Mueller Report Conclusions: What We Know
Two days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller finished his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any ties between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Attorney General William Barr delivered a four-page letter to Congress summarizing the final report.
Barr’s letter claims that Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy or collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.
According to Barr — whose letter outlines the “principal conclusions” of the Special Counsel’s probe — Mueller wrote that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Barr also writes that Mueller did not take a position on whether President Trump had obstructed justice with relation to the Special Counsel’s work. “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime,” Mueller’s final report says, according to Barr, “it also does not exonerate him.” By describing the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching a legal conclusion, Barr goes on to write, Mueller left it to the Justice Department to decide whether Trump had obstructed justice.
Barr writes that after reviewing Mueller’s report and consulting internally at the DOJ, he and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein concluded that there wasn’t sufficient evidence “to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Barr’s letter describes the sprawling operation that Mueller oversaw for his investigation. Assisting the Special Counsel were 19 lawyers and a team of about 40 FBI agents, forensic accountants and other professional staff. Mueller issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence and interviewed roughly 500 witnesses, according to Barr.
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Mueller’s nearly two-year probe secured indictments, convictions or guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies, reaching into the highest levels of President Trump’s political orbit.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, will spend up to seven-and-a-half years in prison and forfeit millions of dollars as a result of the special counsel’s work. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone and the president’s former lawyer-fixer Michael Cohen are just a few of the figures who found themselves in the crosshairs of the investigation. Mueller also indicted 13 Russian intelligence agents in 2018 for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee and the personal email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, providing the clearest picture yet of Russia’s cyberattack during the 2016 campaign.
The fact that Mueller was able to bring his investigation to a conclusion was, by itself, a significant victory for the rule of law in the United States. The president and his deputies had routinely threatened to kneecap or foreshorten the Mueller probe, and Trump attacked Mueller and the investigation on a near-daily basis as a “Witch Hunt Hoax.”
Barr’s topline summary is brief in scope and size. But both Democrats and Republicans have insisted that the full Mueller report and its supporting evidence be made public without delay.
On Sunday, Democratic leaders vowed to fight all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to assure the Trump/Russia affair is completed with full transparency. “The American people must have all the facts,” insists Nadler.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
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