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Phillip Nelson/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Shortly after Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Congress on Sunday laying out the "principal conclusions” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the top two Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill issued a statement saying Barr’s letter "raises as many questions as it answers."

Indeed, ABC News reporters covering the Mueller report have been bombarded with questions about how Mueller’s findings came to be and what it will all mean.

Here are seven key questions and the best answers available:

Did Mueller find any evidence of obstruction of justice?

Mueller did find at least some evidence pointing to possible obstruction by President Donald Trump, and Mueller’s report "sets out evidence on both sides of the question," including evidence not in public view, according to Barr.

In fact, Mueller wrote in his report that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Barr, however, said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ultimately decided there wasn’t "sufficient evidence to establish" a crime had been committed, especially because – Barr said – Trump’s actions didn’t "constitute obstructive conduct" or have "corrupt intent."

According to federal guidelines, the Justice Department should file charges not when there’s just evidence of criminal conduct, but when there’s enough evidence for prosecutors to "reasonably expect" a conviction.

"[N]o prosecution should be initiated against any person unless the attorney for the government believes that the admissible evidence is sufficient to obtain and sustain a guilty verdict," reads the Justice Department’s manual for federal prosecutors.

Did a years-old Justice Department legal opinion shield Trump from charges?

In 2000, in the aftermath of the independent counsel’s investigation of then-president Bill Clinton, the Justice Department issued an opinion stating that, based on the Constitution and other legal findings, a president cannot be indicted while still in office.

To indict a sitting president would interfere with his constitutional responsibilities and authorities, according to the opinion.

Ahead of Mueller’s final report, many Democrats worried that the Justice Department’s 2000 opinion could shield Trump from indictment even if Mueller found enough evidence to prove a crime.

But in his letter to Congress, Barr said he and Rosenstein determined Trump should not face obstruction-of-justice charges "without regard to" and “not based on” the 2000 opinion.

Nevertheless, when asked by ABC News whether the years-old opinion played a part in Mueller’s inability to reach a final conclusion on alleged obstruction, Mueller’s office declined comment.

On Sunday, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, insisted his committee is "going to move forward" with its investigation of obstruction of justice and other "abuses of power."

Why did Barr, picked by Trump himself, get to decide whether charges against Trump were warranted?

Unlike the "independent counsel" who investigated Clinton and was supervised by a federal judge, Mueller was appointed under newer "special counsel" regulations that make him a part of the Justice Department – working under the attorney general like any federal prosecutor.

Those regulations say a special counsel has "the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any [U.S.] Attorney." But a U.S. attorney’s "authority is exercised under the supervision and direction of the Attorney General and his/her delegates," federal regulations state.

In Mueller’s case, the special counsel declined to "draw a conclusion" on whether the evidence he gathered warranted obstruction-of-justice charges against Trump, which “leaves it to the Attorney General” to decide, Barr said in his letter.

Will Congress – and the public – get to see Mueller’s full report?

It’s unlikely that the entire Mueller report, with no redactions at all, will be released, especially because it includes grand jury material that is prohibited from public release. But in his letter to Congress, Barr said he is “mindful of the public interest in this matter” and intends “to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can.”

He said he will have to consider "applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies," including the impact on ongoing investigations, in determining what can be released.

It’s unclear how long that process may take. Democrats, meanwhile, have vowed to subpoena Mueller’s materials and even take the Justice Department to court if it comes to that.

Was Barr conflicted from the start?

During Barr's confirmation hearing to become attorney general, Democrats pressed him over a memo he sent the Trump administration last year arguing that "Mueller's obstruction theory is fatally misconceived."

Democrats wondered how Barr could fairly assess Mueller's evidence when he had already expressed doubt about the obstruction probe itself.

But Barr insisted to lawmakers that he was only arguing in the memo that certain events described in media accounts, such as the firing of James Comey as FBI director, did not themselves constitute obstruction due to the president’s inherent authorities.

"I realize that I am in the dark about many facts," he wrote in the June 2018 memo.

After Barr's Senate confirmation, "senior career ethics officials" reviewed the matter and determined Barr "should not recuse himself" from overseeing Mueller's probe, according to a recent statement from Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.

Month earlier, however, senior career ethics officials reached a different conclusion about then-acting attorney general Matt Whitaker, telling Whitaker he should recuse himself from oversight of Mueller's probe for his previous comments about it. Whitaker declined to follow their advice but later told lawmakers he never interfered with the investigation.

On Sunday, a joint statement from top Democrats insisted Barr’s "unsolicited, open memorandum to the Department of Justice … [still] calls into question his objectivity."

What was Rosenstein’s role in all this?


For the first year-and-half of Mueller’s investigation, Rosenstein was the ultimate supervisor of the probe – the one who could have blocked Mueller from taking certain steps. In that time, Rosenstein oversaw the investigation because then-attorney general Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the probe, citing his prior work on Trump’s presidential campaign.

When Sessions resigned in November 2018 and another Trump administration official was put in charge of the Justice Department, Rosenstein was no longer the ultimate supervisor of the case, but he retained a significant role in supervising Mueller’s operation, a Justice Department official told ABC News.

At no time did Rosenstein – or any other Justice Department leader – block Mueller’s investigators from taking investigative actions they wanted to pursue, according to the Justice Department.

Rosenstein, however, was consulted by Barr over whether Mueller’s evidence warranted charged against Trump for obstruction of justice. Three weeks ago, Rosenstein and Barr met with Mueller’s team inside the Justice Department, where Rosenstein and Barr were given an overview of Mueller’s final conclusions, including his decision not to weigh in on whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Moving forward, Rosenstein will be consulted over what further information from Mueller’s investigation can be publicly released, Barr told Congress.

