26 March 2019
On Sunday afternoon, Attorney General William P. Barr released a four-page summary of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. It noted that president Trump (picture) did not collude with the Russian government to win the 2016 election. On the question of whether he obstructed the investigation into that, the report said is not proved or disproved. The investigations also did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
Another question addressed by the special counsel was whether Trump colluded with Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking of Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations. Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts.
In the matter of obstruction of justice, the Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
The report was a disappointment for Democrats. Even before the probe ended, they were already working under a Plan B to undermine Mr Trump going into next year’s presidential race, through investigations led by House committees now under their control. “We are going to move forward with our investigations of obstruction of justice, abuses of power, corruption, to defend the rule of law, which is our job,” House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler said on Sunday at a news conference in New York. They will investigate among other things, alleged public corruption, presidential abuses of power, Mr Trump’s banking relationships, his tax returns and efforts to quash embarrassing stories about the President in coordination with the National Enquirer.
Democrats will fight to get Mr Mueller’s full report, including its underlying documents, which have not been released to the public. They say that material will help their probes. However, Mueller’s report most likely takes impeachment off the table before the next general election in 2020.
In March, The Atlantic laid out a case for impeaching Mr Trump, listing his numerous ethical miscues, from public criticism of Mr Mueller, to multiple lies, to his multiple firings of officials deemed disloyal. “These actions are, in sum, an attack on the very foundations of America’s constitutional democracy,” the magazine said.