After special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election wrapped up more than a week ago, congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle continue to debate the report’s conclusions.
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Over the course of the past 18 months, Republicans and Democrats have argued over the Trump campaign’s involvement, making their respective points of view on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
So, what have the lawmakers, and the president himself, said about the probe?
“They came up with an excuse for losing the election,” President Trump told Maria Bartiromo in an interview on March 22. “What happened to me should never happen to another president of the United States.”
A document known as the Steele dossier, which is a controversial and questionable report by former British spy Christopher Steele that alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, became part of the investigation, which began prior to release of the document.
“This dossier was prepared by a foreign agent, paid by the Democratic Party and used to get a FISA warrant,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on April 29, 2018. “And the former FBI director did not know that it was a political document paid by a political party. To me that is stunning. Not only was the Clinton email investigation a joke, the dossier was used inappropriately.”
A week earlier, then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., stated that the FBI and Justice Department “electronic communication” documents he reviewed showed no intel was used to begin the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
“We now know that there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation,” Nunes said.
Now, Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers that he expects to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report by mid-April, later than the deadline set by Democrats. In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, Rep. Jerold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Sen. Graham, Barr said the report is 400 pages long and that “everyone will soon be able to read it on their own.”
The special counsel delivered the report, which documented his investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and if members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow, to Barr on March 22.
The attorney general sent a four-page letter summarizing the Mueller document and said the special counsel did not find evidence of collusion by Trump’s campaign. While Mueller’s report did not come to a conclusion as to whether Trump obstructed justice, Barr said in his summary that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded “that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”