Mueller report: top Democrats say Barr summary ‘raises as many questions as it answers’ – as it happened

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2.12am GMT

We’re going to wrap up the blog for tonight. Thanks for following along.

Our full story is here. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reaction to Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report.

Related: Mueller did not find Trump campaign conspired with Russia, attorney general says

2.04am GMT

The Associated Press has these interviews with American voters, reacting to Barr’s summary of the Mueller report.

1.32am GMT

And here is Adam Schiff calling for the full report to be made public so “the American people can judge for themselves”.

Mueller spent two years investigating obstruction of justice and found evidence that “does not exonerate” Trump. Barr took two days to set aside that evidence.

The entire report must be published and evidence provided to Congress so the American people can judge for themselves.

Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to establish conspiracy, notwithstanding Russian offers to help Trump’s campaign, their acceptance, and a litany of concealed interactions with Russia.

I trust Mueller’s prosecutorial judgement, but the country must see the evidence.

1.12am GMT

Carl Tobias, the Williams chair in law at the University of Richmond in Virginia, has gives this sense of potential ways forward.

12.57am GMT

I never thought I’d see the day where Democrats are visibly upset that the President of The United States DIDN’T collude with the Russians.

12.53am GMT

Guardian columnist Richard Wolffe has written that while Democrats may be disappointed by today’s announcement, the Mueller report has actually “done Democrats a huge favour”.

Instead of a battle over impeachment and technical definitions of collusion, Democrats will be able to focus on general concerns around corruption, he writes.

Much like last year’s elections, the Mueller report has done Democrats a huge favor. Winning both the Senate and House would have set up a titanic clash between Congress and the White House, the kind of clash White Houses have often won in time for re-election.

In the same way, a clear and damning Mueller report would have set up a titanic clash over impeachment: a process that would fail in this Republican-controlled Senate, no matter the evidence presented.

Related: No collusion, plenty of corruption: Trump is not in the clear | Richard Wolffe

12.37am GMT

Trump is already fundraising off the summary

12.23am GMT

The president has arrived in Washington DC from Florida.

12.17am GMT

Marianne Williamson, a Democratic presidential hopeful has released a statement responding to Barr’s summary.

The Attorney General giving us a ‘summary’ of Robert Mueller’s findings is like someone saying to their spouse, ‘Honey, let me just give you a summary of where I was late last night.’ The American people didn’t wait for two years to hear a ‘summary,’ and it’s particularly concerning given who’s doing the summarizing. This is part of a larger pattern of obfuscation: the government appearing to empower us while actually withholding information.

The American public is deeply vested in knowing the total and complete truth regarding the Mueller report. Now more than ever the public needs to see the Special Counsel’s full report. Outstanding questions on obstruction of justice and other matters need to be answered. A summary letter is not enough. That is not clarity or transparency.”

12.05am GMT

Pence has called the Mueller report a “total vindication” of the president, disproving “reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media”.

His full statement is below.

11.54pm GMT

Hi, this is Kate Lyons taking over from Joanna Walters, thanks for following along our live coverage of today’s dramatic events.

Former director of the FBI James Comey has posted a photograph of himself with the caption “So many questions”.

So many questions.

Even though I believe Mr. Trump is morally unfit to be president of the United States, I’m not rooting for Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that he is a criminal. I’m also not rooting for Mr. Mueller to “clear” the president. I’m not rooting for anything at all, except that the special counsel be permitted to finish his work, charge whatever cases warrant charging and report on his work…

I have no idea whether the special counsel will conclude that Mr. Trump knowingly conspired with the Russians in connection with the 2016 election or that he obstructed justice with the required corrupt intent. I also don’t care. I care only that the work be done, well and completely. If it is, justice will have prevailed and core American values will have been protected at a time when so much of our national leadership has abandoned its commitment to truth and the rule of law.

11.42pm GMT

It’s been a fast-paced afternoon. Here’s a summary of the events since this afternoon:

11.29pm GMT

My colleague David Smith has just published his latest report from Washington. I excerpted a little earlier and the full story is on the Guardian US front page online. In another portion, David points out that the Mueller summary:

‘Leaves open the question of whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI director James Comey and drafting an incomplete explanation about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

11.15pm GMT

There’s going to be no mercy from the White House and Trump’s shock troops, such as Rudy Giuliani, for the bulk of the mainstream media in the days ahead, you can be sure of that. It’s going to be hard-charging forward from all parties, however, and we at the Guardian will continue to report the facts and the reactions from both sides to unfolding news events.

First, let’s mention that what we’ve seen from the Mueller summary so far is that what thsi is not “absolute victory” for the president. Giuliani just told Fox News:

11.09pm GMT

On with Giuliani in a moment, but just to let you know, the president is almost at the White House now and despite his grim demeanor upon alighting from Air Force One he was, reportedly, nothing short of jovial on the flight back from West Palm Beach, Florida, after his weekend at Mar-a-Lago, where he first digested the summary of the Mueller report issued by attorney general William Barr.

