What to expect as Washington awaits Mueller's report

On "This Week," ABC News' Jonathan Karl, Pierre Thomas, Mary Bruce and Dan Abrams look at what comes next as Washington awaits Attorney General Bill Barr's findings on the Mueller report.
9:43 | 03/24/19

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Transcript for What to expect as Washington awaits Mueller's report
22 months. $25 million. 37 indictments, including 6 close associates of president trump. That's just some of what we know about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The best news for president trump, Mueller wrapped up his work without issuing any new indictments. That made for a happy night in mar-a-lago. How did Mueller reach that decision? What else did he discover about contacts between the trump team and Russia in the 2016 campaign? Does he believe president trump obstructed justice? But interfering with the investigation? Some answers may come as soon as today. William Barr has the entire Mueller report. He's been reviewing it since Friday afternoon. He's going to decide how much of Mueller's report congress and all of us get to see. And investigations started by Mueller have been farmed out to at least four other U.S. Attorneys. So the last shoe has not dropped. The next phase of the battle filled with challenges for president trump and the Democrats who want to push him out of the white house. We start with our correspondents on the front lines of this case. Jon Karl at the white house, Mary Bruce on capitol hill and Pierre Thomas at the justice department. Pierre? George, Barr has been going through Mueller's report and working on a summary of key findings. He was in the office all day yesterday, joined by deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein. Sources say he'll be back in some time this morning to continue that work. And the hope is that he'll finish the summary of key findings and release it to congress and the pres late -- press later today. That's the hope. No guarantee. Do we have any good sense of how long the report is? Right now, it's a state secret. I have never seen anything like it. A source told me yesterday it was, quote, quite comprehensive. But refused to give the last number of pages. I think Barr is competing with his old friend, Mueller, on who can keep secrets the best. Mueller was good at keeping secrets so far. He's promised to consult with Robert Mueller about what can be released to congress later. We're waiting on the summary. It should answer the questions of was there collusion between the Russians and the trump campaign and was there obstruction of justice. After that, Barr, Mueller, and Rosenstein will go will you the report to see what else can be released. Congress is going to want every word, every syllable. Barr has not commented on the investigation since becoming attorney general. Before he took office, he was quite skeptical of the obstruction of justice charges. He absolutely was kept call of prosecutors overreaching. Given his belief that the president has authority as chief executive to fire people in his administration. He made clear he was talking about the firing of James Comey based on what was disclosed publicly. He acknowledged in his hearings any decision had to be guided by the evidence and he did not have all the facts when he wrote the opinion of the case. To the white house. Jon Karl is there. President trump uncharacteristically quiet until about 8:00 this morning. Good morning, have a great day from the president. A sunny tweet from president trump. What's been going on behind the scenes? Well, George, prepared for the worst, the president's top aides traveled with him to mar-a-lago. Now, the president appears relaxed. One top aide said he's in a great mood. There is a clear sense of relief that there are no more indictments. For all of the speculation, after 22 months of investigation, not a single member of the trump family was charged with everything. But while there is that sense of relief, it's a cautious sense of relief. The president's legal team is keenly aware that there still may be damaging information in the Mueller report. Damaging information particularly on the question of obstruction of justice. We know he was informed -- or at least their team was informed of no indictments some time ago. What more do they know about the report, if anything? As of this morning, I'm told the president and his legal team still have not been briefed on the Mueller report. The president seems to be uncertain of how bill Barr will handle the next steps. What they're preparing for, George, is a big fight over how much of the full report is released to the public. And not just the report. Mueller compiled more man a million pages of documents over the course of his investigation. And hundreds of hours of interviews with some of the president's top advisers. Congress is going to want all of it. Congress wans all -- wants all of it. You asked the president about it days ago. He said he wants it all out. Is that true? They'll fight to make sure much of that never sees the light of day. And they want everyone to believe that the Mueller report is the final word. They're going to say, you had 22 months of investigation into the question of Russian interference. The idea that congress would reopen and litigate that again, when Mueller had virtually unlimited resources and virtually unlimited time to investigate, they're not likely. They're continuing criminal investigations particularly the U.S. Attorney in the southern district of New York. And Democrats in congress are just getting started. Let's take that to Mary Bruce. Who covers congress for us. Thank you, Jon. As we just heard if -- from Jon, Mary, Democrats say we're a separate branch of government. We have different constitutional duties. And Democrats here are rallying the troops. Speaker Pelosi making the argument that Americans deserve the full truth here. They're ramping up the pressure to get not just the full record, but the underlying evidence. I'm told Pelosi will reject any classified briefing on the report. Arguing that that would shield the public from the full findings. Democrats are making clear, they want every detail, every single scrap of paper, every single note and document about this investigation. They're willing to use their subpoena power to get it. The Republicans voted for that, too. The vote to release the report is 420-0. In the house. What else is the GOP doing now to prepare? They're in a wait and see mode. Until they see Barr's unusual conclusions. But they are, of course, relieved and welcoming the news of no new indictments. They've been calling for transparency. They want the report to be released. They made it very clear yesterday, all of their investigations will continue. Yeah, George. Democrats are not going to wait to see Mueller's report to continue their work here. They're ramping up scores of their own investigations. Looking into everything from abuses of power to conflicts of interest to the president's finances. The trump administration and this president will continue to be under an intense microscope for a long time. Okay, Mary Bruce. Thank you very much. I'm here with our chief legal analyst, Dan Abrams. You have some unanimity that it should be released. There is certain information he must explain. That would have been if the special counsel had been fired. Or if there had been a disagreement. Where they overruled the special counsel. And apparently there were none. There were none apparently. Now we're in the mays. The mays, that's up to the attorney general. He's allowed to decide what is in the public interest and what is not. And there are several reasons he could cite to holding on to the report. Not revealing certain information. The strongest arguments. The first bucket. Classified information, grand jury information, ongoing investigations. Those are the easiest. Ones to say, you know what, we can't release information about that. The harder ones are executive privilege. The president is saying I had private conversations with people and that shouldn't be released. And the typical justice department policy, which is, we don't talk about people who were not indicted. Now, and that's what James Comey -- got in trouble for. But rod Rosenstein said that should be department policy. Right. The problem with that is there's a specific provision in the special counsel law that says he may make it public. That makes this different than the typical federal investigation. One of the things that could make it easier to let out at least some of the information, apparently special counsel Robert Mueller did not go to a grand jury on the obstruction questions. Those were just interviews. Yeah, you rule that out. You can't say, well, there's grand jury information here. Now we're back to the bottom line question is, can they release information about things that were not indicted? And specifically, Mueller is required by the special counsel regulations to explain decisions day made not to indict. What are called declinations. The question is, will Barr make that material public? The president has the power to declassify anything. He can order the attorney general to release everything. The real fight is going to be with congress subpoenaing. It's clear congress is going to say, we want to see the whole thing. They're going to subpoena it. It will be a real fight. We talked about this before going on air, former solicitor general Neal cat yal has said congress will win the fight. Are you sure? I'm not as sure. It will be a tough fight. There's an argument to be made that the statute was written in a particular way. If they wanted all information to be made public, they could have said it in the statute. It doesn't say that. It leaves the discretion to the attorney general. I think it will be a long, protracted, legally interesting fight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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