U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election did not find that President Donald Trump committed a crime but is also not exonerated, according a summary of the investigation released by the United States’ attorney general on Sunday.
Attorney General William Barr sent his briefing of the report to congressional leaders on Capitol Hill after Mueller handed in his findings to the Justice Department on Friday.
Trump responded on Twitter, posting: “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
He then talked to the press in a short statement saying that the investigation was an “illegal takedown that failed” and called for a counter-probe into the “other side”.
It has been welcomed as a win from Republican leadership and they say it serves as vindication of Trump, who has denied collusion since the probe started in 2017.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders noted that there was no collusion and no obstruction, saying that the findings are “a total and complete exoneration” of Trump.
Trump lawyer Rudy Guiliani repeated what Sanders’ said.
The attorney general said that the evidence developed during the probe was not sufficient to establish the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.
Mueller wrote in his report that his investigation “does not conclude Trump committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” and Barr wrote that the document identifies no actions that constitute obstructive conduct.
Mueller said that he would leave it to the attorney general to make a decision on whether a crime was committed by the president.
Evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference, Barr says.
President Trump is headed to Air Force One from the Mar-A-Lago resort where he spent the weekend. He has not said a word on the report since Mueller submitted it on Friday, but reporters say he will speak to the press before he departs Florida for Washington.
The investigation took 22 months to complete and cost $25 million, resulting in charges against 34 individuals varying from Russian agents and allies of the president, including ex-campaign chair Paul Manafort and former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
None of the charges were directly related to any cooperation between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian Federation.
Image of Donald Trump from files.