“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Such is the key, complicating sentence in Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of the “principal conclusions” of Robert Mueller’s twenty-two-month investigation, which he issued to Congress on Sunday afternoon.
Barr, who took office as Attorney General last month, writes that Mueller, the special counsel, determined that no one associated with the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians in what all the leading intelligence agencies have determined was a concerted effort to manipulate the 2016 election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.
Although the Attorney General used the phrase “does not exonerate him” on the question of obstruction, the President refused any such complication, tweeting, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” Speaking on the tarmac in Florida, before flying back to Washington, Trump vented his resentment, calling the investigation an “illegal takedown that failed.”