Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation showed that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, Attorney General William Barr wrote to Congress on Sunday.
Barr’s letter shared the highlights of the report filed Friday by Mueller, who for almost two years investigated allegations of Russian collusion.
“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 said in his letter.
Quoting from Mueller’s report, he added, “(T)he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Barr said in his letter that Russia had two separate tracks of election interference.
Concerning activities of Russia’s Internet Research Agency, Barr wrote that “the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.”
Barr said Russia also participated in hacking the Democratic National Committee and sharing what it found on WikiLeaks. He wrote that “the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham issued a statement on Twitter proclaiming, “Good day for the rule of law. Great day for President Trump and his team. No collusion and no obstruction. 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,” he said.
“Great job by Mr. Mueller and his team to thoroughly examine all things Russia. Now it is time to move on, govern the country, and get ready to combat Russia and other foreign actors ahead of 2020,” Graham added.
Barr’s letter also addressed the issue of whether Trump obstructed justice.
Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided the evidence gathered during the mammoth probe was “not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,” Barr wrote.
“(T)he report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction,” Barr wrote. “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'”
Barr noted that the report does not take into consideration the issue of whether a sitting president can be indicted.
Barr indicated he will release more information, and noted that some information in the report is linked to grand jury investigations.
“Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the (grand jury) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel,” Barr wrote.
Mueller’s investigation began in May 2017 to address allegations that there had been collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016.
The president has insisted from the start of the probe that there was never any collusion.
Over the course of the investigation, charges were brought against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort related to activities long before he led the Trump campaign, as well as against former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and several other individuals.
On Friday, Mueller signaled that his investigation was over and that no further indictments would be sought.
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