Tue | Jun 18, 2019

US AG: Not enough evidence of Trump obstruction

Published:Sunday | March 24, 2019 | 3:08 PM
Attorney General William Barr leaves his home in McLean, Va., this morning.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the special counsel's Russia investigation. (all times Eastern time):

3:50 p.m.

Evidence gathered in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation "is not sufficient to establish" that President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice.

That's according to Attorney General William Barr in a letter to Congress summarising the finding of the Mueller probe.

Barr says Mueller did not reach any conclusions in evaluating the president's conduct, leaving it to the Justice Department.

Barr says he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reached the conclusion without considering constitutional questions regarding bringing criminal charges against a sitting president.

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3:46 p.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not exonerate President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice or find that he committed a crime.

That's according to a summary of Mueller's findings provided to Congress by the Justice Department.

The summary also says Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign or its associates "conspired or coordinated" with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election.

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3:35 p.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says a letter from the Justice Department describing special counsel Robert Mueller's findings "does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

The department sent the letter to Rep. Jerrold Nadler on Sunday afternoon. Nadler tweeted that the Justice Department "determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment."

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3:09 p.m.

The Justice Department has told Congress to expect a summary of Robert Mueller's findings in the Russia investigation within the hour.

That's according to two people familiar with the Justice Department's plans. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak publicly about the plans.

__ By Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington.

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1:35 p.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's "principal conclusions" in the Russia investigation are still expected to be sent to Congress on Sunday.

That's according to a person familiar with the planned delivery of a letter from Attorney General William Barr.

Barr is expected to summarise a confidential report that Mueller turned in on Friday, concluding his 22-month investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with President Donald Trump's campaign.

__ By Michael Balsamo and Chad Day in Washington

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11:55 a.m.

Rep. Jim Jordan has yet to see the special counsel's report on the Russia investigation, but the Ohio Republican insists it shows no evidence of "coordination, collusion, conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia."

Jordan tells ABC's "This Week" that "everyone in town" was confident Robert Mueller would lead a thorough investigation.

Jordan says Mueller is seen as "right next to Jesus, he can almost walk on water, this is the guy and - and he will have the definitive statement on that fundamental question."

He says Democrats are concerned there'll be no "bombshell" in the report, so they're pursing more investigations of the president.

Attorney General William Barr received Mueller's report on Friday and says he'll give Congress a summary as soon as this weekend.

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10:50 a.m.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee says he trusts special counsel Robert Mueller's judgment on who should be prosecuted following the nearly two-year Russia investigation.

But Rep. Adam Schiff of California says that doesn't mean "there isn't compelling and incriminating evidence that should be shared with the American people."

Attorney General William Barr received Mueller's report on Friday and says he'll give Congress a summary as soon as this weekend.

Schiff says his committee wants the full report and the underlying materials made public and will head to court to compel Barr to release them.

He says the intelligence committee has an obligation to determine whether the president is compromised in any way, whether criminal or not.

Schiff spoke on ABC's "This Week."

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10:05 a.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says Democrats won't be willing to wait months for the Justice Department to release special counsel Robert Mueller's full report.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler says Congress and the public deserve to see the underlying evidence, not just a summary of conclusions, to make their own judgments. Attorney General William Barr says he'll provide that summary as soon as this weekend.

Asked how long Democrats will be willing to wait before considering subpoenas, Nadler says, "It won't be months."

The New York Democrat says there has been "collusion" and "obstruction" by Trump and his associates, but "whether it's criminal is another question."

He stressed that while Justice Department policy is not to indict a sitting president, Congress has a broader mandate to find abuses of power.

Nadler spoke on CNN and Fox.

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9:50 a.m.

Presidential spokesman Hogan Gidley says the White House still has not received and has not been briefed on the Russia report issued Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller.

On Sunday, Trump went to the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, near his Mar-a-Lago resort. He sent a good morning tweet, wishing everyone a great day and another that said: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" but so far has not commented on the release of the report.

Attorney General William Barr is reviewing the report with his advisers and will be deciding how much Congress and the American public will get to see of the two-year probe into Trump and Moscow's efforts to elect him. Barr could release his first summary of Mueller's findings as early as Sunday.

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2:00 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr is preparing a summary of the findings of the special counsel investigating Russian election interference.

The release of Barr's summary of the report's main conclusions is expected sometime Sunday.

The White House says it hasn't been briefed on Robert Mueller's confidential report. The nation's top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has told House Democrats that a summary of conclusions won't be enough as she pressed for the entire report.

Mueller's 22-month investigation reached its official end on Friday, the day the report was submitted to Barr. It's expected to focus on whether President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the election and whether Trump later sought to obstruct the investigation.

Trump has denied any collusion and disparaged the investigation as a "witch hunt."