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Attorney general: Mueller report finds no collusion between Russia, Trump

By Daniel Uria and Darryl Coote
Attorney general: Mueller report finds no collusion between Russia, Trump
A summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's findings from his investigation into President Donald Trump and his campaign, made public by Attorney General William P. Barr on Sunday, found neither Trump nor any of his aides conspired or coordinated with the Russian government's 2016 election interference. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

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.

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"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."

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"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.

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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."

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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.

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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."

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Sanders added that "the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, 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.

Trump reacted to the news on Twitter writing that there was "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"

"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.

Democrats, however, are unwilling to accept Barr at his word, given his history of criticizing the investigation and are demanding that the report be released in full.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in a joint letter, said Barr's three-page letter "raises as many questions as it answers."

"The fact that Special Counsel Mueller's report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay," they said in the letter. "Given Mr. Barr's public record of bias against the Special Counsel's inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report."

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Barr criticized Mueller's investigation last year in a memo he wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein.

The pair also said Trump's claim of exoneration is not credible and contradicts Mueller's words.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who is running for the Democratic nominee for president in the 2020 election, joined the growing chorus of Democrats calling for the report to be made public.

"The Mueller report must be made public," she said on Twitter. "Not just a letter from someone appointed by Trump to protect himself -- all of it. The President works for the people, and he is not above the law.

Meanwhile, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said that the report's findings should be respected by members of both parties and efforts should be put towards ending Russia's propaganda campaign.

"Policymakers on both sides of the aisle should respect the findings of this investigation: there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government," she said in a statement. "Importantly, the Mueller investigation did find that there were Russian efforts to undermine and influence the 2016 U.S. election. I will continue to work to counter Russia's disinformation efforts and cyber threats on the House Armed Services Committee."

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