By Chuck Ross
The Justice Department will start releasing 500 pages of notes from witness interviews in the special counsel’s probe each month, beginning on Nov. 1.
A Justice Department lawyer said at a hearing that the agency has 800 witness interview transcripts, known as FD-302s, totaling more than 44,000 pages, according to CNN.
CNN and BuzzFeed sued DOJ to begin releasing 302s collected during the special counsel’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government influence the 2016 election, as well as whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct the probe.
Robert Mueller, the special counsel, said in a report that investigators failed to establish that a conspiracy occurred. He declined to charge or to exonerate Trump on the question of obstruction of justice.
The 302s will involve interviews with key White House and Trump campaign officials, as well as Trump associates that worked outside government. The documents are sure to contain interesting details into both the information provided by witnesses and the areas of investigation pursued by the special counsel’s team.
Mueller officially ended the investigation on March 22 by submitting a 448-page report to the Justice Department. The report has two heavily-footnoted sections — one dealing with the investigation of Russian meddling in the election, and the other with obstruction.
Judge Reggie Walton, who is presiding over the case, expressed frustration that the 500-page-a-month release schedule will take years to complete. The pace offered by the Justice Department means it could take more than seven years for all of the 302s to become public.
“We have been going through 302s line by line,” Justice Department lawyer Courtney Enlow said at Tuesday’s hearing, according to CNN. “It’s a very intensive process.”
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