How long is Mueller's report?

This is still a secret, and it’s unclear whether the Justice Department will ever be willing to say how many pages comprise Mueller's final report.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Monday that he will use his authority as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to potentially "look into the other side" of the story now that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete.

Mueller's report into the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 presidential election did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia, according to a letter to Congress from Attorney General William Barr.

The letter describes "two main" Russian efforts to influence the election including "attempts by a Russian organization … to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States" and "the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations" targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party.

Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill, said he would like to "find somebody like a Mr. Mueller" to look into several other grievances, which he laid out to reporters during a press conference, including why the FBI spied on Trump associate Carter Page, and the 2016 airport tarmac meeting between former attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton.

"When it comes to the FISA warrant, the Clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it’s pretty much been swept under the rug ... those days are over,” he said. “I’m going to get answers to this."

He added: "If the shoe were on the other foot, it would be front page news all over the world. The double standard here has been striking and quite frankly disappointing."

Graham, like most Democrats and several other Republican senators, also called for the public release of the Mueller report.

"My desire is for the public to get as much of the report as possible…" Graham said.

Several Republicans have indicated that despite the Mueller investigation being over, they want to see the underlying evidence.

“I appreciate the Attorney General’s quick turnaround in sharing his summary of the Special Counsel’s report. AG Barr should release as much of the report as possible, without jeopardizing U.S. intelligence sources and methods or ongoing Department of Justice prosecutions,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said Sunday in a tweet.

But other GOP senators also think it’s time for Congress to move on from investigating Trump.

"Democrats in Congress now have a choice to make: accept the findings of the Mueller report and move on to advancing the business of the American people or instead pander to their fringe base by rejecting the Mueller report and launching politically-motivated and conspiracy-fueled investigations that will further divide our country," GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a statement.

Graham also vowed to bring in Attorney General William Barr before his committee to testify on the investigation and its findings. But it was unclear if he intends to call in Mueller.

"I don't know the answer to that about the special counsel himself," Graham said. "Let's start with Mr. Barr, who is in charge of the Department of Justice. I want you to know as much as you possibly can know. It's a big deal."

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Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the principal findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 election having been made public, Democratic contenders for the party's presidential nomination in 2020 have swiftly focused their ire squarely on Attorney General William Barr, who they say should immediately release the full report and its supporting documents.

Several candidates decried the summary from President DonaldTrump's "handpicked" Attorney General, whose summary of Mueller's report stated that the "Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts," saying the four-page letter does not provide the public with sufficient information about Mueller's findings.

“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," Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted Sunday about a House vote two weeks ago as the news broke that Barr had delivered a letter to Congress summarizing Mueller's findings.

 "Let's speak truth that the American public deserves transparency and accountability and the Mueller report must be made public for a full accounting of what happened," California Sen. Kamala Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said during a campaign rally in Atlanta Sunday evening. "The Attorney General of the United States must be required to come and testify before Congress instead of just submitting a four page memo of what happened.”

"A short letter from Trump's hand-picked Attorney General is not sufficient," Harris added in a Sunday evening tweet.

Barr, who was selected by Trump to replace his first attorney general, former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 54-45 last month. All six Democratic U.S. Senators who have announced presidential bids voted against Barr's confirmation.

"This is simply a four-page letter from the president’s attorney general that summarizes what happened and leaves open a lot of questions," Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who, like Harris, sits on the Senate Judiciary, said in an interview with CBS News on Monday. "Barr, during his [confirmation] hearing and now as attorney general has pledged that he wants to make everything he can public and we’re going to call him on that. We want to see this report."

 "The American people deserve the opportunity to read the full Mueller report, not a sanitized summary from Donald Trump’s hand-picked AG," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted Sunday evening. "The Trump administration has proven it can’t be trusted. It’s time to #releasethereport."

"Trump's attorney general just release his four-page summary of the Mueller report. That's not good enough. The American people deserve to see the full report and findings from this investigation immediately -- not just the Trump administration's in-house summary," read an e-mail blast from New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's presidential campaign.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams likened Barr's summary to "your brother summarize your report card to your parents."

 "It is deeply inappropriate for someone who is an avowed partisan, who, in part auditioned for the job by disparaging the report to be responsible for summarizing the report." Abrams said in an interview Sunday. "I am always suspect of a process that does not have independence and transparency, and I think we should demand that we get to see the report in full, no redactions and no questions.”

The attention on Barr is only expected to grow in the coming days, as Democratic leaders like House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler have already said they will ask the attorney general to testify publicly before Congress.

On Twitter, President Trump was quick to claim "total EXONERATION," after Barr's summary was released, despite the fact that the Special Counsel specifically declined to exonerate him on the issue of whether or not he obstructed justice.

Asked Monday by ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl in the Oval Office whether or not Mueller's investigation was a "witch hunt," President Trump said he said the investigation went on "far too long," but added that he would not mind if Mueller's full report was made public.

"Up to the Attorney General but it wouldn't both me at all," Trump said.

 But even amid their unified calls for Barr to release the full Mueller report, some Democratic candidates will now have to contend with their claims that went beyond just speculation over Trump and his 2016 campaign's ties to Russia.

"You have a president, who in my opinion, beyond a shadow of a doubt, sought to, however ham-handedly, collude with the Russian government, a foreign power, to undermine and influence our elections," former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who launched his presidential campaign earlier this month, said on the campaign trail in South Carolina on Saturday.

