Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not “establish” that Donald Trump or his campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia in the 2016 presidential election campaign, in a finding that appears at least at first reading to support Trump’s own repeatedly claims of “no collusion,” according to the letter sent by Attorney General William Barr to Congress on Sunday. Read the letter online, as posted by the House Judiciary Committee.
On the issue of obstruction of Justice, Mueller chose to draw no conclusion, instead presenting evidence on both sides of the issue, according to NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian.
But Barr notes that the report does not “exonerate” Trump. However, the letter says, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have decided that the evidence against Trump is “not sufficient” to prosecute him on an obstruction charge.
“While this report does not conclude the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr wrote.
The letter from Barr, however, represents only the views of Barr and Rosenstein, who did not consult Mueller before writing the letter, according to CNN reporter Laura Jarrett writing on Twitter.
But on Friday, Barr in an earlier letter to Congress pledged that he would consult with Mueller before issuing his summary of the report, according to ABC News.
Barr’s Sunday letter summarizing the Mueller report may be seen in the Twitter post below, via ABC News.
BREAKING: Congress receives letter from Attorney General William Barr on special counsel Robert Mueller's report into the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 presidential election. https://t.co/gaSeMkPq6f pic.twitter.com/OcsYNVVstN— ABC News (@ABC) March 24, 2019
Republicans in Congress quickly celebrated the findings as announced in Barr’s letter, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declaring “this case is closed,” and “it is time we move on for the good of the nation.”
Jerold Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, called Barr’s letter insufficient, in a statement quoted by NBC News.
“DOJ (Department of Justice) owes the public more than just a brief synopsis and decision not to go any further in their work,” Nadler said in the statement.
“Attorney General Barr took two days to tell the American people that while the President is not exonerated, there will be no action by DOJ.”
Barr, in the letter, said that he would release “as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies,” as quoted by NBC News. In all, Barr’s letter quoted fewer than 70 words from Mueller’s actual report.
Barr also said that in the course of his investigation, Mueller issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed about 500 search warrants, interviewed about 500 witnesses, and obtained more than 230 orders for communications records, according to an NBC News report.