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Mueller report summary is out

01:44 - Source: CNN
Why Mueller cares about Donald Trump

What we covered here

  • THE SUMMARY: Attorney General William Barr has submitted to Congress his summary of the main conclusions from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
  • READ IT: See the PDF on CNN.
  • WHAT’S NEXT: The process of determining what else can be released from Mueller’s report and scrubbing it of grand jury material, among other things, “has begun,” according to a Justice Department official. There is no timeline for this.
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Here's what's next for the Mueller report

The process of determining what else can be released from special counsel Report Mueller’s report and scrubbing it of grand jury material, among other things, “has begun,” according to a Justice Department official.

There’s a small team working on it, and no firm timeline for release.

William Barr has left the Justice Department for the night

Attorney General William Barr sent a letter with his findings on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report earlier today.

He spent the entire weekend at the Department of Justice after receiving the report on Friday.

Barr once called Mueller's obstruction inquiry "fatally misconceived"

In a June 2018 memo, William Barr reached a decisive and controversial conclusion that Trump’s interactions with ex-FBI Director James Comey would not constitute obstruction of justice. A copy of that memo was released to senior Justice officials in December.

Barr had not yet been confirmed as attorney general at the time of the memo release. He discussed the memo with Trump and told him it would likely come up during his Senate confirmation, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Barr has not shied away from defending Trump’s firing of Comey, but the June 8 memo offers a detailed analysis of one of the most consequential episodes of Trump’s presidency, concluding that while he’s “in the dark about many facts,” Robert Mueller’s obstruction inquiry was “fatally misconceived.” 

Barr added that Trump asking Comey to let go of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and later firing Comey were within his powers as head of the executive branch.

“Mueller should not be able to demand that the President submit to an interrogation about alleged obstruction,” Barr wrote. “If embraced by the Department, this theory would have potentially disastrous implications, not just for the Presidency, but for the Executive branch as a whole and the Department in particular.”

Democratic congressman: "The special counsel did not exonerate the President"

Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, insisted that special counsel Robert Mueller did not exonerate President Trump.

In a statement, the Democratic lawmaker said Attorney General William Barr needs to provide Congress with evidence showing that.

“The special counsel did not exonerate the President. In fact, according to the attorney general’s letter, he described a pattern of evidence suggesting the President engaged in obstruction of justice. The attorney general needs to make this evidence available to Congress immediately, along with the entirety of the Mueller report, so we can decide what steps to take next,” Cicilline said.

Trump: "It's a shame our country had to go through this"

President Trump, speaking in Florida after Attorney General William Barr released his summary of Robert Mueller’s report, said it is “a shame” that the US “had to go through this.”

President Trump claims vindication

President Trump spoke to reporters for the first time since Attorney General William Barr’s letter, saying, “it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia, the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

“So after a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side where a lot of bad things, a lot of horrible things happened, a lot of very bad things happened for our country, it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia – the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. There was no collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction and none whatsoever,” Trump said.

Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided the evidence was “not sufficient” to support a prosecution of the President for obstruction of justice.

Watch Trump’s full statement:

Here's Trump's first tweet after Congress got the Mueller report summary

President Trump just tweeted this:

Remember: Attorney General William Barr’s chief of staff called White House lawyer Emmet Flood this afternoon to give him a “read out” directly from this four-page summary — but that’s the extent of the conversations between the White House and Department of Justice, according to a Justice official. 

Trump's lawyer: "The President’s legal team is very pleased"

Jay Sekulow, an attorney for President Trump, said the President’s legal team is happy with Attorney General William Barr’s letter.

Rudy Giuliani: "Why did this ever start in the first place?"

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, based on Attorney General William Barr’s findings, exonerated the President.

“We think it’s a complete exoneration of the President, certainly it’s quite clear no collusion of any kind, including the entire Trump campaign, which raises the question, why did this ever start in the first place?” said Giuliani, who was joined on the phone by Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.

William Barr and Rod Rosenstein — not Mueller —made decision on obstruction

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not make the decision himself on whether to prosecute President Trump on obstruction, the attorney general wrote. Instead, Mueller left it up to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Barr and Rosenstein did not find they could bring a criminal case with proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump’s actions obstructed a specific proceeding.

Barr notes the “absence of such evidence” related to crimes around the Russian election interference, weighed on his decision regarding obstruction.

Barr explains in the letter that Mueller’s investigation into obstruction of justice found the President’s actions were not “done with corrupt intent.”

“In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani: "It's better than I expected"

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani reacted today to Attorney General William Barr’s letter about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

“It’s better than I expected,” Giuliani said.

White House: This is a "total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States"

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Department of Justice findings “are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.” 

Here’s her statement:

“The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.” 

GOP congressman: "Our country welcomes this long-overdue conclusion"

 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, issued a statement regarding Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress, and said it proves “there was no collusion.”

He also criticized Democratic leadership for acting “irresponsibly” and said they “threw caution to the wind to damage and distract from the work the Trump administration.”

Read McCarthy’s full statement:

“Our country welcomes this long-overdue conclusion. After t