Mueller report is 'beginning of the beginning,' Axios editor in chief says

Axios' editor in chief, Nicholas Johnston, said on Thursday that controversy surrounding the Russia investigation was far from over, given the criminal referrals and the copious redactions in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.

"This is the beginning of the beginning," Johnston said of the report, which included 14 criminal referrals and concerns about obstruction of justice.

"There are 14 referrals from the Mueller investigation -- we know what two of them are. There are 12 more that were completely unknown which can also lead to other criminal prosecutions," Johnston told Fox News host Shepard Smith.

"There are at least ... nine ongoing investigations in Congress and on state and local levels," he added on "Shepard Smith Reporting."

Johnston's comments came just hours after President Trump declared "Game Over" in the Russia investigation.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also appeared to take a victory lap on Thursday when she told reporters she would accept their apologies and that the report ended the "lie" they'd "let fly" for the first two years of Trump's presidency.

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While the Mueller report didn't find evidence of collusion with Russia, it did highlight 10 concerns related to potential obstruction of justice.

Both Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the report didn't show sufficient evidence to warrant obstruction charges, although Mueller said he didn't "exonerate" the president.

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Democrats are expected to continue pursuing the obstruction concerns as part of ongoing congressional investigations and in connection with their strategy for defeating Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Johnston said Mueller provided a "roadmap" for Congress to continue investigating the president, but predicted the report itself wouldn't create much change in polling on the issue.