William Barr: Mueller report finds no Russia conspiracy, doesn’t exonerate Trump of obstruction
March 24 (UPI) — Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation found that neither President Donald Trump nor any of his aides conspired or coordinated with the Russian government‘s 2016 election interference, according to a summary of the findings made public by Attorney General William Barr on Sunday.
Barr’s summary, published by The New York Times, also stated that Mueller and his team did not find significant evidence to establish that Trump illegally obstructed justice nor was it able to exonerate him of such a crime.
“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr quoted from Mueller’s report.
Despite the quote cited from Mueller’s report in Barr’s summary, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Department of Justice findings “are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”
“The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction,” she said.
Barr said the special counsel has not recommended any further indictments and that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided the evidence was “not sufficient” to support a prosecution of the president for obstruction of justice, CNN reported.
In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the special counsel defined “coordination” as an “agreement — tacit or express — between the Trump campaign and the Russian government on election interference.”
According to Barr’s summary, Mueller’s team interviewed about 500 witnesses, obtained more than 3,500 subpoenas and warrants of various types, and issued 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence.
Barr said he intends to release as much as possible from the report and Mueller will be involved in scrubbing the report to remove secret grand jury material and any content related to ongoing investigations before it could be made public.
“Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the [grand jury] material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel,” he said.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House judiciary committee, called for “full transparency” in what Mueller uncovered.
“DOJ owes the public more than just a brief synopsis and decision not to go any further in their work,” he wrote on Twitter. “Special Counsel Mueller worked for 22 months to determine the extent to which President Trump obstructed justice. Attorney General Barr took 2 days to tell the American people that while the President is not exonerated, there will be no action by DOJ.”
Sanders added that “the report identifies no actions that, in our judgement, constitute obstructive conduct.”
“After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,” she said.
“It’s a shame our country had to go through this. To be honest it’s a shame your President had to go through this,” Trump told reporters.