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Trump-Russia: Special counsel Robert Mueller delivers report


Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his long-awaited report on alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The Attorney General William Barr will now summarise the report and decide how much to share with Congress.

A justice department official said Mr Mueller’s report did not recommend any further indictments.

The special counsel has already charged six former Trump aides and dozens of Russians.

Mr Barr told congressional leaders in a letter that he anticipated being able to inform them of the report’s key findings over the weekend.

The report is intended to explain any prosecutorial decisions the special counsel has made in the 22 months since his appointment by deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Mr Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly condemned the probe as a “witch hunt”.

In his letter to Congress’ judiciary committee leaders – Senators Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Doug Collins – Mr Barr confirmed there were no instances during the investigation where the Department of Justice had interfered with Mr Mueller’s work.

Mr Barr said he will now consult with Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein – who managed the inquiry prior to Mr Barr’s appointment – and Mr Mueller “to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public”.

“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.”

Over the last 22 months, the special counsel has revealed how Russian agents and operatives allegedly obtained information about US elections to initiate a campaign to influence Americans, fund political activities in the US and hack emails of top Democrats to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Mr Mueller was also investigating whether Mr Trump obstructed justice with his firing of FBI director James Comey, or by trying to mislead or end the inquiry.

Mr Trump has repeatedly said there was “no collusion” with Russia and “no obstruction”.

The president never agreed to an interview with Mr Mueller’s team during the inquiry, but his lawyers submitted written answers to questions after months of negotiating terms.

Is this how the Mueller investigation ends? Not with a bang, but with a letter?

The details of the final report have yet to be disclosed, but because Attorney General Barr has said there were no instances where he or his predecessors overrode the special counsel’s prosecutorial decisions – and no new indictments have been announced – it seems possible that what we have seen with the criminal portion of the probe is what we’re going to get.

There may still be politically damaging revelations to come, but Donald Trump has shrugged off many a political threat in his rise to the White House.

Without a criminal caseload directly related to “collusion” by members of the Trump campaign – the central thrust of the investigation – it seems certain the president and his White House surrogates will shout from the hilltops that their side has been exonerated.

This is far from the end of legal jeopardy for the president, his family, his aides and his business empire, of course.

Investigations at both the state and federal level into various financial and campaign finance violations grind on, not to mention the aggressive oversight coming down the pipe from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

After today’s developments, however, the president will continue to claim he is the victim of an unfounded “witch hunt”.

His political adversaries, who were hoping for a courtroom coup de grace, will be left searching for a new silver bullet.

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