Donald Trump has been cleared of obstruction of justice over the Russia investigation, the US attorney general William Barr has ruled in a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.
Barr added that after a review, he and Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein "have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offence."
The decision comes after special counsel Robert Mueller, who lead the probe, declined to draw a legal conclusion about the president’s conduct. In the report, he is quoted to have said: “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” The entire report has not been released.
The US president ignored that line, and called the result a "complete exoneration," tweeting:
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
The Independent’s US digital editor Andrew Buncombe, suggested that the results of the probe will help Trump in his 2020 re-election campaign.
So we now know what Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign slogan will be: “No collusion, No obstruction.” We know, too, that Robert Mueller’s report will likely act as a huge boost to the president’s chance of being re-elected 18 months from now.
Others echoed his sentiments.
1. Former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Donald Trump in May 2017 has ‘many questions’ about the outcome
Comey had conducted investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. Trump fired Comey in May 2017.
In an opinion piece written in The New York Times published Thursday, Comey said that Mueller's report put at stake the "apolitical administration of justice."
I have no idea whether the special counsel will conclude that Mr. Trump knowingly conspired with the Russians in connection with the 2016 election or that he obstructed justice with the required corrupt intent. I also don’t care.
I care only that the work be done, well and completely.
2. Donald Trump Jr. was one of the first to tweet about it, calling the probe nothing more than a 'conspiracy'
In a statement aimed at "the mainstream media" he said:
Instead of apologising for needlessly destabilizing the country in a transparent attempt to deligitimize the 2016 election, it’s clear that the Collusion Truthers in the media and the Democrat Party are only going to double down on their sick and twisted conspiracy theories moving forward.
It’s my hope that honest journalists within the media have the courage to hold these now fully debunked truthers accountable and treat them with the scorn and redouble that they so deserve. [sic]
3. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham congratulated the president
4. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, called the result a ‘turning point for our country’
TURNING POINT for our country. If Democrats who went too far in their partisan and false claims of collusion can step back and admit their mistakes, we can heal.
If CNN, NBC, MSNBC et al can realize their overreactions, then we have hope for fairer treatment in the future.
Not everyone supported the summary and its findings.
5. Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition super PAC suggested the result was pro-Trump ‘propaganda’
6. George Conway, husband of counsellor to the president Kellyanne Conway said it's not an 'exoneration'
7. US Navy veteran Bruno Amato is calling on Robert Mueller to testify, as he doesn’t trust Trump-nominated Barr
8. US Senator from Rhode Island Sheldon White House is demanding Congress see the full Mueller Report
9. Democrat US senator Richard Blumenthal raised important questions about the result
10. And House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Sunday his committee will call Barr to testify 'in the near future' about his findings
"In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future," the New York Democrat tweeted.
11. Journalist Mehdi Hasan suggested Mueller's other indictments shouldn't be downplayed
12. Others think these results will make it easier for Trump to win a second term
13. #ReleaseTheReport is trending
14. Senator Chuck Schumer and other Democrats are leading the charge
And celebrities are demanding the entire report
15. Alyssa Milano wants the whole report to be made public
16. Jim Carey responded with cheek
17. And Russia seems happy
Pushkov, a member of Russia’s upper house tweeted (translation by the BBC):
Democrats, Russophobes and leading media created a virtual conspiracy which existed only in their heads and in headlines, and nowhere else.