No evidence that Trump campaign 'coordinated' with Russia: Mueller report
The Justice Department said yesterday that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation did not find evidence that US President Donald Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also investigated whether Trump obstructed justice but didn't come to a definitive answer, Attorney General William Barr said in a letter to Congress summarizing Mueller's report. Meanwhile, Trump cheered the outcome.
No collusion, no obstruction, complete and total exoneration: Trump
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
Report 'sets out evidence on both sides of questions': Barr
The special counsel "does not exonerate" Trump of obstructing justice, Barr said, adding his report "sets out evidence on both sides of the question." After consulting with other Justice Department officials, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined the evidence "isn't sufficient to establish that the president committed obstruction of justice offense." Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller's report yesterday.
Mueller wrapped up investigation on Friday with no new indictments
Mueller wrapped up his investigation on Friday with no new indictments, bringing to a close a probe that has shadowed US President Trump for nearly two years. Barr's chief of staff called White House counsel Emmet Flood to brief him on the report to Congress. Meanwhile, Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, about to return to Washington after spending the weekend there.
Probe illuminated Russia's assault on American political system
Mueller's investigation ensnared nearly three dozen people, including senior Trump-campaign operatives. The probe illuminated Russia's assault on the American political system, painted the Trump campaign as eager to exploit the release of hacked Democratic emails to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and exposed lies by Trump aides aimed at covering up their Russia-related contacts. The Justice Department had appointed Mueller to carry out the investigation.
Barr, Rosenstein condensed the investigation into a summary letter
Mueller submitted his report to Barr instead of directly to Congress and the public because his investigation operated under the close supervision of the Justice Department. Mueller was assigned to the job in May 2017 by Rosenstein, who oversaw much of his work. Barr and Rosenstein analyzed Mueller's report on Saturday, laboring to condense it into a summary letter of main conclusions.