While other candidates have not gone as far as O'Rourke, their rhetoric has suggested they believe that foreign powers do hold sway over Trump and his administration.

"Under this administration, America's position in the world has never been weaker. When democratic values are under attack around the globe, when authoritarianism is on the March, when nuclear proliferation is on the rise, when we have foreign powers infecting the White House like malware,” Harris, who told ABC's Jimmy Kimmel last week that Americans want a candidate who can "prosecute the case" against Trump in 2020, said in January during her official campaign kickoff speech in Oakland, California.

Other Democratic presidential hopefuls like South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, say the release of Barr's summary underscores the point that the party can never fully rely on the famed prosecutor's mysterious report as the sole rationale for denying Trump a second term in office.

"I think this is further evidence that it would be a mistake for Democrats to think that the way for the Trump presidency to end is by way of investigation," Buttigieg, who is expected to formally announce his presidential candidacy next month, said in an interview with MSNBC on Sunday. "That could, of course, happen but we’ve got to be paying attention to the kinds of conditions that made it possible for somebody like him to get here in the first place."

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House says President Donald Trump is "completely vindicated" by special counsel Robert Mueller's conclusions as relayed by Attorney General William Barr.

But that doesn't mean Trump is vindicated in his unrelenting attacks on the Mueller and FBI probes as biased and corrupt. Those matters are still under investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

In fact, a government report on allegations of political bias within Mueller's office and the FBI isn't expected to be finalized for several more months, sources told ABC News.

And on Monday, Trump conceded he now believes Mueller acted honorably, even if others didn't. The day before, within hours of Barr releasing a letter on Mueller’s final conclusions, some of Trump’s strongest allies on Capitol Hill also praised Mueller’s work.

“Great job by Mr. Mueller and his team to thoroughly examine all things Russia,” proclaimed the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

But, shortly after Barr released his letter Sunday, Trump described Mueller's investigation as "an illegal takedown that failed." And over the past year, he's derided it as a "rigged" and "conflicted investigation in search of a crime" that was led by "13 angry Democrats."

Trump and his allies have repeatedly cited what they claim was "abuse" of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- or FISA -- which allows U.S. agencies to secretly intercept a target's communications with court approval.

In Trump's words, the FBI conducted "illegal surveillance" of his former adviser, Carter Page, by using information from what he called a "phony and corrupt dossier" to convince a federal judge that Page could be a Russian agent.

On Monday, Graham said the surveillance of Page was "disturbing," but he didn't "yet know" if it was illegal.

A year ago, the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, announced he was launching an investigation into the allegations of misconduct, including a review of how the FBI handled the author of the controversial "dossier," former British spy Christopher Steele, who claimed to be told by sources that Page and other Trump associates were working with Russians to help Trump win the White House in 2016 and boost Trump's businesses.

Horowitz is also looking into whether FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who privately exchanged anti-Trump text messages while working on the Russia probe, were guided by politics in their official actions, and whether senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr improperly tried to influence the probe by sharing Steele's information with the FBI, even though the agency had already received much of Steele's information from elsewhere.

Last year, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw Mueller’s investigation, urged the public “not to jump to any conclusions … until we have all the information."

"I think it's appropriate to let the inspector general complete that investigation," he told lawmakers.

Horowitz has said he was “deeply troubled” by many of the text messages Strzok and Page sent to each other during the Russia probe, including one message from August 2016 in which Strzok said "we'll stop" Trump from becoming president.

"[I]t is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects," Horowitz wrote in a report on his separate review of how the FBI handled its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal email server.

Nevertheless, Horowitz acknowledged that – at least in the Clinton-related matter – his office "did not find evidence to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed." The decisions and “judgment calls” made by Strzok, Page and others “were not unreasonable," Horowitz wrote.

Page and Strzok have vehemently denied allowing politics to taint their conduct as law enforcement officials.

"Not a single action was taken that would evidence that we attempted to stop [Trump’s campaign],” Lisa Page told lawmakers behind closed doors last year. “Our personal views … are irrelevant. What matters is what we do. And over and over and over and over again, there is absolutely nothing that anyone can point to, to suggest that we ever took any step that was inappropriate.”

“We did a good job,” she added, “and we did it the way the American people would expect us to do it."
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after spending the weekend in Florida, March 24, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

The Russia probe was first opened by the FBI after a young Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, claimed to have been told by a Russian operative that the Kremlin had compiled “dirt” on Clinton.

At that time, “there was absolutely no preconceived belief or feeling at all that it was Donald Trump himself,” Page testified.

When the Russia team in Washington received the “dossier” two months later, the FBI immediately “set about trying to prove or disprove every single factual statement in the dossier,” she said.

As Strzok later described it, the FBI had received “an extraordinary allegation" describing "a coordinated effort by the Government of Russia to elect somebody here in the United States … And I think there's no national security professional out there worth his salt who would not want to be fighting to protect America against that.”

Strzok and others inside the FBI were so alarmed because, as Page put it, “Russia poses the most dangerous threat to [our] way of life.”

“Even the threats that are posed by China or by Iran or North Korea don’t speak to sort of the core of Western democracy,” she said.

Shortly after Mueller was appointed as special counsel in May 2017, Strzok and Page joined his team, but both left after their text messages were discovered. Strzok was eventually fired from the FBI and Page resigned.

