Politicians across the political spectrum are calling for the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections now that the results of the investigation have been delivered to Attorney General William Barr, according to a Dow Jones report supplied to EFE.
The calls to release the report come as only a handful of Justice Department officials know the report's content and as Mr. Barr prepares to provide Congress with "principal conclusions" about the report's findings as early as Sunday.
Mr. Barr was reviewing the report in his office on Saturday, along with other senior Justice Department officials, and was preparing to seek the counsel of Mr. Mueller in deciding how thoroughly the law will allow him to respond to the growing demands to disclose the report beyond the conclusions.
The conclusions, meantime, will give insights into Mr. Mueller's nearly two-year investigation, but are unlikely to quell calls for the public release of the underlying report, or at least its delivery to Congress.
Key questions for the Justice Department will center around how to handle release of classified material or information sourced from a grand jury, how to share information with the White House, and whether to allow select members of Congress to review the report and provide a redacted version for broader consumption.
That both sides see the report's release in their political interests -- even before they have been apprised of its contents -- is a sign they hope to use the results of Mr. Mueller's probe to further the views they have espoused all along over the validity and importance of the investigation.
Major Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Kamala Harris of California, joined congressional Democratic leaders in calling for Mr. Mueller's report to be released immediately, in full. Some, including Ms. Harris, and New York Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, sought to raise campaign money off the news.
"We have to know how foreign governments sought to undermine our country's Democracy," former Rep. Beto O'Rourke told reporters after rallying supporters at a local brewery In South Carolina on Friday evening. "We need to know if campaigns colluded with those governments."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Saturday called for all briefings to committees to be unclassified so that lawmakers can then speak freely about the report.
Republicans, for their part, are calling for a measured approach, asking for the Justice Department to release as much as laws and norms allow. Some party insiders say they would like to see the release of just enough to show the Democrats have overplayed their hand by focusing on the investigation over other campaign issues, such as the economy or health care.
If Mr. Mueller concludes that there has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- as the president and many Republicans have consistently maintained -- the report could provide further ammunition that the probe represented prosecutorial overreach and has unfairly clouded Mr. Trump's first two years in office. That could provide Mr. Trump, who was golfing on Saturday and had yet to comment publicly on the news, with some electoral ammunition as he prepares for the 2020 re-election race.
"The American people know what a politically-motivated smear campaign looks like," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted on Friday. "That's exactly what this is."
A senior Justice Department official has said the special counsel isn't recommending any further indictments in a wide-ranging inquiry that has yielded criminal charges and convictions of advisers to the 2016 campaign of President Trump.
A push toward disclosure has been building in both parties in for weeks, but not all in Congress are in favor of the report's release. Earlier this month, the House voted 420-0 to pass a resolution calling for the public release of Mr. Mueller's report, but a Democratic effort to pass the measure in the Senate was blocked by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.)
Mr. Mueller's investigation is expected to play a part in voter considerations around the 2020 race, but several other issues appear to be preoccupying voters, judging by questions put to Mr. O'Rourke as he campaigned this week. They included lowering student-loan debt, eliminating the Electoral College, enacting gun-control measures or immigration reform.
And yet, it appears unlikely at the moment that the theme of Russian campaign interference will fade soon. Committees in the Democratic-controlled House continue to pursue their own angles on Russian election interference among many probes that involve the White House and the president. Some members have said they plan to subpoena the full Mueller report, many parts of which are expected to remain secret. They have also talked about bringing Mr. Barr and Mr. Mueller in to testify or to sue the Justice Department if they don't get a full accounting of the investigation.
For now, both sides are waiting for the report's details. "It's like waiting on a jury -- you think you're in good shape, you don't know," said Mr. Graham in an interview.
"You just never know," Mr. Graham said.
By Joshua Jamerson and Kristina Peterson
--Sadie Gurman, Siobhan Hughes, Natalie Andrews and Alex Leary contributed to this article.