Donald Trump is celebrating today after a four-page summary of Robert Mueller’s report was published by the US Attorney General William Barr, clearing the US president of colluding with the Russian government during his 2016 presidential election campaign.
The Special Counsel Investigation was established in 2017 to look into the issue of potential underhand cooperation between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s government in the lead up to the election that saw the former reality TV star enter the White House.
Headed by Robert Mueller, a Republican and former FBI director, the two-year probe looked closely at allegations of Russian interference designed to bolster Trump and damage the campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The lengthy investigation also resulted in a number of indictments for federal crimes, as well as at least eight guilty pleas.
And while the report, which was sent to Congress on Sunday, found there was no evidence of collusion, along with a lack of sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice, Mueller also stated that the 45th President of the United States could not be completely exonerated.
Despite this, Trump took to social media on Sunday afternoon to declare that the report had granted him “total exoneration”, writing: “No collusion, No obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence issued a statement describing it as a “great day for America. He said: “After two years of investigation, and reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media, the Special Counsel has confirmed what President Trump said along; [sic] there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.”
He added: “In the days ahead, the American people can be confident that the president and our entire administration will continue to focus where we always have, on the issues most important to our country.”
However, Democrats are now calling for Mueller’s full report to be published, claiming that Barr’s summary “raises more questions than it answers”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement hours after Barr’s summary was published, claiming the attorney general is not a “neutral observer”.
Mueller’s investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers corruptly interfered in our elections, whether unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation.
Americans have a right to the truth. #ReleaseTheReport
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 24, 2019
They said: “Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers. The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay. Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.
“And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility.
“Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise. The American people have a right to know.”