In his letter to Congress on Sunday laying out Mueller’s “principal conclusions,” Barr said Mueller’s investigation confirmed a vast Russian government effort to influence the 2016 election, but Mueller “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia” in those efforts.

Barr also said that while Mueller “does not conclude that the President committed a crime” in trying to obstruct the federal probe of Russian interference, Mueller “also does not exonerate him." Barr and Rosenstein, however, concluded the evidence developed during the investigation “is not sufficient” to warrant charges against Trump, Barr wrote.

As for Horowitz’s probe of alleged bias in the Russia probe, Horowitz last spoke publicly about it four months ago.

He said his office was still conducting interviews and would be poring through more than a million documents.

But "we're making good progress on it,” he said.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Gold Star dad Khizr Khan -- who came under fire from then-candidate Donald Trump after decrying his proposed ban on Muslim immigrants -- condemned the president's recent comments bashing the late Sen. John McCain, with whom he had a long-standing feud.

"How dare this Russian-tainted president disrespects our hero," Khan told Meghan McCain on "The View" about Trump's attacks on the late senator. Trump recently railed on McCain, who died last summer, both on Twitter and in a speech at a tank manufacturing plant.

"Senator McCain has meant so much to this nation because of his sacrifice -- because of his family's sacrifice and service," added Khan, whose son, an Army captain, was killed in Iraq. "We have been elevated because of his family and senator McCain."

Khan's praise for McCain comes nearly three years after he spoke out against Trump, then the Republican nominee, at the Democratic National Convention saying he "sacrificed nothing" for his country.

In a 2016 interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Trump declared he's "made a lot of sacrifices," questioned if "Hillary's scriptwriters [wrote]' Khan's speech, and insinuated that Ghazala didn't speak during her husband's speech because of her religion.

During the public feud between Trump and Khan in 2016, Sen. McCain spoke out in support of Khan's family and condemned Trump's attacks on him.

"Arizona is watching. It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party," the Arizona senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee said in a statement. "While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us."

On "The View" Monday, Khan told Meghan McCain he was "honored to sit under" the "grace" and "dignity," of Senator McCain's family, who he calls a "hero of this nation."

Khan's son Humayun Khan was a University of Virginia and ROTC graduate, U.S. Army captain and war hero. In 2004, Khan's son lost his life stopping a suicide bomber while serving in Iraq.

Posthumously, Humayun was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his actions.

The relationship between Khan and John McCain dated back to 2005, about year after his book "Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life" was published. Khan revealed on "The View" that McCain's book was the last book he sent to his son to read, and it ended up being the topic of the last conversation he would ever have with his son.

"I asked [Humayun] in my last conversation, 'Did you receive the book?' He said, 'It's a wonderful book. All of my camp is reading it and we are encouraged,' Khan said. "That is Senator McCain."

"This president forgot to read about the chapter that teaches how to be commander-in-chief of the United States. Somebody should read it to him," he continued. "So he can learn to take care of those who have sacrificed so much."

The president took a number of jabs at the late senator this month, including calling him out for being “last in his class," saying he was “never a fan” and that he “never will be” after McCain voted against repealing Obamacare, and bashing him for not receiving proper credit for his funeral arrangements.

Last week, Meghan McCain said she's "emotionally exhausted" from responding to Trump's attacks on her late father, but no longer expects doesn't expect 'decency' from the president's family.

“Attacking someone who isn’t here is a bizarre low,” McCain said. “My dad’s not here but I’m sure as hell here."

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(WASHINGTON) -- With the election in Israel a little more than two weeks away, President Donald Trump on Monday gave what many are calling a political gift to his close friend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- vying for his fifth term: a high-profile visit to the White House.

Netanyahu's red carpet welcome comes just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Netanyahu in Israel and the president made a surprise announcement that the U.S. would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, an issue the administration had been mulling for weeks at the urging of the Israeli prime minister.

"This is truly an historic day," Netanyahu said as Trump looked on for a signing ceremony to make the U.S. recognition official. "Thank you, President Trump," he said.

"Israel won the Golan Heights in a historic fight of self-defense," Netanyahu said, referring to Israel capturing the strategic high ground fro Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

"This is a long time in the making. Should have taken place many decades ago," Trump said, as he signed the proclamation.

Trump and Netanyahu have been dubbed by some as political "twins" on the global stage given the parallels between their leadership styles, their close strategic coordination and personal friendship, as both have been hampered by lingering investigations into potential misconduct.

Netanyahu has embraced his close relations with Trump throughout his re-election bid, with many of his political billboards featuring photos of them together.

This latest series of goodwill gestures from the Trump administration toward Israel in the closing days of the campaign amounted to what some scholars characterize as "blatant" meddling in Israeli domestic politics.

"We’ve interceded in other Israeli elections but not with this sort of brazenness," said Aaron David Miller, a Middle East expert at the Wilson Center.

"Every U.S. president has had either a confrontational or friendly relationship with the Israeli prime minister, and that’s largely been shaped by their positions on the Palestinian issue, but no previous president has ever so blatantly interfered to help an Israeli prime minister this way," said Haim Malka, deputy director and senior fellow of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

For Netanyahu, who's facing his toughest re-election bid yet under a cloud of investigation, Malka says a trip to Washington gives him the opportunity to "show the voters back in Israeli that he still has the strong backing of the U.S. despite his own troubles back at home."

Miller recalled three circumstances in recent history when U.S. presidents have sought to influence the outcome of an Israeli election, including one other occasion when President Bill Clinton invited then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres to the White House a month before an election that he ultimately lost to Netanyahu. But, Miller concluded, Trump's combination of actions represent "clearly the most blatant attempt" of interference.

