Special Counsel Mueller Submits Report; A.G. Releases Summary of FindingsPosted on: March 25, 2019, by : Jeff Turner
By Jeff Turner
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two year long investigation into alleged collusion between President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 election campaign and the Russian government in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election has concluded. Mueller’s final report was delivered to the office of Attorney General William Barr on Friday. Despite many Democrats and others demanding for the immediate release of Mueller’s findings to the public and to allow people to review the report for themselves, Barr has not at this point agreed to do so. Instead, according to multiple sources, Barr first briefed the President on the report’s findings. On Sunday, the Attorney General released a four page letter to Congress in which he summarized the report’s contents.
“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 Presidential Election,” the letter read in part.
While no evidence of collusion was found (according to Barr), the most telling statement is a quote included in the letter taken verbatim from Mueller’s report: “While this report does not conclude that the president has committed a crime, it also does no exonerate him.”
The letter goes on to state that the Attorney General’s office has decided not to file obstruction of justice charges against the President, not finding sufficient evidence to do so based on the report’s findings. Whether or not Congressional Democrats would pursue charges for obstruction of justice and possible impeachment remains unknown, though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that she opposes impeachment, saying “he’s (Trump’s) not worth it.”
Indiana residents had differing reactions in regards to Barr’s summary of the report’s findings.
“I still wonder why Russia was so interested in getting Trump elected,” said an IU alumnus who did not want to be named. “I still think there’s more to this story.”
When asked what he meant by that, he said “I still think there may have been some collusion but Mueller couldn’t find it… I think someone in his (Trump’s) camp may have known about interference. I doubt much happens in Russia without Putin. This was quite an operation they had going (the Russian meddling). Look into what the FBI says the Russians did during the election.”
It is, of course, widely known at this point that the Russian government, most likely under Putin’s orders, participated in a disinformation campaign and release of damaging materials that many felt may have influenced the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. Not by hacking voting machines and altering final vote totals in key swing states (that we know of, or how it would even be possible), but by disseminating false information primarily on social media as well as authorizing the release of damaging materials that may have had a damaging effect on Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 Democratic challenger for the Presidency.
But, according to the Attorney General, Mueller found no evidence of collusion. President Trump has since almost the beginning labeled the Special Counsel’s investigation a “witch hunt” brought about by vengeful Democrats and the media. The findings of Mueller’s investigation, at least as summarized by Barr, seem likely to bolster such assertions and may well benefit him in regards to his re-election bid in 2020.
Not all Indiana Democrats however seem to be dismayed by the Attorney General’s summary of Mueller’s findings.
“Barr has been compromised from the beginning. And it’s not the Mueller report, it’s a letter from Barr,” said Kim Saylor, an activist from Indianapolis. She went on to discuss her thoughts on the media coverage of the Attorney General’s letter. And many news outlets are indeed reporting the summary as being the report’s official findings without having seen the actual report. Whether or not there are any discrepancies between Barr’s summary remains to be seen, as without the actual report for reference his summary cannot be fact checked.
Mueller did leave the door open for further investigations by “other offices,” according to Barr’s letter, many in regards to Trump’s business dealings prior to becoming President.
According to the Attorney General’s letter, the report will “not be made public in full,” and that only certain selected segments will be released to the public at a later time, citing the sensitive nature of some of the report’s contents.
The text of Attorney General Barr’s letter can be found here: