLWOm
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.