On the flip side, there have also been cases when U.S. presidents have actively sought to deny Netanyahu the appearance of cooperation with Washington. Back in 2015, President Barack Obama turned down a meeting with Netanyahu, citing the proximity of his trip to the Israeli elections.

"As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country," Obama's National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said at the time. "Accordingly, the president will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election, which is just two weeks after his planned address to the U.S. Congress."

Trump has denied that he's motivated to help Netanyahu politically. Asked specifically about whether his Golan Heights announcement was related to Netanyahu's upcoming election, Trump denied it.

"No, I wouldn’t even know about that. I wouldn't even know about that, I have no idea. I hear he's doing OK," Trump said. "I don't know if he's doing great right now, but I hear he's doing OK. But I would imagine the other side, whoever is against him is also in favor of what I just did."

 While Trump’s actions are interpreted by some observers as an intervention in Israeli domestic politics, Malka points out that it’s also a domestic policy play for Trump.

"This is consistent with Trump policy toward Israel in terms of his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital and moving the embassy," Malka said, "so this helps him domestically paint a picture that the GOP is more pro-Israel than the Democrats."

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ERIC BARADAT/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In his first remarks on special counsel Robert Mueller since his report was turned in Friday, President Donald Trump on Monday offered an opinion in sharp contrast to the past two years of insults he's hurled at both the special counsel and his investigation.

"Do you think Robert Mueller acted honorably?” ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl asked the president during an event with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. "Yes, he did," Trump responded. Trump has previously described Mueller as “conflicted,” “disgraced” and a “liar.”

Asked at an Oval Office photo-op a few minutes later if he still believed the investigation was a witch hunt, Trump said it ended the way it should have but went on for far too long. Trump added that no other president should have to face an investigation like it ever again.

"It's 100 percent the way it should have been. I wish it could have gone a lot sooner, a lot quicker. There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things, I would say treasonous things against our country," Trump said. "Those people will certainly be looked at. I've been looking at them for a long time and I'm saying 'why haven't they been looked at?' Congress, many of them you know who they are. They've done so many evil things," Trump said.

"I will tell you I love this country. I love this country as much as I can anything -- my family, my country, my God, but what they did was a false narrative. It was a terrible thing. We can never let this happen to another president again. I can tell you that. Very few people I know could have handled it. We can never, ever let this happen to another president again."

 Trump also reiterated his view Attorney General William Barr should decide whether to make the full report becomes public.

"Up to the attorney general, wouldn't bother me at all," Trump said, referring to a public release. Trump also said he isn't thinking about pardoning anyone sentenced during the probe.

The summary of the report, submitted to Congress Sunday by Barr, said there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Mueller did not come to a conclusion on obstruction of justice, according to Barr's summary, so Barr took that on himself, concluding that the evidence Muller found didn't support a charge, although Barr didn't reveal all that Mueller discovered.

Congressional Democrats continue to demand the full report from Mueller.

Last week, the president told reporters at the White House, "let it come out, let people see it."

The president has claimed "complete and total exoneration" from the report, which White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted was justified despite Mueller stating, according to Barr, that his not making a decision on the question did not amount to an exoneration on the matter of obstruction.

Sanders was asked on NBC Monday morning to acknowledge that it was incorrect to say the report is a full vindication for the president.

"Not at all. It is," she said.

"It is a complete and total exoneration, and here's why, because the special counsel, they said they couldn't make a decision one way or the other. The way the process works is then they leave that up to the attorney general. The attorney general and the deputy attorney general went through and based their decision on Mueller's investigation. This wasn't based on just their own ideas and their own thinking. It was based on Mueller's investigation," Sanders said.

Critics, however, rejected Trump's claims of exoneration -- and rejected the notion that Barr was objective in his summary.

"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," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement over the weekend.

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, criticized Barr's quick turnover of a summary on an investigation that took almost two years and said Barr is likely to be subpoenaed to explain his actions and conclusions.

"We will ask the attorney general to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. We will demand the release of the full report. The American people are entitled to a full accounting of the president's misconduct referenced by the special counsel," Nadler said at a press conference over the weekend in New York district..

In a tweet over the weekend, Nadler described "very concerning discrepancies" within the report and "final decision making at the Justice Department." The report "did not exonerate the President," Nadler tweeted.

Former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, said that while the case on collusion "is closed," on the issue of obstruction of justice, "we're sort of not done."

"It seems to me it was a very close case. Bob Mueller decided not to make a determination about whether or not a charge can be brought, and you only do that if there is substantial evidence of obstruction," Bharara said on ABC's Good Morning America Monday.

While it's clear Congress will continue to investigate the questions around obstruction of justice, it remains to be seen whether the president will be receptive to those questions.

Asked on Good Morning America if the president was prepared to cooperate with any continuing investigations in the House, one of the president's lawyers, Jay Sekulow, said it would be a waste of taxpayer money, listing off all of the evidence Mueller obtained in the probe that lasted the past 22 months.

“I think the reality is that Congress is wasting the taxpayers' money, frankly, and they should be going about legislating and governing rather than continuing this that is a prerogative they have,” Sekulow said. “I think at this point it’s ridiculous to put people through this.”

Trump went as far as to call the entire investigation an "“illegal takedown that failed" on Sunday. Trump made the claim despite Mueller having been appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after the president's own decision to fire then-FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into possible Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Trump and congressional Republicans have claimed that there was wrongdoing in the way the investigation was carried out.

