WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find Donald Trump’s campaign or associates conspired with Russia, Attorney General William Barr said Sunday.
Mueller also did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute obstruction of justice, Barr wrote, but he did not exonerate the President.
“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 U.S. Presidential Election,” the four-page letter sent to Congress states.
Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided 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.
Mueller’s team also 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.
Fight over release of full report
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.
“We will try to negotiate. We will try everything else first. But if we have to, yes, we will certainly issue subpoenas to get that information,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday before the letter was released.
Mueller’s findings, Nadler said, means it is up to Congress to determine the President’s future.
“Seems like the Department of Justice is putting matters squarely in Congress’ court,” Nadler tweeted after the document was made public.
But Trump’s allies have pointed to the fact that no additional indictments are coming from the Mueller probe as vindication for the President.
The special counsel’s investigation ended Friday after Mueller submitted his confidential report to Barr for review.
The 22-month special counsel probe led to charges against 37 defendants, which included six Trump associates, 26 Russians and three Russian companies. Seven defendants have pleaded guilty, and one, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was convicted at trial.
While Mueller’s investigation is over, several criminal investigations are still ongoing.
They relate to an alleged Russian conspiracy to blast political propaganda across Americans’ social media networks; Manafort’s political colleague from Russia, Konstantin Kilimnik; and what Manafort’s deputy and a central Trump political player, Rick Gates, knows, according to court records.
Another is a grand jury’s pursuit of documents from a company owned by a foreign government. That subpoena for documents began with Mueller last year.
The DC US Attorney’s Office will pick up many of the open court cases, including Gates and former Trump adviser Roger Stone. And the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan continues to look into Trump’s inauguration and allegations waged by Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.