11.07pm GMT

Giuliani continued to slam the investigation of the president, telling Fox:

“One of the reasons I’ve been so passionate is I know there was no collusion. I’ve known this is a phony charge from the very beginning. And we put the United States through this with all these exaggerated statements from these Democrat politicians, that they have evidence that he colluded, where is this evidence? The president has told me numerous times, no other president should ever have to go through this. I think there has to be a full and complete investigation with at least as much enthusiasm as this one, to figure out where did this charge emanate, who started it, and who paid for it.”

11.01pm GMT

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and now a lawyer for and long-time staunch ally of Donald Trump, spoke to Fox News a little bit ago and he’s not holding back on his indignation at the unfair ordeal he feels the president has been put through.

On Trump’s reaction to Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report, Giuliani said:

10.52pm GMT

A little surprising, the president, in a long coat over his suit and signature red tie, has not walked over to talk to reporters gathered on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews. He has walked straight over to Marine One and boarded the helicopter that will transport him now to the White House.

Reporters who were on the plane with him from Florida were apparently not given many details from the Mueller report. The president spent the flight pouring over AG Barr’s letter to congressional committee chairmen, talking with his aides and watching the television news.

10.50pm GMT

Donald Trump is descending the steps of Air Force One at the air force base near the capital.

10.49pm GMT

Nadler says he will use subpoena powers if necessary to get the full Mueller report handed over to Congress, and he wants attorney general William Barr to appear before the House judiciary committee.

10.46pm GMT

Air Force One has arrived at Joint Base Andrews, in Maryland. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is speaking in New York now, reminding the president that he has NOT been exonerated by the special counsel.

10.42pm GMT

Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, and a candidate for the White House in 2020 has tweeted while on the campaign trail in Atlanta, Georgia, as she vies to become the nominee next year.

She posted: “The Mueller report needs to be made public, the underlying investigative materials should be handed over to Congress, and Barr must testify. That is what transparency looks like. A short letter from Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General is not sufficient.”

10.34pm GMT

David Smith’s new report going live shortly, but it’s worth noting from his report yesterday that Trump’s son, Donald Jr, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, appear to be in the clear in terms of Mueller’s investigation, in relation to their contacts with Russians during the election campaign.

David wrote: After an investigation costing millions of dollars and spanning 674 days, hundreds of interviews, thousands of documents and criminal charges against 34 individuals – including six in Trump’s inner circle – Mueller will not recommend any further indictments. It therefore appeared that Trump’s son, Don Jr, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were off the hook.

10.25pm GMT

CNN is reporting now on a development, which they are headlining: “Special Counsel deliberated with DoJ about issuing a subpoena for Trump to be interviewed.” The cable news channel is saying that Robert Mueller deliberated with the Department of Justice about whether he should issue a subpoena to oblige the president to sit down for an interview with the special investigation team. Mueller wanted one, Trump didn’t want to do one, there were some written questions and answers, but Trump was never interviewed in person during the investigation.

Significantly, CNN is reporting that Mueller didn’t seek a subpoena because the case (of alleged collusion between Trump and/or his campaign and Russia) “did not have the merits” or the evidence to warrant a subpoena.

10.14pm GMT

Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, reckons it’s time everyone moved on. Nothing to see here! Some beg to differ, to be sure.

Here is his statement this evening:

10.12pm GMT

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has just effectively scrunched Barry’s summary of the Mueller report into a ball and flung it in House Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s eye. “Case closed,” he just concluded in a statement. Stand by for the full text.

10.07pm GMT

My colleague in Washington, David Smith, writes:

An exultant Donald Trump declared political victory and himself vindicated on Sunday, after the special counsel found that his election campaign did not collude with Russia.

10.02pm GMT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, have just released a statement. It’s pretty scathing of AG Barr, and it reads: “Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers. The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay. Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.

“And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility.

9.59pm GMT

Delaware’s Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a member of the judiciary committee, just demanded that Congress have access to the full Mueller report. He also wants relevant committees in Congress to have full access to any and all materials members might want, in order to continue their own investigations into Donald Trump, his campaign and his administration. But he acknowledges the top line from the Mueller summary.

He told CNN a few moments ago, by telephone: “It’s a good thing that Robert Mueller did not conclude that our president conspired with a foreign power.”

9.43pm GMT

Everyone’s been on the edge of their seats waiting for the Mueller report for so long, but NBC’s Katy Tur’s baby appears to be happy to wait a little longer … A CBS correspondent (um, her husband Tony Dokoupil) just tweeted: @KatyTurNBC is anchoring her third straight hour of Mueller coverage while fully nine months pregnant, and I am in complete and total awe.

.@KatyTurNBC is anchoring her third straight hour of Mueller coverage while fully nine months pregnant, and I am in complete and total awe.

9.35pm GMT

Here are the other reactions from some leading Republicans so far, from this succinct Axios report:

9.32pm GMT

Kellyanne, unplugged. Here’s the tweet: “ Congratulations ⁦@POTUS⁩ ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ Today you won the 2016 election all over again. And got a gift for the 2020 election. They’ll never get you because they’ll never “get” you.

