Pundits are treating Attorney General William P. Barr’s letter summarizing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report as the final official word on the matter. It is, in fact, far from it. The letter contains clear clues that Barr will release much more of the report’s contents soon — and that the president may not like everything he’ll read.
Lawyers are trained to write very precisely, and as a former lawyer I read Barr’s letter with that in mind. It appears there are at least three items we should keep in mind as we digest its contents.
First, Barr is quite clear that the guiding law prevents him from releasing “material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e).” That rule makes it a crime to disclose “certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution.” The attorney general states that he is reviewing the report to identify any such information, as well as “any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices.”