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US justice department to publish 'redacted' version of Mueller report into Russian collusion on Thursday

‘The report could feature allegations that Trump tried to obstruct the investigation.’

Image: Shutterstock/Michael Candelori

THE US DEPARTMENT of Justice is set to release a redacted report on the Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential elections on Thursday. 

Last month, US Attorney General William P. Barr announced that the investigation – which took 22 months to complete – had finished and had cleared Trump campaign of any collusion with Russia. 

In a letter at the time, Barr said the report “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russian government” – a claim refuted by many who insisted the report should be published in full. 

The report could feature allegations that Trump tried to obstruct the investigation, although Barr has said there is not sufficient evidence to establish he committed such a crime. 

Ahead of the 400-page report’s release, Trump and the White House have criticised Mueller’s investigation once again, claiming it involved the FBI “spying” on the president’s 2016 election campaign. 

“The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax,” Trump tweeted Monday.

Barr, however, said Mueller found no evidence of criminal conspiracy by Trump’s campaign to collude with the Russian government to skew the 2016 election in Trump’s favor over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But court cases arising from the investigation – Mueller charged 34 people, including six former Trump aides and 26 Russians — have detailed multiple contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Barr also said in his summary there was not enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.

But he acknowledged, in a detail that set off new speculation, that Mueller himself elected not to rule either way on that point.

Barr quoted Mueller as saying: “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” 

Even so, Trump declared it “a complete and total exoneration” of him.

The attorney general has stressed he will release a version that blacks out intelligence information and secret material from the investigation of grand jury convened by Mueller.

With reporting from © AFP, 2019

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