Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation found no evidence that President Donald Trump or members of his campaign conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election. The news gives the president a win in a case that has hovered over his administration for years.
Importantly, the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” whether expressly or tacitly.
But in many ways, Barr’s summary raises more questions than it answers.
The special counsel's report leaves "unresolved whether the president's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction," Attorney General William Barr said in a letter to Congress delivered Sunday.
Barr also pointed out that Mueller “referred several matters to other offices for further action.”
Democrats react to Barr’s letter:
“Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers,” said a joint statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay,” they said.
Moreover, “Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said lawmakers would summon Barr to testify about "very concerning discrepancies and final decision making" in his letter.
“The Special Counsel did not exonerate the president. In fact, according to the attorney general’s letter, he described a pattern of evidence suggesting the President engaged in obstruction of justice,” said Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat and committee member.
“Why the heck would we be okay with an ally of president, appointed because of his hostility to the Mueller investigation, tell us what the report says?” Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, asked via Twitter. “Give Congress the report. Give the public the report.”
Republicans express relief:
Within minutes of the release of Barr’s memo, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “This case is closed,” and other Republican lawmakers echoed that view.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tweeted, “The cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed by this report.”
"It’s a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it's a shame that your president has had to go through this," Trump said Sunday.