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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

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.