What Mueller's Report Says About Collusion

'Numerous' contacts with Russians, but evidence 'not sufficient'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2019 1:37 PM CDT
What Mueller's Report Says About Collusion
President Trump speaks in Crosby, Texas, earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Robert Mueller didn't reach a conclusion one way or the other on obstruction, but on the more volatile accusation that President Trump and his campaign colluded with Russians, Mueller was clearer: No charges because the evidence was "not sufficient." Some pertinent quotes and details from the newly released Mueller report:

  • The key conclusion: "While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges," the reports states. "Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any Campaign official as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal. And our evidence about the June 9, 2016 meeting and WikiLeak’s release of hacked materials was not sufficient to charge a criminal campaign-finance violation."
  • Trump Tower meeting: That June 2016 meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort has been a big issue, but Mueller said it would be tough to convince a jury that "Campaign officials or individuals connected to the Campaign willfully violated the law,” per Roll Call. As for Trump himself, he "has stated to this Office, in written answers to questions, that he has ‘no recollection of learning at the time’ that his son, Manafort, or Kushner ‘was considering participating in a meeting in June 2016 concerning potentially negative information about Hillary Clinton,’" Mueller wrote.

  • A cover-up? Mueller writes that his team "has evidence of later efforts to prevent disclosure of the nature of the June 9 meeting," but the report suggests that was out of fear of political, not legal, consequences, reports the Atlantic.
  • Trump denials: The AP has more on Trump's written responses in regard to Russia. He said he was aware of reports that Vladimir Putin made "complimentary remarks" about him, but knew of no effort by Russia or any foreign government to help him win. Trump also said his public remark at a 2016 rally that Russian hackers should find Clinton's deleted emails was made "in jest and sarcastically."
  • Papadopoulos: The report says this of campaign aide George Papadopoulos, per the New York Times: He "suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Trump campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton."
(More Mueller report stories.)

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