Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find Donald Trump’s campaign or associates conspired with Russia, Attorney General William Barr advised Congress on Sunday.
“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,” Barr wrote in a four-page letter delivered Sunday to Congress and released publicly.
Mueller did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute obstruction of justice, Barr also wrote.
Mueller punted on that obstruction of justice decision. That call was made by Barr and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, not Mueller. Barr did not explain why in his letter. One possible explanation is that Mueller said in his report the magnitude to indict a sitting president is too great for special counsel. DOJ was able to take into consideration the policy been in place since the 1970s that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Some pundits noted that before Barr was named AG, he had written a controversial memo in June of 2018 noting that Trump’s interactions with former FBI Director James Comey would not constitute obstruction of justice. In the memo, Barr said he was “in the dark about many facts” of the investigation, but nonetheless called Mueller’s probe “fatally misconceived.”
Rosenstein, meanwhile, previously had been set to leave office, but reversed that decision and said he was sticking around to act as a heat shield for Barr.
“There was no obstruction, none whatsoever, and it was a complete and total exoneration!” he enthused to TV cameras in West Palm Beach, as he boarded Air Force One to return to Washington D.C.
“It’s shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this – before I even got elected it began,” Trump said.
“It began illegally, and hopefully somebody is going to look at the other side,” Trump said.
“This was an illegal take-down that failed,” he added, “and hopefully somebody’s going to be looking at the other side. So it’s complete exoneration. No collusion!.”
Trump also tweeted:
His chief counselor, Kellyanne Conway, tweeted her congratulations, saying Trump just “won the 2016 election all over again:
Her husband and POTUS basher -in-chief George Conway, tweeted too:
Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, however, echoed his boss, calilng today’s Barr summary “a complete exoneration of the President. The President did not do anything wrong.”
In the interim, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a report highlighting certain findings in Barr’s letter, chiefly. “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.”
A DOJ team now is determining what else can be released from Mueller’s report, CNN reported, citing a DOJ official.
In the summary, the special counsel concluded that they lacked sufficient evidence that President Trump obstructed justice.