The much anticipated final report from special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed in 2017 to investigate whether Donald Trump treasonously colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, was finally released on Thursday morning. You can download Volume I and Volume II of Mueller’s report here and here, respectively.
At a Thursday press conference ahead of the full Mueller report’s release, Barr said that Mueller’s investigation and report “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
“The Special Counsel found no collusion by any Americans” in the efforts of Russians to interfere in the 2016 election or hack the e-mail accounts of top Hillary Clinton aides or the Democratic National Committee, he added.
“[T]here was no evidence of Trump campaign ‘collusion’ with the Russian government’s hacking,” Barr said.
The attorney general also said Mueller’s investigation failed to establish that Trump obstructed justice.
“After carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report, and in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department lawyers, the Deputy Attorney General and I concluded that the evidence developed by the Special Counsel is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,” Barr said.
“[T]he White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims,” he said. “And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation.”
The release of Mueller’s report brings to a close a sprawling, multi-year and multi-million dollar investigation that in the end concluded the president did not illegally conspire with Russia or act as a secret agent of Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign. The release of the report followed years of frenzied speculation and conspiracy theory-mongering about Trump’s alleged Kremlin connections.
Much of the hysteria was fueled by a so-called dossier from retired foreign spy Christopher Steele, who was jointly funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The salacious and unverified allegations in Steele’s collection of dossiers against Trump were then used as a primary basis by the Obama administration to spy on Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page. Despite the fact that the dossier was used in 2016 to justify spying on private American citizens, none of its major allegations have been verified, while many of its central claims have been thoroughly debunked.
Barr testified before the Senate last week that he planned to investigate whether the 2016 spying operation against Trump and his presidential campaign was proper and lawful. He also said an ongoing investigation of the matter by the Department of Justice’s inspector general would likely be concluded in May or June of this year.
“I believe that the publicly released report will allow every American to understand the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation,” Barr concluded at his press conference on the full Mueller report.
You can read the full Mueller report on Russian collusion here.