Mueller report finds no evidence that Trump coordinated with Russian Federation in 2016
00:44, Mar 26, 2019
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The Justice Department and the Special Counsel's Office did not charge the president or his family members with any criminal wrongdoing.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that Mueller's findings confirm the president's account that "there was no effort by his campaign to conspire or coordinate with Russian Federation in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election".
"No collusion, no obstruction". Democrats are demanding to see his full report.
"This was an illegal takedown that failed", he continued. "It's a shame that our country has had to go through this".
And, others asked, why did the special counsel leave open the question on obstruction of justice, given the many publicly recorded instances of it - dismissing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey after asking him to stop investigating his then national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying about his contacts with Russians. Mueller did not draw a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, laying out evidence on both sides of the question.
But it marked the beginning of a new phase, the determination of Democrats in Congress to further investigate Trump, using the evidence from the Mueller probe. The attorney general said Mueller did not present enough evidence to warrant charging Trump with obstruction of justice. The Mueller investigation had nothing more to commend it than Comey's original investigation did, but the spectacle of a special counsel's appointment and the space it opened for speculation about what it might uncover taught Trump-and more importantly, any other potentially defiant politician who was watching-just how high the price would be for failing to observe proper protocol toward a successor to J. Edgar Hoover.
Gillibrand tweeted: "The Mueller report must be made public".
For months, Robert Mueller's team had requested a sit-down interview with Trump, but the President's lawyers refused to commit and negotiations continued. They include the woodenness of Hillary Clinton's campaign, the FBI's decision to reopen her email investigation 11 days before the election, disgust with run-of-the-mill politics, middle America's economic gloom and Mr Trump's appeals to the so-called "deplorables".
US President Donald Trump reacts during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington US
While Mueller's team backed the assessment of USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation worked to help Trump win the 2016 election, it concluded that Trump's team did not collude with Moscow.
In a letter to lawmakers on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr summarized Mueller's report and his investigation into accusations Mr. Trump obstructed justice.
"It was complete and total exoneration", Trump told reporters in Florida before returning to Washington Sunday afternoon. As we look back, Democrat leaders acted irresponsibly and threw caution to the wind to damage and distract from the work the Trump administration is doing on behalf of our fellow citizens.
In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff.
"This is very problematic for any Democrat who's running for president in 2020 that was hoping they would face a weakened or beaten-down President Trump", former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said.
Meanwhile, House Democrats are conducting their own inquiries.
Barr quoted Mueller's report as stating it "does not exonerate" the president on obstruction. It showed a montage of prominent Democratic Party politicians arguing there was evidence of ties between the Russians and Trump's 2016 campaign, before ending with a title card that read "The Collusion Hoax!" and asked viewers to text "witchhunt" to a campaign phone number.
Still, Trump's closest allies were delighted.
Mueller's conclusion that neither Trump nor his aides conspired with Russian Federation in 2016 takes away a central charge that Democrats have flung at Trump for two years - that he did not win the presidency fairly or cleanly.
The White House said that the next steps are up to Attorney General Barr and President Trump had not been briefed on the report. If Trump directs the Justice Department to defy the subpoena, the court fight would nearly certainly go to the Supreme Court.
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