Trump Did Not Conspire with Russians in Election but Is Not Fully Exonerated: Special Counsel
President Trump is claiming victory after the special counsel concluded he didn't collude with the Russians, but Democrats want the full report released
After a nearly two-year investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller determined that President Donald Trump did not conspire with the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 election, Attorney General William Barr says in a letter summarizing the highly anticipated report.
Though the special counsel thoroughly investigated the president’s actions, he and his team did not conclude “one way or the other” whether Trump has obstructed justice, Barr wrote Sunday in a four-page summary of the report’s “principal conclusions” to House and Senate Judiciary Committee members, the New York Times reports.
“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr wrote, quoting Mueller in the report, the Washington Post reports.
In his summary, Barr wrote that Mueller and his team “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election,” CNN reports.
Mueller and his team investigated a number of actions by the president that “potentially” raised “obstruction of justice concerns” but said that in the end, it “did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction,” Barr says in the letter.
Democrats are demanding a full release of the report, MSNBC reports.
Trump, 72, meanwhile, claimed victory while addressing the White House press pool in Palm Beach, Florida, before boarding Air Force One for his previously scheduled return to Washington.
“After a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side where a lot of bad things happened,” he said. “It was just announced there was no collusion with Russia,” Trump said, calling the collusion allegations, “the most ridiculous thing ever.”
“It was complete and total exoneration,” he said.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle weighed in via Twitter.
“I have just received topline findings from Attorney General Barr,” wrote Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham, who played golf with the president on Sunday. “Good day for the rule of law. Great day for President Trump and his team,” he wrote. “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,” Graham added.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler disagreed, saying that Barr needs to testify before Congress about his next steps.
“In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future,” he wrote.
“There must be full transparency in what Special Counsel Mueller uncovered to not exonerate the President from wrongdoing,” he wrote in a separate tweet. “DOJ owes the public more than just a brief synopsis and decision not to go any further in their work.”
Trump had already arrived in Palm Beach on Friday when it was first announced that Mueller had completed his investigation and submitted his report to Barr, Politico reported.
He played golf with Kid Rock on Saturday before hitting the links again with Graham on Sunday.
While several Trump campaign and administration officials have been ensnared in Mueller’s investigation — which has tallied some seven guilty pleas and 37 defendants, per CNN — there have been no charges that they helped carry out the Russian campaign against Clinton.
•With reporting by Sandra Sobieraj Westfall