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway aired those grievances Monday morning, sharing sharp criticism of those who "let this lie fly for two years, hanging and harrassing and trying to embarass -- and worse -- those of us connected to the 2016 campaign." Those critics now owe Trump, his family and the country an apology, Conway said on Fox News.

Conway specifically called out Rep. Adam Schiff, a critic of the president and a Democrat who heads the House Intelligence Committee.

"He ought to resign today," Conway said. "He has been on every TV show 50 times a day for practically the last two years promising Americans that the president would either be impeached or indicted."

Conway also previewed the way the administration will seek to use the Mueller report in the face of upcoming Congressional investigations, despite almost two years spent escalating attacks on the investigation and Mueller as biased and a witch hunt.

"Bob Mueller already ran the fair and the full investigation. And any partisan, politicized investigation from here on in will never have the credibility of the Mueller investigation, and the credibility of Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein -- what they have done here," Conway said.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --Democrats on Capitol Hill are preparing to bring Attorney General William Barr in front of Congress to testify about the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election, as they continue to push for the full public release of Mueller's report.

They have raised questions about Mueller's decision not to exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice, and Barr's determination that a case wasn't warranted, outlined in a letter to lawmakers on Sunday summarizing Mueller's findings.

"His conclusions raise more questions than they answer," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-New York, said Sunday. "The American people are entitled to a full accounting of the president's misconduct referenced by the special counsel."

Nadler said he plans to ask Barr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about his letter and Mueller's investigation, and threatened to subpoena him and the Mueller report for public release. His staff has already been in touch with the Justice Department on setting up Barr's testimony, according to a congressional aide.

Mueller, according to Barr's summary, did not find that the Trump campaign officials or any associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Barr also revealed Mueller's conclusion on obstruction, that "while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also doesn't exonerate him," and said the special counsel set out evidence on "both sides of the question."

Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill celebrated Mueller's conspiracy conclusion, arguing that it vindicated the president.

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said in a statement Sunday that the findings meant the "case is closed" on the matters investigated by Mueller, a conclusion rejected by Democrats.

“This is just the beginning,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, a member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, told ABC News Sunday afternoon. "It’s case closed criminally but not case closed as to whether the president committed a high crime or misdemeanor."

Democrats vowed to continue their ongoing investigations into the Trump administration and pursuit of the Mueller report and underlying investigative materials.

They also raised questions about Barr's conclusion on obstruction of justice, citing a memo he sent to the Justice Department before his confirmation arguing it would be "fatally misconceived" that Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey could be the basis of an obstruction of justice inquiry.

"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," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.

Nadler, in a statement with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, said it was "unacceptable that, after Special Counsel Mueller spent 22 months meticulously uncovering this evidence, Attorney General Barr made a decision not to charge the President in under 48 hours," and did so without interviewing Trump.

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(WASHINGTON) --  Special counsel Robert Mueller's report into the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 presidential election did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia, according to a letter to Congress from Attorney General William Barr.

The letter describes "two main" Russian efforts to influence the election including “attempts by a Russian organization… to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States” and “the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations” targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party.

In both circumstances, the “Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts.”

The special counsel’s office made no conclusion on the matter of possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

"The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction," the letter read. "Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out 'difficult issues' of law and fact concerning whether the President's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction."

In his communique to lawmakers, Barr underscored that the special counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

While Mueller’s report did not reach a conclusion as to whether obstruction of justice occurred, Attorney General Barr’s letter said he determined a case for obstruction was not warranted.

“In cataloging the President’s actions many of which took place in public view, the report identities no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department's principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense."

Barr said his intent is to release as much as possible but there are grand jury secrecy concerns with some portions.

The White House celebrated the news, with President Donald Trump hailing the report on Twitter and, later in comments to reporters, as an "exoneration."

"This was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully, someone is going to be looking at the other side," Trump told reporters on Sunday.

He tweeted: "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"

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

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019

"The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General 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.”

Jay Sekulow, one of President Trump’s lawyers, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that the report was a "complete win for the president and the American people."

"Not just a win." Sekulow said. "The entire basis upon which this inquiry was instituted was a concern over collusion between the Russian government and the trump campaign, Bob Mueller and the Department of Justice could not be clearer. To have the obstruction issue even as a viable one, which it was not, there would have to be an underlying crime, which there wasn't."

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., questioned the timing of the letter tweeting "Special Counsel Mueller worked for 22 months to determine the extent to which President Trump obstructed justice. Attorney General Barr took 2 days to tell the American people that while the President is not exonerated, there will be no action by DOJ."

The news comes amid Democrats continued calls for the full release of the findings.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a joint letter, seemed to sum up the sentiment of many congressional Democrats in saying that Barr's letter "raises as many questions as it answers" and that Congress "requires the full report and the underlying documents."

"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," they wrote. "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."

The congressional leaders also took issues with the president's claims of being "exonerated."

On the campaign trail and on the Hill, Democrats made clear they are going to want every detail and document about the investigation and some have said they are willing to use their subpoena power in order to get it.

"It means make the request, if the request is denied subpoena, if the subpoenas are denied we will hold people before the Congress and yes, we will prosecute in court as necessary to get this information," House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday on "This Week".

Democratic candidates running to unseat President Donald Trump in 2020 reacted quickly to the news that Mueller delivered his report to DOJ with one consistent message: Make it public.

"The Mueller report must be made public — all of it," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY said in a presidential campaign speech outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City.

"The Mueller report must be made public — all of it," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says in 2020 speech.

