Mueller finds no evidence of Trump-Russian collusion

Mueller finds no evidence of Trump-Russian collusion

Matthew Meyer, Staff Reporter

Attorney General William Barr released a summary on March 24 of the investigative report on Russian government interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and alleged collusion by President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The summary laid out a short description of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation findings and, in short, there was no evidence of collusion to be found.

Trump was quick to tweet after the summary went public, stating, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.”

The special counsel’s probe, which began in May of 2017 and ended March 22, has since led to seven convictions of Trump associates, but has ultimately come up empty handed in Trump’s case. Nonetheless, many of Trump’s critics have been quick to point out that Barr’s summary did not exonerate the president entirely.

Barr stated that Mueller did not offer a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice during the investigation. According to Barr, the special counsel stated that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him (of an obstruction-of-justice offense).”

Since Sunday, the House of Representatives has repeated calls for the entire report to be released to the public. According to The New York Times, a vote on the matter before the report was released passed unanimously, 420-0, in favor of making the report public. On the Senate floor, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Whether or not you’re a supporter of President Trump … there is no good reason not to make the report public. It’s a simple request for transparency. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Despite the unanimous decision in the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked it from being voted on in the Senate Monday claiming, “The special counsel and the Justice Department ought to be allowed to finish their work in a professional manner,” noting that the attorney general would be working with Mueller to determine what information was safe to spread to the public.

While the report may have concluded that Trump was not involved in any efforts to undermine the 2016 election, according to Barr’s summary, the investigation was able to determine that the Russian government did in fact attempt to interfere with its results.

Barr wrote that the primary efforts were a misinformation campaign through online sources and the hacking of emails associated with the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. Even further, Barr claimed that there was evidence to suggest the existence of “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

Outside of Congress, the response to the report and its summary has been just as polarized as one may have expected it to be, with Democrats demanding the full release of the report and Republicans proclaiming Trump’s supposed exoneration from guilt.

Articles from The Atlantic state that Trump may not have colluded, but is still the beneficiary of a stolen election, while Fox News has since called for the halt of an unjustified “witch hunt.” According to The Hill, the partisan responses ensure only one thing: Even though the investigation is over, its findings will undoubtedly loom over the rest of Trump’s presidency.

Editor’s Note: Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.