On Thursday, Attorney General William Barr said that no member of the Trump campaign, or any other American, colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 elections.
The comments re-affirm a letter Barr sent to Congress last month in which he had outlined the main conclusions of the nearly 2-year-long investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The Special Counsel “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Barr said, quoting the Mueller report.
Barr said that Russia did interfere in the elections, but that nobody on the Trump campaign colluded with them.
“[The] Russian government sought to interfere in our election process,” Barr said, adding that “I’m sure all Americans share my concern about Russia’s efforts in the election.”
Part of Russia’s efforts to interfere with the election was the hacking of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee. Barr said that the Special Counsel’s investigation found that some of those emails hacked by the Russian government were pushed out through their own channels such as DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.
Barr also said that it was Russia who provided the emails to Wikileaks. No member of the Trump campaign, however, worked with or coordinated with Wikileaks in the release of the documents.
“Special counsel reports did not find any person associated with the Trump campaign associated in the release of the materials,” Barr said.
He also said no one on the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in the hacking.
“There was no evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russian government’s hacking,” Barr said.
Barr also said that he and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein determined there was no obstruction of justice case based on the information presented by Mueller. He said that he and Rosenstein reviewed the matter through the legal framework used by the Special Counsel, despite disagreeing with some of the legal theories used.
Barr also highlighted the fact that the White House fully cooperated with the investigation, even though President Trump felt that the investigation was unfair and originated from his political opponents.
The FBI, during the 2016 elections, had launched a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in what appears to have been primarily based on information contained in the so-called Steele dossier, which was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
Congressional testimonies by FBI and DOJ officials showed that author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, as well as Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS—the company behind the dossier—spread the information to the FBI, DOJ, State Department, Congress, and members of the media through multiple channels.
President Trump has called for an investigation on the investigators. Earlier this month, Barr confirmed that spying had occurred on Trump’s campaign. Barr also confirmed that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz will conclude his investigation into potential FISA abuse and other matters related to the FBI’s investigation by May or June.
A redacted copy of the Mueller report is expected to be released later this morning.