Attorney General William Barr has released a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s much-anticipated report, finding no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.
After two years of investigation, Mueller’s report “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Barr wrote.
Despite the high profile indictments of several key Trump associates, like former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former lawyer Michael Cohen, and former adviser Roger Stone, none of these indictments were related to collusion, and no further indictments will be issued.
Mueller’s report does claim that the Russian government sought to influence the 2016 election, but admits that no “US persons or Trump campaign officials” participated in this effort.
The report accuses an organization, Internet Research Agency, of conducting “disinformation and social media operations” to sow social discord and alleges Russian hackers obtained emails of Hillary Clinton’s associates and passed them to Wikileaks.
While searching for evidence of Collusion was Mueller’s initial purview, the probe soon shifted to examining whether President Trump sought to obstruct the probe itself. Here, Mueller was ambiguous. While the report does not accuse Trump or obstruction, Mueller left it up to Barr to determine whether any of Trump’s acts could possibly constitute obstruction. In his letter, Barr said that the report detailed no such actions.
Likely anticipating a flop, Democrats have in recent days turned to asking Barr to make the full report public, hoping for some morsel of damning information on the president. In his letter, Barr stated that he will release as much of the report as possible, “consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.”
Aside from pressuring Barr to release the full report and underlying evidence – which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said “may be even more important to the truth than the report itself” – the Democrats’ focus has now shifted to a raft of further investigations into the president.
A House Judiciary Committee investigation is currently examining in ever more excruciating detail whether Trump or his administration sought to obstruct justice or abuse power. An Oversight Committee is looking at claims that Trump ordered ‘hush money’ payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and a House Intelligence Committee investigation is poring over the same evidence as Mueller, again looking for the specter of ‘Russian collusion.’
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