WASHINGTON — The investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III found no evidence that President Trump or any of his aides coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference, according to a summary of the special counsel’s key findings made public on Sunday by Attorney General William P. Barr.
Mr. Mueller, who spent nearly two years investigating Moscow’s determined effort to sabotage the last presidential election, found no conspiracy “despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign,” Mr. Barr wrote in a letter to lawmakers .
Mr. Mueller’s team drew no conclusions about whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed justice, Mr. Barr said, so he made his own decision. The attorney general and his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, determined that the special counsel’s investigators had insufficient evidence to establish that the president committed that offense.
He cautioned, however, that Mr. Mueller’s report states that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” on the obstruction of justice issue.
Still, the release of the findings was a significant political victory for Mr. Trump and lifted a cloud that has hung over his presidency since before he took the oath of office. It is also likely to alter discussion in Congress about the fate of the Trump presidency; some Democrats had pledged to wait until the special counsel finished his work before deciding whether to initiate impeachment proceedings.
The president trumpeted the news almost immediately, even as he mischaracterized the special counsel’s findings. “It was a complete and total exoneration,” Mr. Trump told reporters in Florida before boarding Air Force One. “It’s a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this.”
He added, “This was an illegal takedown that failed.”
Mr. Barr’s letter was the culmination of a tense two days since Mr. Mueller delivered his report to the Justice Department. Mr. Barr spent the weekend poring over the special counsel’s work, as Mr. Trump strategized with lawyers and political aides at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.