Mueller finds no evidence Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia

Source: AFP

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find Donald Trump's campaign or associates conspired with Russia, Attorney General William Barr said on Sunday.

Mueller’s investigation of whether the President committed obstruction of justice did not conclude the President committed a crime, but it also “does not exonerate him,” Barr quoted from Mueller’s report.

After nearly two years of being under the cloud of the Russia investigation, Trump’s presidency is no longer directly under threat from the special counsel probe as the White House turns toward the 2020 campaign, although he still faces the spectre of more legal and congressional action from the other investigations that remain ongoing.

Barr submitted to Congress a four-page summary of Mueller’s conclusions on Sunday, which stated: “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.”

Mueller’s team has no plans to issue any new indictments.

Trump and his allies charged that Mueller’s report fully vindicated the President, while Democrats were already raising questions about Barr making the decision on obstruction, a signal that the fight and the fallout from Mueller’s investigation is far from over.

Mueller did not make the decision himself on whether to prosecute the President on obstruction. Barr and Deputy Attorney

General Rod Rosenstein made the determination the evidence was “not sufficient” to support prosecution.

The President went beyond the conclusions of Barr’s letter, saying Sunday the findings were a “complete and total exoneration.”

“It was just announced there was no collusion with Russia… there was no collusion with Russia, there was no obstruction, none whatsoever,” Trump said to reporters before flying back to Washington from West Palm Beach, Florida. “It was a complete and total exoneration. It’s a shame our country had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame your President had to go through this.”

Obstruction questions

Barr and Rosenstein said they could not bring a criminal case with proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump’s actions obstructed a specific proceeding.

The letter stated that Mueller said he conducted a “thorough factual investigation” into obstruction.

“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr quotes Mueller as saying.

In his letter, Barr says that Mueller’s investigation into obstruction of justice found the President’s actions were not “done with corrupt intent.”

Fight over Barr’s findings and release of full report

Democrats have demanded that Barr make Mueller’s full report public and provide the special counsel’s underlying evidence to Congress. They are threatening to subpoena and take the Trump administration to court if they’re not satisfied with what the Justice Department provides.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Sunday his committee will call Barr to testify “in the near future.”

“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,” the New York Democrat tweeted.

Mueller’s findings, Nadler said, mean it is up to Congress to determine the President’s future.

Barr said he intends to release as much as possible from the report. Mueller will be involved in the scrubbing of the report to remove secret grand jury material and any content related to ongoing investigations before it could be made public, Barr wrote.

Additional legal investigations

The 22-month special counsel probe led to charges against 37 defendants, which included six Trump associates, 26 Russians and three Russian companies.

Seven defendants have pleaded guilty, and one, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was convicted at trial.

While Mueller’s investigation is over, several criminal investigations are still ongoing.

They relate to an alleged Russian conspiracy to blast political propaganda across Americans’ social media networks; Manafort’s political colleague from Russia, Konstantin Kilimnik; and what Manafort’s deputy and a central Trump political player, Rick Gates, knows, according to court records.

Another is a grand jury’s pursuit of documents from a company owned by a foreign government. That subpoena for documents began with Mueller last year.

The DC US Attorney’s Office will pick up many of the open court cases, including Gates and former Trump adviser Roger Stone, as the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan continues to look into Trump’s inauguration and allegations waged by Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.

Follow N1 via mobile apps for Android | iPhone/iPad | Windows| and social media on Twitter | Facebook.