The attorney general’s letter on the Mueller report will do little to bridge the partisan divide

The New York Times reports:

The investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III found that neither President Trump nor any of his aides conspired or coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference, according to a summary of the special counsel’s findings made public on Sunday by Attorney General William P. Barr.

The summary also said that the special counsel’s team lacked sufficient evidence to establish that President Trump illegally obstructed justice, but added that Mr. Mueller’s team stopped short of exonerating Mr. Trump.

“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Mr. Barr quoted Mr. Mueller as writing.

Mr. Barr delivered the summary of the special counsel’s finding to Congress on Sunday afternoon, just days after the conclusion of a sprawling investigation into Russia’s attempts to sabotage the 2016 election and whether President Trump or any of his associates conspired with Moscow’s interference. [Continue reading…]

Ken White writes:

We cannot yet see the report Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted to Attorney General William Barr on Friday. But we can see its shadow in the four-page letter Barr sent to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on Sunday afternoon. That letter will be touted as vindication by President Donald Trump and his supporters, but will do little to bridge the partisan divide over Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation, and will inspire more vociferous demands to release the entire report.

Barr’s letter thoroughly quelled some of the fondest hopes of the anti-Trump “Resistance.” The letter revealed that Mueller closed his investigation without recommending more criminal charges, and that no further indictments are under seal, as some had speculated. That’s a great relief for Trump and his family and associates, but it’s not the end of their federal criminal jeopardy. Barr also pointed out that Mueller “referred several matters to other offices for further action.” For instance, the special counsel sent the investigation of Michael Cohen’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which secured Cohen’s guilty plea for federal campaign-finance violations. That office is still actively investigating the matter—we know this because it carefully redacted the details of the investigation when it released the Cohen search warrants last week. But the special counsel’s investigation was the most prominent legal threat to the president and his family, and its closure without further indictments is a major victory for him. [Continue reading…]

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