When Attorney General William Barr releases a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation, several publishers will be ready to put it out in book form.
Barr notified Congressional leaders Friday that he expects to send them his report by mid-April. Mueller’s findings are nearly 400 pages excluding tables and appendices, and Barr said Friday that material removed will include information related to ongoing investigations or that compromise sensitive sources. He added that President Donald Trump would not be reviewing the report in advance.
Government studies are not copyrighted and can be published by anyone. Melville House, Skyhorse Publishing and Scribner, in conjunction with The Washington Post, are among those with both print and digital editions planned, within two weeks or less of the report coming out. As with previous releases such as “The 9-11 Commission Report,” the Mueller text also will likely be available for free from a government web site, but publishers plan to add their own analysis. The Skyhorse book will include an introduction by attorney Alan Dershowitz, a frequent Trump defender. The Scribner release will feature commentary from the Post’s staff.
Melville House plans no analysis, saying the report should be seen “as is.”
“It’s supposed to be a non-partisan document, and readers should be given the respect of experiencing it without someone digesting it for them,” Melville publisher Dennis Johnson said in a statement,
Barr’s summary of Mueller’s highly-anticipated report said that the investigation didn’t find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign to swing the 2016 presidential election. Mueller’s report did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, but Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided on their own that Mueller’s evidence was insufficient to establish that the president committed obstruction.
Some government publications have become popular books, notably the Warren Commission report on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the “Starr Report” on President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. An edition of the 9-11 Commission study, published in 2004, was a million seller and a finalist for the National Book Award. As of Friday afternoon, the Scribner and Skyhorse editions of the Mueller report were in the top 1,000 on Amazon.com.