Attorney General William Barr told Congress on Sunday that a sweeping investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of coordination between Russian Intelligence and the Trump Campaign in 2016, as Barr said there was not enough evidence to pursue allegations of obstruction of justice against President Donald Trump, though Mueller left open that question in his report.
In a four page letter summarizing the major findings of the Mueller investigation, the Attorney General said, "the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign."
On the question of whether the President obstructed justice by impeding the investigation into the underlying matter, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had concluded from the Mueller findings that, "the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense."
Republicans said the Barr summary showed the investigation had found nothing which could lead to the President's prosecution or impeachment.
"No collusion and no obstruction," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed by this report."
The White House immediately declared victory as well.
“The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction,” said Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement.
“Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States,” Sanders told reporters.
While the letter was immediately hailed by Republicans as the end of the investigation, it also left Democrats with some tantalizing tidbits which they are sure to pursue on the obstruction issue, specifically one line cited by the Attorney General in his Sunday letter to the Congress.
"The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'" the Attorney General wrote, in quoting the Mueller report’s section about the issue of obstruction of justice.
"Special Counsel Mueller clearly and explicitly is not exonerating the President, and we must hear from AG Barr about his decision making and see all the underlying evidence for the American people to know all the facts," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Other Democrats also made clear they want more than just the four page summary written by the Attorney General, as Nadler vowed to bring Attorney General Barr in for hearings.
You can read the full four page letter from Attorney General Barr at this link.
As for the possibility of the Mueller report being made public, Barr told Congress in his letter that he would still try to err on the side of transparency.
“I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel's report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies,” Barr wrote.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.