Trump Attorney General Bill Barr has now delivered his own summary of the “principal conclusions” of the Robert Mueller probe into Russian espionage efforts during the 2016 elections and what assistance those efforts may have been given by United States citizens, including members of the Donald Trump campaign.
Mueller’s probe produced indictments of 34 individuals during the course of the probe, including Trump’s campaign manager, his deputy campaign manager, a national security adviser and his personal longtime lawyer. Investigations into Russian actions during 2016 and related criminal acts that were uncovered during the course of Mueller’s investigation will continue, both in Congress and by federal and state prosecutors. These crimes include campaign finance violations, bank fraud, illegal lobbying efforts on behalf of foreign powers, and still-mysterious additional probes.
House and Senate Democrats, as well as 18 state attorneys general, have already made it clear that they will not consider it acceptable to receive only a “summary” of the report’s findings as curated by appointees of Trump’s Department of Justice, but expect the full Mueller report itself to be released.
Barr’s summary will be the beginning, not the end, of that process.
House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler reports that he received a “very brief letter” from Barr indicating that the Department of Justice “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgement,” and that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
The Barr letter says that Mueller left the decision as to whether to prosecute Trump for obstruction of justice to the Attorney General, and that Barr has “concluded” that he has insufficient evidence to do so.
The three and a half page letter is astonishingly vague, giving less detail into the scope of the investigation than can be had from dozens upon dozens of press reports. Barr’s efforts here are not going to be well-received.