Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” during the 2016 campaign, he wrote in his final report. Attorney General William Barr summarized the report’s findings in a letter to lawmakers Sunday.
President Trump declared victory shortly after the summary was released, claiming it was a “complete and total exoneration.”
“This was an illegal takedown that failed and, hopefully, somebody’s going to be looking at the other side,” Mr. Trump told reporters in Florida before boarding Air Force One.
In his letter, Barr said Mueller described the facts surrounding his investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice but made no determination as to whether Mr. Trump committed a crime, deferring the question to Barr. The report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr quotes Mueller as writing.
But Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined the available evidence was insufficient to establish Mr. Trump had obstructed justice.
Democrats reacted angrily to Barr’s summary, with congressional leaders demanding Barr make the full report underlying investigatory documentation.
“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,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
“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,” the leaders said.
Barr’s letter was addressed to the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House committee, vowed to call Mueller to testify before lawmakers “in the near future.” Nadler said there were “very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report.”
William Barr’s letter to Congress and report highlights
Mueller did not determine whether or not Trump obstructed justice
Mueller’s investigation into alleged obstruction of justice made no determination about whether Mr. Trump committed a crime, instead deferring to the attorney general:
After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the 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 determines obstruction evidence “not sufficient” to establish Trump committed crime
While Mueller did not make a judgment about potential obstruction, Barr said the available evidence was insufficient to determine the president broke the law.
After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.
No future indictments or sealed indictments
Barr writes that there are no outstanding indictments in the investigation nor any coming in the future.
During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public.
Barr vows to release “as much” of report as consistent with law
Barr says he intends to release as much information from the report as possible:
As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible.