Attorney General William P. Barr delivered to Congress his conclusions on Mueller’s investigation as to whether there was Russian influence in the 2016 election.
The report, titled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” explains that the special counsel investigated allegations of conspiracy between the Russian government and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accounts, and other staff supported the investigation. The counsel issued over 2,800 subpoenas, almost 500 search warrants, over 230 orders for communication records, and nearly 50 orders authorizing the use of pen registers. 13 requests to foreign governments were made for evidence and about 500 witnesses were interviewed.
Barr writes: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
The investigation found that there were two primary Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian organization, “to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election.” The special counsel found no evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign conspired with the IRA.
Barr writes that “the second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election.” The special counsel found that the Russian government was successful in hacking into computers. They procured emails affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and they publicly released the materials. Again, the special counsel found no evidence that the Trump campaign cooperated with the Russian government in these efforts.
As for obstruction-of-justice concerns, the special counsel decided to make no judgement. The report states, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Because the special counsel made no legal conclusions, it is now the job of the Attorney General to determine if the conduct was criminal. Barr writes, “After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”