President Donald Trump’s appointed Attorney General William Barr held a press conference the morning of April 18 at the Department of Justice (DOJ) headquarters to remark on the report by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, per Quartz. The redacted copy of the report is now available on the DOJ’s website.
Barr used the conference to assure that the full copies of the report will be sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees at 11 a.m. and confirmed that the report will be released to the public by the DOJ after it is delivered to Congress.
The attorney general claims that Volume I of Mueller’s report describes the results of the investigation into whether President Donald Trump conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. Barr claims that the report states that this portion of the investigation did not find evidence that Trump’s campaign committed any of these crimes.
“I am sure that all Americans share my concerns about the efforts of the Russian government to interfere in our presidential election,” he said.
“As the special counsel’s report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election. But thanks to the special counsel’s thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign – or the knowing assistance of any other Americans for that matter.”
The second portion of the report investigates efforts of the Russian military associated with the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU) to hack into U.S. computers and steal emails and documents from officials connected to the Democratic Party and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. After this part of the investigation, the special counsel charged several Russian military officers for their roles in such illegal hacking schemes, although the charges are still pending and the defendants have yet to be arrested.
Robert Mueller’s redacted report on President Trump and Russia is out. New York Times reporters are reading it and will post major findings and analysis soon. https://t.co/kgmGktIUHv— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 18, 2019
The final portion of the investigation examined “contacts” or “links” between the Trump campaign and individuals connected with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. Barr claims that the evidence shows that the special counsel did not find a conspiracy to violate U.S. law via connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In addition, the report considers whether Trump’s actions could be regarded as obstruction to the special counsel’s investigation but did not come to a conclusion.
Barr adds that he disagreed with some of Mueller’s legal theories and claims that some of the instances examined by the report “did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law.”
Democrats were critical of the conference, and some believe that it’s merely damage control before the release of the findings. After Barr’s conference, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded the full release of the report and called the event “President @realDonaldTrump’s campaign press conference.”