Attorney General William Barr stated again at an April 18 press conference that Robert Mueller, the special counsel, discovered no evidence to establish that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
“After reviewing those contacts, the special counsel did not find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign,” said Barr in the morning conference. “So that is the bottom line.”
He delivered his remarks to reporters ahead of the delivery of the Mueller report to Congress.
“After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the Russian government-sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes,” Barr reiterated.
He said that Russian operatives did, in fact, try to influence the election, but they didn’t collude with President Trump or Trump’s campaign.
“That is something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed,” Barr noted.
Furthermore, the Trump administration didn’t invoke executive privilege to block the release of the Mueller report, Barr told reporters.
“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,” added Barr. “At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability.”
Barr also made a reference to the “relentless speculation” among members of the press.
Trump on April 18 responded to the press conference, tweeting, “No Collusion—No Obstruction!”
About an hour later, he tweeted a humorous photo in reference to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
“Game over,” it said, adding that it’s “for the haters and the radical left Democrats.”
Mueller, the attorney general said, examined 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice. However, he said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined the evidence wasn’t sufficient to charge the president.
Meanwhile, Barr said he is fine with Mueller testifying before Congress.
Trump’s attorneys also saw the redacted report, the attorney general stated.
“In addition, earlier this week, the president’s personal counsel requested and were given the opportunity to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released,” Barr told reporters. “That request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act, which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an Independent Counsel the opportunity to read the report before publication. The president’s personal lawyers were not permitted to make, and did not request, any redactions.”
Also, he explained that redactions will fall into several categories, including material that is relating to ongoing investigations, material that relates to methods or sources, grand jury material, and items that concerns unindicted persons of interests.
–EP Times & wire services