Attorney General William Barr announced during a press conference on Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not find that members of the Trump campaign conspired, coordinated, or colluded with Russians during the election.
“As you know, one of the primary purposes of the Special Counsel’s investigation was to determine whether members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, or any individuals associated with that campaign, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election,” Barr said. “As you will see, the Special Counsel’s report states that his ‘investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.'”
“Thanks to the Special Counsel’s thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign – or the knowing assistance of any other Americans for that matter,” Barr continued. “That is something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed.”
Speaking on the Russian Internet Research Agency, which sought to create division between Americans on social media, Barr said: “the Special Counsel found no evidence that any Americans – including anyone associated with the Trump campaign – conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in carrying out this illegal scheme. Indeed, as the report states, ‘[t]he investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation.’ Put another way, the Special Counsel found no ‘collusion’ by any Americans in the IRA’s illegal activity.”
Speaking on Russia hacking emails from Democratic officials, Barr said, “the Special Counsel’s report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its hacking operations. In other words, there was no evidence of Trump campaign ‘collusion’ with the Russian government’s hacking.”
Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein consulted with the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department lawyers in determining whether the president had committed any obstruction of justice offenses.
“After carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report, and in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department lawyers, the Deputy Attorney General and I concluded that the evidence developed by the Special Counsel is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,” Barr said. “In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates.”
“At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks,” Barr continued. “Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.”