Fri | Apr 19, 2019

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

Published:Monday | March 25, 2019 | 9:58 AM
President Donald Trump gestures after stepping off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

That brought a hearty claim of vindication from Trump but set the stage for new rounds of political and legal fighting.

The battle began Monday as White House aides and allies blanketed television news broadcasts to trumpet the findings and claim that Trump has been the victim in a probe that never should have started.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump will let Attorney General William Barr decide whether the special counsel’s Russia report should be publicly released, though she adds that “he’s more than happy for any of this stuff to come out.”

Trump cheered the Sunday outcome but also laid bare his resentment after two years of investigations that have shadowed his administration.

“It’s a shame that our country has had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this,” he said.

Democrats pointed out that Mueller found evidence for and against obstruction and demanded to see his full report.

They insisted that even the summary by the president’s attorney general hardly put him in the clear.

Mueller’s conclusions, summarised by Barr in a four page letter to Congress, represented a victory for Trump on a key question that has hung over his presidency from the start — whether his campaign worked with Russia to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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