Why We May—Or May Not—Ever Hear Directly from Robert Mueller

After 675 days of anticipation, and from an office building staked out by reporters, Robert Mueller slipped away Friday without being spotted.

The quiet departure, on the same day Attorney General William Barr confirmed he had received the special counsel's report, was trademark Mueller. In the almost two years he led the Russia investigation, the former FBI director has become widely known, and respected, for the discretion he and his office displayed.

But with Barr now readying a summary of the report for Congress this weekend, the question remains: will the public hear from Mueller?

For now, the answer is no. But maybe yes.

As Newsweek's Nicole Goodkind reported, there will likely be two reports and, if any were released to the public, it is unlikely to be the one Mueller penned.

Barr... has said he wants to release as much information to the general public as possible, but he will ultimately decide and likely write the memo that the public sees. That means that what we end up reading will be in his words, not Mueller's, Barr said during a hearing last month.

It would be highly uncharacteristic for Mueller to hold any sort of press conference, so the remaining opportunity to hear from Mueller would be if he were to be called to testify in front of Congress — a scenario that may indeed play out.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, told CNN Friday that the panel could subpoena Mueller to further understand any report they receive.

"If necessary, we will call Bob Mueller or others before our committee," Schiff said. "At the end of the day, the [Justice] department is under a statutory obligation to provide our committee with any information regarding significant intelligence activities, including counterintelligence. And it's hard to imagine anything more significant than what Bob Mueller has been investigating."

And if that doesn't happen? Well, the public could always hope for a memoir. The last special prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, released his in 2018—exactly two decades after he handed in his final report.

robert, mueller, report, trump, indicted, guilty
Robert Mueller speaks during a news conference at the FBI headquarters June 25, 2008 in Washington, D.C. As a result of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, approximately 34 individuals and three companies have been indicted or pleaded guilty to a crime. Alex Wong/Getty Images