In a letter delivered to Congress on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr made the announcement that the Special Counsel didn’t find any kind of evidence that proved that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia. According to Barr, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report stated: “[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 continued the letter by quoting Mueller’s report, saying: “The evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”
Mueller’s report puts an end to an investigation that lasted for the past three years. The investigation, which started with the FBI and ended with Mueller, was established to determine whether or not Trump or the people in his campaign were guilty of colluding with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election. The letter that Barr sent to Congress was a summary of Mueller’s confidential report, which was released by the special counsel’s office on Friday.
In his letter, Barr stated that “goal and intent is to release as much of Mueller’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies,” which means that it is highly unlikely that Barr would misquote Mueller. Mueller’s report didn’t determine whether or not Trump obstructed justice because that was left to Barr to determine.
According to Barr, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the conclusion that the evidence found during the investigation isn’t enough to prove that the president obstructed justice in any kind of way. According to Barr’s letter, Mueller said, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Barr also stated that Mueller’s report also pointed out that the Special Counsel and his staff, which included 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, forensic accountants, and intelligence analysts, conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations of obstruction and collusion.
“The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communications records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses,” Barr wrote. In a footnote, Barr added that the Special Counsel defined “coordination” as an “agreement — tacit or express — between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.”
Throughout the past few years, Trump’s critics have claimed that his joking about asking the Russians for help in finding Clinton’s emails, and Donald Trump Jr.’s positive answer to setting up a meeting with a Russian lawyer who supposedly had dirt on Clinton, was proof of colluding with Russia. According to Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, those instances were evidence of collusion “hiding in plain sight.”
As soon as the letter was released to the public, President Trump tweeted: “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.” Rep. Devin Nunes also stated that the House Intelligence Committee had enough evidence a year ago that proved that there was no collusion.
He also added: “The Russia investigation was based on false pretenses, false intel, and false media reports. House Intel found a year ago there was no evidence of collusion, and Democrats who falsely claim to have such evidence have needlessly provoked a terrible, more than two-year-long crisis.”
Of course, in an effort to confirm Barr’s report themselves, Democratic lawmakers made demands for Mueller’s full report to be made available to the public.