The one thing we should not expect to see in Barr’s notification, however, is Mueller’s assessment about whether there are grounds to ask a grand jury to bring criminal charges against President Trump after he leaves office. The very reason the Office of Legal Counsel concluded (rightly or wrongly) that the Constitution forbids indictment of a sitting president is that such public charges would subject the president to the “stigma and opprobrium” of being branded an accused criminal without a timely opportunity to respond to his accusers in a court of law — a situation that (according to the opinion) might undermine the president’s “respect and stature both here and abroad,” and thus impact his ability “to act as the Nation’s leader in both the domestic and foreign spheres.” The same reasoning presumably would apply to a single prosecutor’s conclusion, not yet confirmed by a grand jury’s finding, of probable cause that the president has broken the law. (Indeed, such a public assessment of criminal culpability might taint the grand jury’s future consideration of the question, which is all the more reason Barr is unlikely to disclose it.)
Therefore, no matter how comprehensive Barr’s notification to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees might be, it would be surprising if it included any express conclusions about whether Trump’s conduct did or did not satisfy the elements of any particular criminal offenses. As long as Trump is in office, it will be up to the committees themselves — and Congress as a whole — to (in the words of the Jaworski road map) “determine what action may be warranted . . . by [the] evidence” presented in Barr’s notification.