News ID: 240603
Published: 0428 GMT March 25, 2019

Mueller report finds no evidence that Trump campaign colluded with Russia

Mueller report finds no evidence that Trump campaign colluded with Russia
AFP

Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign team and Russia, and did not present enough evidence to warrant charging Trump with obstruction of justice, US Attorney General William Barr said on Sunday.

In a major political victory for Trump, who quickly hailed the announcement as "complete and total exoneration," Mueller's nearly two years of investigation ended with a finding that no one in Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated with the Russian government," according to a summary of Mueller's findings, Reuters reported.

The long-awaited report into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to help the Republican defeat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, marked a major milestone of his presidency as he prepares for his 2020 re-election battle. But Democratic opponents made clear that it would not end their political assault against him.

Mueller himself did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump broke the law by interfering with the various probes into the 2016 election that have cast a pall over his presidency, but presented his evidence to Barr to make a determination.

Many of Trump's opponents had accused the president of obstructing the Russia probe when he fired former FBI Director James Comey in 2017.

In a decision quickly attacked by Democrats, Barr, a Trump appointee who took office last month, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the evidence did not justify bringing obstruction charges, according to the Justice Department's four-page summary.

Barr quoted Mueller as writing in his report on the issue of possible obstruction of justice: "While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement that the fact that Mueller had not cleared Trump on the obstruction issue "demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay."

US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican, said Barr should release as much of Mueller's report as possible. It remained unclear, however, how much more would be made public.

"It's a shame that our country had to go through this," Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington from Florida. "This was an illegal takedown that failed. And hopefully, somebody's going to be looking at the other side."

Barr's summary said Mueller found no evidence that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia, despite “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals” to help them.

 

 

   
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