UPDATE: Trump campaign did not coordinate with Russia in 2016

The Justice Department said on Sunday that special counsel Robert
Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that President Donald
Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the
2016 presidential election.

Mueller also investigated whether
Trump obstructed justice but did not come to a definitive answer,
Attorney General William Barr said in a letter to Congress summarizing
Mueller’s report.

The special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump
of obstructing justice, Barr said, and his report “sets out evidence on
both sides of the question”.

After consulting with other Justice
Department officials, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod
Rosenstein determined the evidence “is not sufficient to establish that
the president committed an obstruction of justice offense”.

Barr
released a four-page summary of Mueller’s report on Sunday afternoon.
Mueller wrapped up his investigation on Friday with no new indictments,
bringing to a close a probe that has shadowed Trump for nearly two
years.

READ: Congress receiving Mueller report summary – sources

Barr’s chief of staff called White House counsel Emmet
Flood at 15:00 on Sunday to brief him on the report to Congress. Trump was
at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, about to return to Washington
after spending the weekend there.

Mueller’s investigation ensnared
nearly three dozen people, senior Trump campaign operatives among them.
The probe illuminated Russia’s assault on the American political
system, painted the Trump campaign as eager to exploit the release of
hacked Democratic emails to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and exposed
lies by Trump aides aimed at covering up their Russia-related contacts.

Mueller
submitted his report to Barr instead of directly to Congress and the
public because, unlike independent counsels such as Ken Starr in the
case of President Bill Clinton, his investigation operated under the
close supervision of the Justice Department, which appointed him.

Mueller
was assigned to the job in May 2017 by Rosenstein, who oversaw much of
his work. Barr and Rosenstein analyzed Mueller’s report on Saturday,
laboring to condense it into a summary letter of main conclusions.

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