"it is not often that I agree with Richard Nixon, but he was right to say that the American people have a right to know whether their president is a crook" https://t.co/rTYLWyQTQg pic.twitter.com/bsJxzCYQIN

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 24, 2019

She added: "It is not often that I agree with Richard Nixon, but he was right to say that the American people have a right to know whether their president is a crook."

The much-awaited report was handed to the Justice Department for Barr’s review, and Congress was notified of the transfer late Friday afternoon, according to a Justice Department spokeswoman.

After reviewing Mueller's report, Barr will then send what he has described as his own "report" on the Mueller investigation to the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary committees. Barr has promised to be as transparent as possible, but it's unclear how extensive or detailed Barr's own "report" to Congress will be.

In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, Barr wrote that he is reviewing the report and anticipates that he "may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend." He continued that, separately, he intends to "consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law."

"The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted on Friday afternoon.

A senior Department of Justice official told ABC News on Friday that the report will not include any further indictments.

Mueller and his team investigated how far the Kremlin went to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including trying to determine whether any Americans may have helped those efforts.

At the heart of Mueller’s probe were two Russian operations: the spread of disinformation on social media, and the release of thousands of sensitive emails stolen by hackers from the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic targets. Mueller’s team has charged 25 Russian nationals and three foreign companies for their alleged role in those operations.

In appointing a special counsel to investigate, however, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also directed Mueller to look into “allegations” of possible “coordination” between Russian operatives and associates of President Donald Trump.

Trump and his Republican allies have derided the investigation as a “witch hunt.” But Rosenstein, FBI Director Chris Wray and Barr have each explicitly disputed that description.

At least four Trump associates, including Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during the Russia-related investigation.

Another Trump associate, the president’s former attorney Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Moscow. And former Trump adviser Roger Stone has been charged with lying to Congress about his alleged role in tracking information stolen from Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller’s investigation grew out of a probe the FBI launched in late July 2016.

By then, the FBI was already scrutinizing Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business dealings with pro-Russian officials in Ukraine – dealings that have since landed Manafort in jail. And the FBI was keeping tabs on Trump adviser Carter Page, who was previously targeted for recruitment by Russian spies and had raised eyebrows with a trip to Moscow in mid-July 2016.

But claims by Trump adviser George Papadopoulos – that the Russians were touting “dirt” on Clinton – really set off alarms inside the FBI.

“If any Americans were part of helping the Russians [attack] us, that is a very big deal,” James Comey, who was FBI director at the time, later told lawmakers.

Several weeks after formally launching the Russia probe, counterintelligence agents leading the investigation in Washington received a so-called “dossier,” which had been compiled at the behest of Democrats and detailed uncorroborated allegations of coordination between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

Some of the allegations involved Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, so agents began secretly intercepting his communications. Page has never been charged with any crimes.

The wide-ranging investigation continued even after Trump took office. After Jeff Sessions became attorney general, he recused himself from oversight of the FBI’s Russia-related probe, citing his previous advocacy for Trump on the campaign trail.

Rosenstein subsequently assumed oversight of the investigation.

And then Trump shocked the federal law enforcement community: He fired Comey.

The move prompted Rosenstein to appoint Mueller to take over the whole matter, including a review of whether Comey's firing and other actions meant Trump improperly tried to obstruct the probe.

Comey later alleged that in a private meeting with Trump before his removal, the president directed Comey to “let [Flynn] go.”

Mueller has not released any evidence suggesting Trump committed a crime related to Russian efforts.

However, Mueller did uncover evidence of other possible crimes and referred those cases to other federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan ended up tying Trump to federal campaign violations, alleging that – in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign – Trump personally directed Cohen to silence two woman claiming affairs with Trump by making illegal payments to them; Trump has repeatedly denied the affairs.

Cohen has pleaded guilty for his role in the matter, but no other charges have been filed.

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic candidates running to unseat President Donald Trump in 2020 reacted quickly to the news Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller had delivered his highly anticipated report to the Department of Justice.

Their one consistent message: Make it public.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, all called for the report -- the product of nearly two years of investigation -- to be released immediately to the American people.

"The Mueller report must be made public. All of it," Gillibrand said at her 2020 campaign kickoff event in front of Trump International Hotel in New York. "It's not often that I agree with Richard Nixon. But he was right to say that the American people have a right to know whether their president is a crook."

"The Mueller report must be made public — all of it," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says in 2020 speech.

"it is not often that I agree with Richard Nixon, but he was right to say that the American people have a right to know whether their president is a crook" https://t.co/rTYLWyQTQg pic.twitter.com/bsJxzCYQIN

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 24, 2019

"This report should be made public immediately," Booker tweeted from his campaign account. A longer reaction from Booker was tweeted from his official Senate account: "I am demanding the Mueller report be made immediately available for members of Congress and for the public. Anything short of full transparency will be detrimental to our country moving forward. The American people deserve the truth."

"This report should be made public immediately," Booker tweeted from his campaign account. A longer reaction from Booker was tweeted from his official Senate account: "I am demanding the Mueller report be made immediately available for members of Congress and for the public. Anything short of full transparency will be detrimental to our country moving forward. The American people deserve the truth."

I am demanding the Mueller report be made immediately available for members of Congress and for the public. Anything short of full transparency will be detrimental to our country moving forward.

The American people deserve the truth. https://t.co/gyNDlHgZNY

— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) March 22, 2019

"As Donald Trump said, “Let it come out." I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller's full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law," Sanders tweeted.

