National Security

Barr releases summary of Mueller’s conclusions to Congress

Attorney General William Barr on Sunday sent the principal conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to Congress.

In a letter sent to leaders on the House and Senate Judiciary committees on Sunday afternoon, Barr wrote that Mueller determined there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

{mosads}The attorney general also stated that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether President Trump committed any offenses relating to obstruction of justice.

“The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'” the letter reads.

However, Barr wrote that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined the evidence was “not sufficient” to bring an obstruction of justice charge against Trump.

The release comes two days after Mueller delivered his confidential report on the Russia investigation to Barr. The attorney general said in an earlier letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees that he would consult with Mueller and Rosenstein on what other information from Mueller’s final report can be released to Congress and the public.

Now that Barr has sent his summary of the core findings of the investigation to Capitol Hill, he is expected to soon brief congressional lawmakers. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Saturday she would reject any effort by the Justice Department to limit those briefings to a classified setting in the interest of transparency.

Barr is facing mounting pressure to make Mueller’s report public, for which there is bipartisan support in Congress.

For two days, House Democrats have demanded the immediate and full release of Mueller’s report to the American people, signaling they may subpoena its contents if they are not satisfied with what Barr releases. However, the attorney general is not bound by special counsel regulations to release any of Mueller’s confidential report and has broad discretion over what about the probe to make public.

Barr wrote Sunday that the Justice Department will spend the coming days identifying information in Mueller’s report that cannot be publicly released because it was used during grand jury proceedings or relates to ongoing investigations that Mueller referred to other offices.
“As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies,” Barr wrote.

Mueller had been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as well as any links or coordination between Trump’s campaign and Moscow for 22 months. The special counsel also explored possible obstruction of justice by the president.

His investigation came to a close Friday evening without any recommendation of further indictments, as Justice Department officials announced his report had been delivered to Barr. The attorney general thereafter notified the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, saying he is “committed to as much transparency as possible” and would keep them “informed as to the status” of his review.

Mueller moved forward quietly with his investigation for nearly two years, under frequent attacks from Trump.

His indictments have already told a story of Russia’s efforts to meddle in the election and reach out to associates and members of the Trump campaign. Mueller indicted more than two dozen Russians accused of using social media to interfere in the election and hack the emails of top Democrats.

The special counsel also charged six Trump associates with false statements, obstruction and other crimes, including some, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying about their Russia contacts. Flynn and others ultimately cooperated in the investigation.

None of the charges, however, alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow to interfere in the election.

Tags Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Robert Mueller Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Rod Rosenstein Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Special Counsel investigation William Barr
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