Congratulations ⁦@POTUS⁩ ⁦@realDonaldTrump

Today you won the 2016 election all over again.

And got a gift for the 2020 election.

They’ll never get you because they’ll never “get” you. #MuellerReport#NoCollusion#NoObstruction#Went2MichiganNotMoscow

9.30pm GMT

Axios has quickly drawn together a good summary of GOP reaction to the crucial fragments we’ve heard from the Mueller report so far. Here’s the top: Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation drew immediate praise from top Republicans, who declared vindication for President Trump after Mueller found no campaign conspiracy or coordination with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

9.26pm GMT

Goodness, suddenly the GOP loves Bob Mueller. Or at least – surprise! – Lindsey Graham does. Lindsey Graham: “Bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down. Great job by Mr. Mueller and his team to thoroughly examine all things Russia,” the Senator said.

9.24pm GMT

Former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who has been very critical of Donald Trump, at one point saying that Trump’s access to nuclear codes is ‘pretty damn scary’, gave a very balanced comment on the report’s summary on Sunday. Clapper said that when he was about to leave his government post in 2017, Clapper said intelligence agencies “did not have direct evidence of collusion then” between Trump or his campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 election. He added on CNN a few minutes ago: “We had faith then and we do now in Bob Mueller.”

9.19pm GMT

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren quickly called on Friday, when it was announced the report was finished, for it to be made public. She reiterated that on Sunday, and clearly voicing suspicion in the way the findings are so far coming out only in dribs and drabs, which all go in the president’s favor. She said on Twitter: “Congress voted 420-0 to release the full Mueller report. Not a “summary” from his handpicked Attorney General. AG Barr, make the full report public. Immediately.”

Congress voted 420-0 to release the full Mueller report. Not a “summary” from his handpicked Attorney General. AG Barr, make the full report public. Immediately.

9.14pm GMT

Denny Heck then pointed to all the people who have been indicted as a result of the Robert Mueller investigation, some of who have pleaded or been found guilty and others of whom are still going through the court process. These include once-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, who was very briefly national security adviser at the start of the administratino in 2017, political fixer Roger Stone, Russian operatives and more.

Heck, a Democrat, said of the Mueller investigation, which Trump repeatedly called a witch hunt: “if it was a witch hunt there were an awful lot of witches found, and their names are Manafort, Cohen, Flynn, and right on down the line.”

9.06pm GMT

Democrat Denny Heck, a member of the House intelligence committee, just took issue on CNN with Trump and his henchfolks’ definitive statements that he has been exonerated on the point of obstruction of justice.

Trump, dressed in a dark suit and red tie, on the tarmac with the sound of aircraft engines in the background as he was about to board his flight said the report amounted to “complete exoneration.”

9.00pm GMT

He then took up a theme he has returned to a number of times in recent months, as tension rose while everyone awaited Mueller’s report, namely the topic of the fairness of the investigation at all.

“It’s a shame our country had to go through this, it’s a shame that your president had to go through this. Before I even got elected, this began, and it began illegally,” he said.

8.54pm GMT

The president then said that the notion of collusion between himself or those working for his election campaign and the Russian government, or operatives connected to the Kremlin was: “The most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.” He then address the subject of obstruction of justice, which was part of Mueller’s investigation. The report said it could not conclude there was no obstruction, but also that the president was not exonerated.

Trump said: “There was no obstruction, none whatsoever. It was a complete and total exoneration.”

8.51pm GMT

Donald Trump just spoke to reporters before boarding Air Force One in Florida. He said: “After a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side, after a lot of bad things happened, a lot of very bad things happened for our country, it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia.”

8.45pm GMT

Trump has tweeted: “No Collusion. No Obstruction. Complete and total exoneration. Keep America Great.”

No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!

8.44pm GMT

Donald Trump is on his way from Mar-a-Lago to the airport. CNN has already predicted that he’s going to gloat about Mueller’s report.

8.42pm GMT

MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin, who is prolific on Twitter, just picked some important holes in Sarah Sanders’ tweet. He tweeted of her post: “This is not accurate. As @KatyTurNBC just stated on air, Mueller did not “not find any obstruction.” Mueller didn’t draw a conclusion one way or the other. Barr’s letter: “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

8.41pm GMT

Word had just come from the pool of reporters who, on rotation, report on and travel with the president to send dispatches on his actions, that Donald Trump will speak on this before he leaves Florida today. He has been at his private club and residence in Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago.

8.41pm GMT

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders just tweeted that: “The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG 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.”

8.38pm GMT

My colleagues Oliver Laughland and Martin Pengelly write that US attorney general William Barr on Sunday handed a summary of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to members of Congress.

It revealed that Robert Mueller found no “Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly co-ordinated” with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign.

8.36pm GMT

US attorney general William Barr on Sunday handed a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to members of Congress.

The headline finding was that no “Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly co-ordinated” with operatives connected to the Russian government during the presidential campaign.

Related: Mueller did not find Trump campaign conspired with Russia, attorney general says

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Link : Mueller report: top Democrats say Barr summary ‘raises as many questions as it answers’ – as it happened


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