That release will be a BIG deal — our first real glimpse into what the Russians were trying to do in 2016, how much (or little) the Trump campaign played along with those efforts and whether President Donald Trump (or anyone in his circle) undertook an effort to get in the way of the probe.
This is, without doubt, an end. But don’t fool yourself: This is not the end.
No matter what the Mueller report says — or how much of it we actually get to see after the redactions — it will continue to be a source of massive contention in our culture, with tentacles that reach not only into the political world (up and down Pennsylvania Avenue) but also the legal one.
* The Rebuttal Fight: For months, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been promising that the White House will produce its own report as a way to answer back to what Mueller put together. Giuliani told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday night that the White House still expects to release a rebuttal report, and that it will be released after the Mueller report comes out. Is there any, well, “there” there on this rebuttal report? Or is it simply Trump’s tweets with some legal-ese thrown in there? Does it gain any traction within the broader debate over the Mueller report? Or is it dismissed as simply garbage spin and forgotten within a day or two?
* The Steele Dossier Fight: The opposition research document put together by former British spy Christopher Steele in many ways sits at the core of the disagreement between the two parties about the entire investigation. Democrats see Steele as getting most of the big things right about Trump, and note that former FBI director James Comey has said under oath that the Justice Department was able to independently confirm parts of the Steele Dossier. On the other hand, Republicans view the Steele Dossier as a partisan, gotcha document funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. They insist the dossier is the reason the FBI began a counter-intelligence probe, which led to the Mueller special counsel in the first place. And that’s a problem because many Republicans think that many of the dossier’s claims are untrue. That disagreement isn’t going anywhere because it’s too powerful for both sides to let it go.