Well, it’s here. And if you were waiting for footage of FBI agents busting down the doors of the White House, you’re going to be waiting some more.
A landmark investigation into potential collusion between US President Donald Trump‘s 2016 election campaign and Russia will not lead to criminal charges against the President, according to the US Attorney General.
Summarising the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-running report into potential Russian interference in the election, US Attorney General William Barr today told Congress the investigation “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.”
Despite the fact Russia very clearly manipulated potential voters with divisive messaging on social media, the Special Counsel did not find the Trump campaign worked with Russia to carry out that shit-stirring.
The Special Counsel also found that neither Trump nor anyone in his team “conspired or coordinated” with Russia before their successful hack of email servers belonging to the Democratic Party, Barr said. That’s despite the fact Trump called for Russia to hack his opponents – while he was delivering a campaign speech.
The report apparently says Russia-linked individuals tried numerous times to tee something up with the Trump campaign, which suggests at least one side wanted to do some hardcore collusion. Still, those offers were apparently never taken up by Trump officials, Barr said.
On the matter of obstruction of justice, the report seemingly gets a bit murkier.
“The Special Counsel did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other– as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction,” Barr said.
He also felt the need to pull a quote directly from the report:
“[W]hile this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
As such, Barr will not lay charges against Trump. Barr’s letter says the report, which is yet to be released in full, is not the slam-dunk case against Trump that many were waiting for. It doesn’t cast Trump in a kind light, either.
There are bipartisan calls for the report to be released in full, as that letter is just one (admittedly important) summary of a massive document. Expect Trump to take this as a massive W, though. One of the biggest threats to his presidency, and one of his most hated “witch hunts” appears to have passed.
EDIT: Yep, here he goes. How “it also does not exonerate him” can be construed as “Total EXONERATION” is anyone’s guess, but you knew this would happen.
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019