Mueller Clears Trump of Collusion-But Not Obstruction
Special Counsel Robert Mueller after a 22-month long investigation clears President Donald J. Trump of collusion with the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential election.
Mueller’s delivered his confidential report to Attorney General William Barr as required by law over the weekend. Then, Barr issued a four-page letter to leaders of the Senate and the House.
Barr’s letter summarizes the critical findings of the Mueller report.
Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election
First, the Russian attempted to interfere with the 2016 Presidential election through (a), a disinformation campaign via social media designed to sow discord in the United States; and (b), the Russians employed a successful hacking operation. Mueller found the Russians hacked into the computers of Secretary Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
According to Barr, Mueller did not find any coordination between the Russians and either the Trump campaign or any individuals working with the Trump campaign.
Inafootnote, Barrwrote, “The Special counsel defined ‘coordination’ as an ‘agreement-tacit or express-between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.’”
Obstruction of Justice
On the obstruction of justice charge, Mueller took the path of least resistance. In the well-established method, the special counsel lays out the pros and cons for obstruction of justice and then make a recommendation for or against prosecution. Mueller, according to Barr’s letter opted to provide the evidence on both sides of the issue but declined to make a recommendation for or against prosecution.
In absence of a recommendation from the special counsel, Barr as the Attorney General has the responsibility to determine whether to press charges or not to press them.
Barr in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided not to charge the President for obstruction of justice for many of his public antics and pronouncements involving the Mueller investigation.
The chief fact Barr uses to come to this conclusion is the absence of any proof in Mueller’s report that Trump was engaged in “an underlying crime to Russian election interference.”
Barr reached the same conclusion that has been put forth by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Although this is the determination of the Attorney General, full disclosure of the report may lead another trier of fact, i. e., the United States Congress to come to a different conclusion. Barr acknowledges as much in closing his letter by laying out the parameters for the release of portions of Mueller’s report. He acknowledges that “the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures.
While Mueller’s report did not find the Trump Campaign or members associated with the campaign committed collusion with the Russians to tilt the election towards Trump, neither does this report exonerate Trump.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium, and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org