After two years of investigation and thousands of subpoenas and witness interviews, Special Counsel Robert Mueller confirmed that that the Russian government sponsored efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, but didn't find that the Trump campaign or the American people colluded with them, Attorney General William Barr said Thursday.
Further, after reviewing the "facts and legal theories" outlined in the report, Barr said in a press conference before the report's release, he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the evidence developed for the report was not sufficient to establish that Trump committed the offense of obstruction of justice.
The report was to be released to members of Congress at 11 a.m.
"I am sure that all Americans share my concern about the efforts of the Russian government to interfere in our presidential election," Barr said.
"As the special counsel report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election process. But thanks to the special counsel's thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign, or the knowing assistance of any other American for that matter."
That, he continued, is "something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed."
The report does detail efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among voters, said Barr.
"Following a thorough investigation of this disinformation campaign, the special counsel brought charges in federal court against several Russian nationals and entities for their respective roles in this scheme," said Barr.
"Those charges remain pending and the individual defendants remain at large. But the special counsel found no evidence that any American, including anyone associated with the Trump campaign, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA. In this illegal scheme."
The investigation also did not identify evidence that any person in the United States "knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA's interference operation," said Barr.
The report also details efforts by the Russian military officials associated with the GRU, the Russian military intelligence organization, to hack into computers and steal documents from the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton, said Barr, but did not find evidence that members of the Trump campaign were involved.
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