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Mueller Report Finds No Trump-Russia Collusion, but ‘Does Not Exonerate’ President Over Obstruction: Justice Dept.

There was no agreement to work with the Kremlin to sway the 2016 election, according to the special counsel, but the answer wasn’t as definitive on the question of obstruction.

Justin Miller, Sam Brodey3.24.19 3:39 PM ET

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not establish that the Trump campaign worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, Attorney General William Barr told congressional leaders on Sunday.

“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller’s report said, according to a summary delivered by Barr to Congress.

Mueller did gather evidence on the question of whether President Trump obstructed justice, but it was “insufficent” to merit a conclusion the president acted to stop or stymie the investigation. That determination was made by Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel.

“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Mueller said regarding obstruction in the report, according to Barr.

The White House immediately said the opposite.

“The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter.

Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, told CNN the Justice Department cleared his client.

“There was no collusion, there was no obstruction and now we have DOJ agreeing with us,” Sekulow said.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said the House Judiciary Committee he chairs will call on Barr to testify in the near future. Nadler said on Twitter it was “very concerning” that the Justice Department will apparently take “no action” after Mueller is said to have not exonerated Trump over obstruction of justice.

Barr delivered the summary to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees on Sunday afternoon, ending nearly two days of waiting, and kicking off a new stage in the battle over how much of Mueller's findings will become public, and when.

Barr said “my goal” is to release as much of Mueller’s report as he can, saying he will determine over the coming days how much grand jury material — traditionally subject to rules of secrecy — is in Mueller’s report before sharing it with Congress.

Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have agreed that the report should be made public as soon as possible. Top Democrats, however, have tried to shut down the possibility that Barr would brief only a select group of lawmakers about the most classified elements of Mueller's report.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), backed by House committee chairs, said that lawmakers need Mueller's full report, along with the evidence that supports his findings, in order to inform their continuing investigations of the president and his administration.

On Sunday morning, Nadler said that he would subpoena the Department of Justice, and file a lawsuit if necessary, to ensure lawmakers have the information they want from Mueller's report. On CNN, Nadler said that he trusts the DOJ but insisted Congress should have access to Mueller's primary evidence so members can come to their own conclusions.

Nadler, along with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), made clear that Mueller's findings would support ongoing congressional investigations into the president's ties with Russia that go beyond the scope of whether or not Trump broke the law.

As Congress and the DOJ gear up for what could be a protracted legal battle over Mueller's findings, Trump allies on the Hill framed the weekend's developments as a vindication of the president and criticized Democrats for setting up further investigations.

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), said on Fox News Sunday that it is not Barr's job to give congressional Democrats information that could fuel their investigations.

“When it comes back not what they want,” Collins said of the report, “now they’ve decided that they can just try to go around it and draw implications so others can doubt it.”

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