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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For 21 months, Robert Mueller has been an omnipresent but unseen lead in D.C. drama.

Driving the news: As soon as he delivers his farewell letter or report, the protagonists become Attorney General William Barr, who'll decide what the public should see, and House Democrats, who are cranking up their own months-long Russia probe.

Keeping Washington in suspense once again, Mueller doesn't plan to deliver his conclusion to the Justice Department next week, a department official tells AP.

  • Mueller appears to be wrapping up. CNN had said the Justice Department was preparing to receive the report as soon as next week, when Trump will be in Vietnam for his North Korea summit.

The Barr Report: Barr said at his confirmation hearing last month that he'll write his own report summarizing Mueller’s findings for Congress and the public.

  • He didn't commit to how much he'll make public, but said he wants to disclose what he can "consistent with the law."

"The task of wresting [underlying investigative documents] away from the Justice Department is likely to fall to the House," the WashPost reports.

  • Six House chairs said in a letter yesterday to Barr: "We write ... to express, in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you—without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law."

And regardless of Mueller's findings, there could be some eye-opening reading ahead.

Matt Miller, an MSNBC analyst and former Justice Department official under Obama, tells me that it's "not just the Mueller report, whatever that is, that's relevant. It’s also all the underlying evidence he collected."

  • "FBI set a precedent in the Clinton case by turning over nearly the entire case file to Congress within three months of the investigation closing."
  • "Now that that precedent has been set, no good argument for not doing so here."
  • 🚨 "All the FBI 302s (interview records) ... Just imagine how many news cycles are in there."

Go deeper: Every big move in the Mueller investigation

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Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.