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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Mueller witnesses and their lawyers say that they expect the special counsel's report to include a mass of detailed scenes in which President Trump lashed out about Mueller, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein and the FBI.

The big picture: They believe that if Mueller's report presents the material in the same relentlessly detailed way as his prosecutors asked the questions, the accumulation could lead a casual observer to think that the president tried to obstruct justice.

  • These sources expect Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, to star in many of the crucial conversations that the Mueller team considered part of their exploration of whether Trump sought to obstruct justice. 

The bottom line: These sources don't know whether the scenes the Mueller team quizzed them about were included in the report. And, of course, they don't know what Attorney General Bill Barr redacted ahead of today's release.

  • And since Mueller punted on whether Trump obstructed justice, these sources don't expect a revelation that could threaten Trump's presidency.

Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said: "We're going to respond as quickly as we can to you all during the day, probably multiple times. ... We'll try to get something up very quick."

  • I asked Sekulow whether there could be a surprise. "This is a situation where we know what the conclusion is," the lawyer replied.
  • "The aircraft landed safely, there was no damage to the equipment or injury to the passengers, and now two weeks later the NTSB issues a video of the landing."
  • "I'm not concerned," Sekulow added. "The inquiry is concluded."

Another lawyer involved in the Mueller probe said of the 9:30 a.m. Barr press conference that's scheduled to precede the release of the 400-page report:

  • "Gives him a chance to spin the process ... and gives him the opportunity to demonstrate the diligence that went into the redactions, and the law."
  • The greatest potential for surprise is "in the obstruction realm," this lawyer said, because "the collusion stuff is very definitive."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.