Members of Congress, the media, and the public now have access to a redacted version of Robert Mueller’s 448-page report summarizing his investigation into the question of whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to steer the results of the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s report, redacted and released nearly two years after the special investigation began, concludes that evidence is insufficient to bring charges against President Trump or any of his staff for collusion. It states, “Investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
The finding of “No Collusion” is consistent with Attorney General Barr’s brief summary of the report included in his letter on March 24. Barr addressed the media late Thursday morning, April 18, shortly before the report was made available to the Senate and House Judiciary committees.
Barr stated, “After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, hundreds of warrants, and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election, but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those efforts.”
Before the media, Barr explained that the special counsel’s investigation ultimately focused on two instances of alleged illegal activity performed on behalf of the Russian government. One is an attempt by a company known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA) to “sow social discord among American voters” through the spread of propaganda on social media. Yet as Barr states, “The special counsel found no collusion by any Americans in IRA’s illegal activity.”
The second case of interference cited by the report identifies an attempt by Russian military intelligence officials to hack into the computers of individuals associated with the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in order to steal documents and emails. The special counsel investigated efforts by Russian government agents to publish some of these stolen documents on the Internet through several websites including WikiLeaks.
Again Barr affirms, “There is no evidence of the Trump campaign [colluding] with the Russian government’s hacking. …The special counsel’s report did not find any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials.”
While Mueller’s report would appear to exonerate President Trump on the question of Russian collusion, the report does also reveal that the Russian government made concerted and likely illegal efforts to affect public opinion before the 2016 presidential election.