Mueller did not find Trump campaign conspired with Russia, attorney general says

Robert Mueller walks to a church service on Sunday in Washington, across Lafayette Square from the White House. Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP

US attorney general William Barr on Sunday handed a summary of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to members of Congress.

It revealed that Robert Mueller found no “Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly co-ordinated” with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign.

The report shows that Mueller has not filed any further criminal indictments following an almost two-year-long investigation that has seen some of Donald Trump’s closest advisers criminally prosecuted and convicted.

The first page of William Barr’s letter.
 The first page of William Barr’s letter. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

The special counsel was also unable to draw a conclusion “one way or the other” whether Trump or anyone in the White House obstructed justice during the investigation.

Barr’s letter stated that he, a Trump appointee, and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein determined themselves that a prosecution should not be sought against the president for obstruction of justice.

Barr described the evidence for obstruction as “not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense”. Furthermore, Barr insisted in his letter the decision not to prosecute was not made based on any limitations related to the indictment of a sitting president.

The findings were likely to be seized on and weaponised by Trump and his allies, who have always maintained there was no collusion between the election campaign and Russia.

The president has sought to portray himself as a victim of a conspiracy by “the deep state” as well as Democrats and the “fake news” media.

He may now seek to turn the Mueller investigation to his advantage in the 2020 presidential election, claiming it shows he won fair and square after all and that desperate opponents will do anything to thwart him. Volleys of tweets and rally speeches now seem inevitable.

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