“If Trump was not the President, he would have already been indicted,” such a strongly formed opinion was smashed on Sunday, when Attorney General William P Barr presented the summary of special counsel Robert S Mueller’s key findings to public. As per the summary, the investigation found no evidence against President Donald Trump or any of his aides.
Mueller and his team spent around two years investigating, if the Russian government interfered in 2016 presidential elections. However, in a letter to lawmakers, Barr wrote that no conspiracy was found “despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign”.
Commenced from early days of the Trump era, the probe has kept the White House apprehensive. Several of Trump’s current and former aides have been questioned in Mueller’s office in downtown Washington, while the FBI agents investigated across the nation as well as several foreign countries.
Around half-dozen former Trump aides have been indicted or convicted of crimes during the investigation. However, most have penalized for conspiracy or lying to the special counsel’s team. Besides, last year, 25 Russian experts in social media manipulation and intelligence operatives were charged in two extraordinarily detailed indictments released by Mueller.
Yet, according to Barr, the investigations drew no conclusions on whether President Trump illegally impeded justice and that Mueller made his own decision. Along with his deputy Rod J Rosenstein, the attorney general determined that Mueller’s team had insufficient evidence to draw the inference that Trump committed the offense.
However, Barr highlighted that the report states that although it “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” on the obstruction of justice issue.
On the other hand, the congressional Democrats have demanded more, calling for Barr to deliver all the investigative files of Mueller. It is being expected that the letter turned over by the attorney general could induce a lengthy constitutional conflict between Congress and the Justice Department over the issue of making the complete report public.
However, the letter sent by attorney general stated his “goal and intent” of releasing all the possible portions of Mueller’s final report. It also warned that certain parts were based on grand jury material, which “by law cannot be made public”. Barr planned to send the detailed summary of full report that he is required to deliver to Capitol Hill under the law.
Condemnation against the attorney general’s letter has already emerged, where a Justice Department official said that Barr did not discuss with Mueller while writing letter to leaders of the congressional judiciary committees.
Besides, the lawmakers on Sunday criticized the conclusion of no obstruction to justice by Trump, citing that it still needs to be determined if the President had “corrupt intent” when he interrupted the probe several times. Even after months of quest, Trump has never been interrogated in person. In fact, he presented written answers to the investigators, which made his attempts on impeding quite absurd.
Yet, Barr’s letter concluded that Mueller report identified no actions that “constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent”.
The signs are being considered good for Trump, who even last time won elections over the noise of his critics. It is believed that the unexpected conclusion of Mueller investigation would allow him to overhaul his presidential reputation.
“It was a complete and total exoneration,” Trump said, adding that it’s a “shame” for the US to survive this, and that “it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this”. Considering the report, he said “This was an illegal takedown that failed.”
Under the weight of investigation even before taking the oath to office, Trump has conveniently passed the hindrance that stood on the way of his presidency before the 2020 elections.
The letter claiming that the President had no links with Russia came two days after Mueller delivered the final report to the Justice Department. It came as a game-changer in the ideology that was being maintained since long. The prolonged investigations had convinced people of the conclusions way before Mueller concluded them.
The ample of media reports and multiple indictments convinced many of the unproven conspiracy between Trump and Moscow. Whereas, the Trump-supporters believed that it is a “witch hunt” just like their President did.
While the investigations couldn’t prove the President’s alleged collision with the Russian government, can we just call it good timing?
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