By Heidi Simmons

The Mueller Report
by Robert S. Mueller III – Nonfiction

After a nearly two year investigation pertaining to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the highly anticipated document, The Mueller Report: The Russian Investigation (Justice Department, ? pages)* was submitted last week to William Barr, the United States Attorney General for review.  With the investigation concluded, what will citizens get to see and read? How will it change the country?

Not since Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mocking Bird, Go Set a Watchman has there been such a national buzz and speculation about a manuscript’s content and release. 


Author Mueller was appointed Special Council in May 2017 to investigate Moscow’s efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election and to find evidence whether Trump’s campaign aides, advisors or allies conspired with the Kremlin, and if Trump himself interfered with the investigation.

The Special Council employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a professional staff, FBI agents, intelligence analysts, and forensic accountants.  The council issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, over 400 search warrants and obtained 230 plus records of communication and interviewed 500 witnesses.  The cost to taxpayers is estimated at $25 million.

The investigation led to charges against more than 30 individuals.

Within days of turning in the results of his comprehensive 22 month investigation, Mueller’s report was read and a four-page summary stating Mueller’s “principal conclusions” was formed by Barr and distributed by the Justice Department to members of congress titled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” 

According to Barr, the investigation determined there was indeed Russian interference with the 2016 election. 

Russian organizations were found to have conducted disinformation and social media operations designed to sow social discord with the aim of interfering with the election.  Hacking operations targeted the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign to disseminated information to further influence the election outcome.

No evidence was found that Trump or anyone associated with him conspired, coordinated or colluded with the Russian government.

As for obstruction, the Special Council determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment – no conclusion was made either way.  The Special Council affirms: “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who appointed Mueller) have decided the investigation has been concluded and no further action is required.

It is not clear if the public will get to read The Mueller Report in its un-redacted entirety.  Barr has said he believes in transparency and the public has a right to know the results.  However, he is under no obligation to release the report at all and certainly not without identifying/removing the classified information within the document.

No matter where one lines up on the political spectrum, it is most disconcerting that while individuals debate the President’s legitimacy and possible criminal acts, the Russian infiltration continues into Americans’ daily lives (through Facebook, Twitter and hacking) and goes without intensive outrage or the urgent need for immediate cyber security measures. 

What else has the Russian organization — Internet Research Agency (IRA) — identified in the report as the actors responsible for the hacking and social media disinformation — done?

What are the long-term effects? And under what umbrella are the Russians operating now?  Some Russians nationals have been arrested.

Could the Russian IRA or other nefarious Russian entities hack American electronic voting machines?  Would that information, if true or untrue, investigated or not investigated, be available to the public? To what lengths did the Russians go in influence and to infiltrate our voting system?

The United States has three branches of government — Executive, Legislative and Judicial – which work together to keep a balance of power and hold the government accountable. 

But what can citizens do to keep Russian government actors (the masters at generating propaganda and the creators of spinning truths) and other foreign enemies from divisive influence and voter manipulation?  Damage has been done and Americans are more divided and vulnerable than ever.

US Citizens have the power to vote in and out their representatives, but how do we protect ourselves from misguided, skewed or outright lies?  As Americans, how do we stay vigilant, informed and free?

One way is to read the information for ourselves and pursue truth for truth’s sake. As responsible citizens, shouldn’t we embrace investigations and seek transparency?  Freedom of speech is freedom to investigate the truth.

Hopefully, Mueller will write a book in which his understanding of the investigation and its outcomes can be shared with clarity and honesty so we can get a better perspective from these chaotic and troubling events. 

*The Mueller Report is the working title and the page count has not been released to the public. The manuscript’s distribution is not guaranteed.