Trump didn't "conspire" with Russia for 2016-campaign, concludes Mueller probe
In what qualifies as one of the best days of Donald Trump's presidency, the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller concluded the US president didn't "conspire" with Russia during 2016 elections. Attorney General William Barr made the findings of the probe public which had been clouding Trump's presidency for years. An elated Trump said, "This was an illegal takedown that failed." Here's what happened.
For the last two years, Mueller was investigating whether Russia's attempt of interfering in 2016 Presidential elections were aided by people close to Trump or not. According to public interviews and records, at least 14 Trump's associates interacted with Russian citizens. Mueller was also tasked with finding whether Trump obstructed justice after the FBI started probing those close to him.
"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election," Barr's four-page summary, which was also sent to Congress, read. On the issue of obstruction of justice, Barr noted there wasn't enough evidence to "support persecution".
"The Special Counsel did not draw a conclusion as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the special counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public," the summary letter reportedly read.
Democrats had been waiting for the investigation to plan their next step, just as the US readies itself for 2020 Presidential election. Though Barr spoke about confidentiality while releasing the summary, Democrats have started demanding the release of the full report as well as investigation files. If the Justice Department's documents wouldn't satisfy Democrats, they threatened to take Trump administration to court.
In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future.— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 24, 2019
On the other hand, Republicans cheered. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C said it was a "good day of the rule of law". "The cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed by this report. Bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down," Graham added. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, said the report was even better than he expected.
Before boarding the Air Force One in Florida, Trump said, "It's a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it's a shame that your president has had to go through this. It was a complete and total exoneration."
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019