Federal officials have allegedly discovered unused files from Robert Mueller’s unsuccessful Special Counsel investigation, and may decide to release them soon as an “alternative” report, according to Politico.
The documents recently found amongst Department of Justice (DOJ) files consist of findings by one of Mueller’s deputies, Andrew Weissmann, that were not included in the final report that was made public in early 2019. Weissmann first discussed his unreleased findings in a book he published last year called “Where Law Ends.”
“At least for posterity, I had all the members … write up an internal report memorializing everything we found, our conclusions, and the limitations on the investigation,” Weissman claims, “and provided it to the other team leaders as well as had it maintained in our files.”
As a result of Weissmann’s claims, the New York Times filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the documents in January; when that failed to materialize, the paper filed a lawsuit in July with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. On Thursday, as part of the ongoing lawsuit, officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan claimed in a letter that they had found the documents in question and were reviewing them for a possible public release.
“Since Plaintiff filed its complaint, Defendant has located and begun processing this record and intends to release all non-exempt portions to Plaintiff once processing is complete,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Jude. “Defendant estimates that primary processing of the record will be complete by the end of January 2022 at which time Defendant expects to send the record to several other DOJ components for consultation.”
Weissman’s documents were compiled by the team he specifically led during the Special Counsel investigation, which ran from 2017 to 2019. Weissman’s team focused exclusively on the accusations against President Donald Trump’s second campaign manager in 2016, Paul Manafort, who was falsely accused of colluding with the Russian government. Although he was exonerated of any foreign collusion, Manafort ultimately ended up facing unrelated charges of financial fraud, and was sentenced to over 7 years in prison; he was pardoned by President Trump in December of 2020, after serving less than two years.
The broader Mueller investigation similarly failed to find any proof of collusion between President Trump and Russia during the 2016 campaign or during his presidency, exonerating him after its two-year investigation. Despite the lack of evidence from the very beginning, many in the mainstream media and the Democratic Party repeatedly insisted that President Trump was an agent of Russia, and continued spreading the conspiracy theory even after Mueller exonerated him.