Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee who was asked to recuse himself from the Mueller probe but refused, has presented his summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Congress.
The letter offers Barr’s take on Mueller’s findings. Read the letter below.
The letter is being seen as a political win for Trump.
NYT: “The investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III found that neither President Trump nor any of his aides conspired or coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference, according to a summary of the special counsel’s findings made public on Sunday by Attorney General William P. Barr. Mr. Barr also said that Mr. Mueller’s team drew no conclusions about whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed justice. Mr. Barr and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, concluded that the special counsel’s investigators lacked sufficient evidence to establish that Mr. Trump committed that offense, but added that Mr. Mueller’s team stopped short of exonerating Mr. Trump.”
“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr wrote.
The Washington Post reports: ‘“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 U.S. presidential election,” says the four-page summary by Attorney General William P. Barr. The letter notes that Mueller’s probe found no evidence of such a conspiracy “despite multiple offers from Russia-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.” On the question of whether the president might have sought to obstruct the high-profile investigation, Mueller’s team did not offer a definitive answer. “The Special Counsel . . . did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction,” Barr’s letter to lawmakers states.’
The White House is claiming “total and complete exoneration” of Trump.
Wrote press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement: “The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer released a joint statement: “Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers. The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay. Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report. And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility. Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise. The American people have a right to know.””
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