Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find US President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates conspired with Russia, Attorney General William Barr said on Sunday.
Mueller also did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute obstruction of justice, Barr wrote, but he did not exonerate the President, CNN reported.
“The special counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election,” the four-page letter sent to Congress states.
Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the determination that the evidence was “not sufficient” to support a prosecution of the President for obstruction of justice.
“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr quotes Mueller as saying.
The President went beyond the conclusions of Barr’s letter and said the findings exonerated him.
“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” Trump tweeted.
“It was just announced there was no collusion with Russia … there was no collusion with Russia, there was no obstruction, none whatsoever,” Trump said to reporters before flying back to Washington from West Palm Beach, Florida.
“It was a complete and total exoneration. 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. This was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully somebody’s going to be looking at the other side,” Trump added.
Mueller’s team has no plans to issue any new indictments.
“The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the special counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public,” the letter states.
The special counsel’s office employed a massive effort through the court system and in interviewing witnesses to reach its findings. In all, Mueller’s team interviewed about 500 witnesses and obtained more than 3,500 subpoenas and warrants of various types — the bulk of which were subpoenas — and 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence.
Barr and Rosenstein said they could not bring a criminal case with proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump’s actions obstructed a specific proceeding.
Barr notes the “absence of such evidence” related to crimes around the Russian election interference weighed on his decision regarding obstruction.
In his letter, Barr says that Mueller’s investigation into obstruction of justice found the President’s actions were not “done with corrupt intent.”
Democrats have demanded that Barr make Mueller’s full report public and provide the special counsel’s underlying evidence to Congress. They are threatening to subpoena and take the Trump administration to court if they’re not satisfied with what the Justice Department provides.