‘While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him…’
(AFP) Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report on Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election found no evidence of conspiracy by President Donald Trump’s campaign to collude with Russia, the Justice Department said Sunday.
Mueller also declined to rule on whether evidence showed Trump obstructed justice, according to a summary submitted to Congress by Attorney General Bill Barr.
In a letter to Congress summarizing the report’s key points, Barr quoted Mueller as saying: “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Barr said the investigation did not recommend any further indictments and does not have any further sealed indictments outstanding.
In his own review of Mueller’s findings on obstruction — one of the most explosive allegations against Trump — Barr said “the evidence… is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Republicans responded with an I-told-you-so posture and called attention again to potential Justice Department corruption in launching the investigation in the first place.
“The investigation began with a handful of politically-biased actors within the Justice Department who inappropriately used a campaign research document (the “Steele dossier”) to launch a coordinated partisan attack on the President,” said Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. “Now, after 22 months and over $25 million in taxpayer funds, we know what many of us suspected all along. There was no collusion, coordination, or cooperation with Russia.”
Barr’s letter marked the conclusion of the 22-month investigation by Mueller, a former FBI director, into allegations that Trump’s election campaign coordinated and colluded with Russians to skew the 2016 vote so the billionaire real estate magnate would win.
But it marked the beginning of a new phase, the determination of Democrats in Congress to further investigate Trump, using the evidence from the Mueller probe.
“Seems like the Department of Justice is putting matters squarely in Congress’ court,” tweeted Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
“Special Counsel Mueller clearly and explicitly is not exonerating the President, and we must hear from AG Barr about his decision making and see all the underlying evidence for the American people to know all the facts.”
© Agence France-Presse. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.