International

President Trump ‘did not conspire with Russia’

President Trump’s campaign did not conspire with Russia during the 2016 election, according to a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report submitted to Congress on Sunday.

The report summary did not draw a conclusion as to whether Trump illegally obstructed justice – not exonerating the president.

The report was summarised for Congress by the attorney general, William Barr.

President Trump tweeted in response: “No Collusion, No Obstruction.”

Trump, who repeatedly described the inquiry as a witch hunt, said on Sunday that “it was a shame that the country had to go through this”, describing the inquiry as an “illegal takedown that failed”.

The report is the culmination of two years of investigation by Mueller which saw some of the president’s closest former aides prosecuted and, in some cases, imprisoned.

“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Mueller wrote in his report.

What is in the report summary?

The summary letter by Barr outlines the inquiry’s findings relating to Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Barr concluded: “The special counsel did not find that any US person or Trump campaign official conspired or knowingly co-ordinated with Russia.”

The second part of the letter addresses the issue of obstruction of justice. Barr’s summary says the special counsel report “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,” the letter read.

Barr says that the evidence was not sufficient “to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offence”.

Barr ends his letter to Congress by saying he will release more from the full report, but that some of the material is subject to restrictions.

“Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the [grand jury] material that by law cannot be made public,” he wrote.

“I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all information contained in the report as quickly as possible.” (BBC)