Mueller report collusion, the Mueller investigation to Congress

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Mueller report collusion, the Mueller investigation to Congress.

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 Mueller’s final report.

Barr’s letter claims that Mueller offers 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 finds 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.”

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Barr also writes that Mueller’s report does not take a position as to whether President Trump obstructed justice with relation to the special counsel’s work. “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime,” Barr writes, “it also does not exonerate him.” Without reaching a legal conclusion, Barr goes on to write, Mueller is essentially leaving it to the Justice Department to decide whether Trump obstructed justice during the course of the investigation.

As expected, President Trump responded on Twitter shortly before 5 p.m. ET Sunday.

Barr writes that after reviewing Mueller’s report and consulting internally at the DOJ, both he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that there wasn’t sufficient evidence “to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” Barr’s letter also claims that Mueller’s report notes that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”

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Barr’s top-line 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. In his letter, Barr appears to want to withhold much of Mueller’s final product in the name of protecting “the integrity of grand jury proceedings,” although he’s promised to conduct a review in short order. “As soon as that process is complete,” Barr writes, “I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released.”

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The letter describes the sprawling operation that Mueller oversaw during the probe. 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, interviewed roughly 500 witnesses and made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, according to Barr.

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