Special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia, according to attorney general William Barr.
Wochit, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – It was the nation’s first look at what special counsel Robert Mueller had concluded after investigating the president for years. And in the end, everyone seemed to have a different take, which largely came down along party lines.
On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr compiled a four-page letter that highlighted the findings of Mueller’s investigation. The letter, which was sent to Congress, attempts to answer key questions that have hung over all of President Donald Trump’s presidency, specifically whether the president committed the crime of obstruction of justice and colluded with Russia.
In Barr’s letter, he said that no proof was found that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia but said Mueller made no decision over whether the president obstructed justice. Barr said that Mueller’s office left that charging decision to him and the Justice Department.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who headed the Russia investigation before being fired by the president., summed up what many people thought: “So many questions,” he wrote on Twitter with a photo of him gazing up at what appear to be redwood trees.
“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 states, quoting from the special counsel investigation.
Barr added that after review, he and Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein “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.”
Some on social media celebrated the news, saying the lack of charges put an end to an investigation that has hung over Trump’s presidency since its start.
Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., fired off a series of tweets denouncing the media and Democrats who have raised questions about collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
“After more than 2 years of non-stop conspiracy theories from CNN, MSNBC, Buzzfeed and the rest of the mainstream media, as well as daily lies and smears coming from Democrats in Washington, the Mueller Report proves what those of us with sane minds have known all along, there was ZERO collusion with Russia,” Trump Jr. said in a tweet.
He added that he recognizes that Democrats will continue to investigate and “double down on their sick and twisted conspiracy theories moving forward.” Trump Jr. also called for a recall of journalism prizes given to reporters who worked on stories relating to Trump campaign and Russian contacts.
“How do you win a reporting award for reporting fake news? There should be a recall,” he wrote.
His sister, Ivanka, summed up her response to the news with a quote: “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander. — Abraham Lincoln,” she wrote on Twitter.
Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition super PAC, wrote on Twitter that the summary compiled by Barr was nothing more than “propaganda.”
“The Barr summary is pure propaganda. It’s a political document that was made for the sole purpose of defending Trump,” he wrote. “Framed so Trump could claim he’s completely exonerated from all crimes ever. Which is nonsense. No more games. We need to see Mueller’s full report immediately.”
George Conway, an attorney married to senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, used Twitter to tame down the belied that Barr’s letter in any way cleared the president of wrongdoing.
“You misspelled ‘While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’ Pls fix. Thx,” Conway wrote back to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who wrote that the findings constituted a “total and complete exoneration” of the president.
Conway got into a nasty back-and-forth with the president last week after questioning Trump’s mental health.
Conway’s wife, Kellyanne, took a different approach, congratulating the president for the news.
“Today you won the 2016 election all over again. And got a gift for the 2020 election,” she wrote to the president. “They’ll never get you because they’ll never ‘get’ you.”
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