6 Key Mueller Findings On Conspiracy, Obstruction and More - NECN
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6 Key Mueller Findings On Conspiracy, Obstruction and More

Barr's letter says Trump campaign did not collude with Russia

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Barr Releases Statement on Findings in Mueller Investigation

    Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 election determined that nobody from the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, according to a letter to Congress from Attorney General William Barr.

    (Published Sunday, March 24, 2019)

    After a nearly two-year investigation into the 2016 election, the Trump campaign and Donald Trump's acts as president, special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report to the Department of Justice on Friday. On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr sent a four-page letter summary of the report to Congress.

    Here are six key findings from the report, according to Barr's letter:

    THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN DID NOT CONSPIRE WITH RUSSIA
    Over the past two years, 'No Collusion' has become a Trump mantra. He's said it over and over again - at rallies, to the press, and in tweets. According to Mueller, he was right.

    "The Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign," Barr wrote in his letter.

    A Timeline of Mueller’s Russia Investigation

    [NATL] A Timeline of Mueller’s Russia Investigation

    On May 17, 2017, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to oversee the investigation into possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign. He secured the conviction of one Trump associate, guilty pleas from several others and the indictment of Russians who allegedly interfered in the 2016 election.

    (Published Thursday, April 18, 2019)

    MUELLER DID NOT REACH ANY CONCLUSIONS ABOUT OBSTRUCTION
    Over the past two years, many of Trump's actions as president have come under the media spotlight because of accusations of obstruction of justice - from firing FBI Director James Comey to publicly attacking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. According to the letter, Mueller and his team examined these actions, gathered evidence on both sides of the argument, but did not reach a conclusion.

    "After making a 'thorough factual investigation' into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion - one way or the other - as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction."

    It's not clear from the letter why Mueller decided not to draw any conclusions.

    MUELLER SAID HIS REPORT DOES NOT 'EXONERATE' TRUMP
    While Mueller didn't draw conclusions about whether Trump obstructed justice, he made it clear that doesn't mean Trump didn't commit a crime. 

    According to Barr: "The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'"

    BUT BARR AND ROSENSTEIN DECIDED TRUMP DID NOT OBSTRUCT JUSTICE
    Because Mueller didn't make a decision on obstruction, it was left for Barr to decide of Trump should be prosecuted, Barr said in his letter. He decided that nothing in the report rose to the level of obstruction of justice.

    "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," Barr wrote in the letter.

    Barr said part of the reason Trump shouldn't be prosecuted is because there was no evidence of a conspiracy. Since there was no underlying crime that Trump was trying to conceal, proving obstruction would be difficult.

    BARR WOULD NOT PROSECUTE TRUMP EVEN IF TRUMP WEREN'T PRESIDENT
    Throughout the Mueller investigation, there's been much debate about whether a sitting president could be prosecuted for a crime. Barr himself wrote a memo before being named attorney general in which he argued that a sitting president could not be prosecuted.

    In the end, Barr says it doesn't matter: There is not enough evidence to prosecute Trump regardless.

    "Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president," the letter said.

    THE FULL REPORT MIGHT NOT BE RELEASED
    At the end of his letter, Barr says that the full Mueller report includes information that cannot be made public due to restrictions on the release of information related to matters before a grand jury. He also said some information could impact 'other ongoing matters,' including cases that Mueller has referred to other prosecutors.

    Trump Calls Mueller Probe 'an Illegal Takedown That Failed'

    [NATL] Trump Calls Mueller Probe 'an Illegal Takedown That Failed'

    President Donald Trump called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation 'an illegal takedown that failed' on Sunday

    (Published Sunday, March 24, 2019)

    He said he's working with Mueller to determine what can be released. But he provided no timeline (other than "as quickly as possible"), and the full report may never be released.

    In short: The public may never see the full report.