Trump calls Mueller report an "illegal takedown that failed"

Arturo Kim
March 25, 2019

In a four-page letter to Congress, Attorney General William Barr quoted Mueller's report as stating it "does not exonerate" the president on obstruction.

"What they're basically saying is that they're going to impeach the president for being Donald Trump", he told CNN.

Kamarck was referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top U.S. Democrat, who recently said in a Washington Post interview that the country should not go down the path of impeachment because Trump is "just not worth it".

Barr, nominated to his job by Trump last fall, said their decision was based on the evidence uncovered by Mueller and not based on whether a sitting president can be indicted.

There was, as Donald Trump might say, "no collusion".

Under long-standing Justice Department policy, USA presidents cannot be indicted while serving in office, but can face charges once they leave office.

The summary of the special counsel's report released on Sunday "did not draw a conclusion" as to whether there was any obstruction of justice, either.

A number of senior Democrats, including presidential hopefuls Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Julian Castro, have called for the full release of the report.

Whatever the report concludes, Democrats vowed to pursue investigations on a wide range of issues involving Trump, from his business dealings to hush-money payments.

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The Democrats have reminded Trump that he has not been cleared of obstruction.

"After a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side where a lot of bad things happened, a lot of terrible things happened, a lot of very bad things happened for our country - it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia", Trump told reporters at Palm Beach International Airport on Sunday as he boarded Air Force One to return to Washington.

"His conclusions raise more questions than they answer", House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-New York, said Sunday.

The headline finding was that no "Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly co-ordinated" with operatives connected to the Russian government during the presidential campaign. He also reiterated that he will ask Barr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

The Department of Justice announced on Friday that Mueller had ended his investigation after bringing charges against 34 people, including Russian agents and former key allies of Trump, such as his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Mike Flynn and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Trump took White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Emmet Flood with him to Florida.

But while Barr - who was appointed by Trump - concluded that the president had not obstructed justice, he acknowledged that Mueller himself was inconclusive on the question of obstruction.

None of those charges, however, directly related to the question of collusion between the campaign and Moscow.

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