As Donald Trump said, “Let it come out." I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller's full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 22, 2019

"Americans deserve to know the truth now that the Mueller report is complete. The report must be released immediately and AG Barr must publicly testify under oath about the investigation's findings. We need total transparency here," Harris tweeted.

Americans deserve to know the truth now that the Mueller report is complete. The report must be released immediately and AG Barr must publicly testify under oath about the investigation's findings. We need total transparency here.

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 22, 2019

 "Attorney General Barr must release the full report to the public," Klobuchar tweeted. "The American people deserve to know the facts."

BREAKING: The Mueller report is complete. Attorney General Barr must release the full report to the public. The American people deserve to know the facts. https://t.co/XdUaSw31Xu

— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) March 22, 2019

"Attorney General Barr—release the Mueller report to the American public. Now," Warren tweeted.

I don’t take PAC money or checks from federal lobbyists. This grassroots movement is by the people, for the people—and it’s going to take all of us fighting side by side to win in #2020. Let’s do this together. https://t.co/04aDwnif8a

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 21, 2019

"Release the Mueller report to the American people," O'Rourke tweeted.

Other 2020 Democratic hopefuls who joined the chorus of calls for the report to be made public included former Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney.

“The American public deserves to know the contents of the Mueller Report. Donald Trump and his Attorney General cannot be trusted to summarize or excerpt it accurately,” Inslee tweeted.

The American public deserves to know the contents of the Mueller Report. Donald Trump and his Attorney General cannot be trusted to summarize or excerpt it accurately.

— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) March 22, 2019

"The American people deserve to know the full truth about Russia’s interference in our democracy," Castro wrote in a tweet. "The Special Counsel report must be publicly released in its entirety."

"The patriotic action for the Attorney General is to release the entire Mueller Report to the American people. We paid for it and this moment requires transparency," Delaney said in a tweet.

“Make the full Mueller report public and available to the American people,” Gabbard tweeted.

Make the full Mueller report public and available to the American people. #ReleaseTheReport

— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) March 23, 2019

The delivery of the report signaled the completion of Mueller's investigation into how far the Kremlin went to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including whether anyone with the Trump campaign may have helped those efforts.

The Mueller investigation has been looming over the White House for almost two years of Trump's presidency. As he mounts his re-election bid, the Democratic field appeared to show caution about attacking the president but were united in their calls for transparency.

The first potential Republican primary challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, said the process should play out "without interference."

"It's about Rule of Law. Important for this process to play out without interference," Weld said in a tweet.

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Kena Betancur/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gave her first major speech as a Democratic presidential candidate on Sunday in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City, describing herself up as a courageous politician willing to take on difficult fights.

“The people of this country deserve a president worthy of your bravery…your bravery is what inspires me every day. That’s is why I’m running for president of the United States,” Gillibrand told a crowd of supporters.

Gillibrand became the latest in a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates when she announced her candidacy last Sunday.

Speaking in front of the Trump Tower on Columbus Circle, a building she called “a shrine to breed division and vanity,” Gillibrand called the president “a coward” and attacked several of his policies including family separation at the border, the travel ban on people from majority-Muslim countries, and his ambition to build a wall along the U.S. border.

The senator added she was proud to “have stood up against Donald Trump more than anyone in the Senate,” and touted her ability to go “toe to toe” with Trump.

As the country awaits details from Robert Mueller’s investigation, Gillibrand said “the report must be made public. All of it.”

The Democrat even crossed party lines to agree with a former Republican president, saying “I don’t often agree with Richard Nixon, but he was right to say the American people have a right to know whether or not the president is a crook.”

Like other progressives in the crowded field, Gillibrand touted her support for the Green New Deal, “Medicare for All,” universal pre-k, bail reform, and a $15 minimum wage. She acknowledged that none of these fights will be easy, saying “but I’ve never backed down from a fight for what’s right, and I’m not about to start now. That is why I’m running president.”

Gillibrand also said that the U.S. should “aspire to net zero carbon emissions in the next 10 years.”

The senator will spend the night in New York after meeting with her campaign staff at their headquarters in Troy, New York, and "have a celebration dinner" before heading back to Washington D.C. on Monday.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Over the course of his nearly two-year-long probe, special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors have now indicted 34 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes.

Those indictments have led to seven guilty pleas and four people sentenced to prison.

Here's what you need to know.  

Paul Manafort

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort faced charges in two separate federal courts on a slew of financial crime charges related largely to his lobbying work in Ukraine.

A jury found Manafort guilty on eight of 18 counts he was tried within the Eastern District of Virginia, with the judge declaring a mistrial on the other ten. The guilty charges included multiple counts of false income tax returns, failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts, and bank fraud.

Manafort was charged with an additional seven counts in the District of Columbia and pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and to witness tampering in the D.C. case. As part of the plea agreement, Manafort also admitted his guilt on the remaining counts in his Virginia trial.

Rick Gates

Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign official and longtime business associate of Paul Manafort, was charged in two separate federal courts in connection to financial crimes, unregistered foreign lobbying and on allegations that he made false statements to federal prosecutors. Gates pleaded guilty in Washington, D.C. in February 2018 on counts of conspiracy against the United States and lying to federal prosecutors. As part of his plea agreement, he avoided a slew of financial charges in the Eastern District of Virginia that included assisting in the preparation of false income taxes, bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy and false income taxes. His charges are intimately tied to those of Manafort. In the Eastern District of Virginia, the two were indicted jointly.

Konstantin Kilimnik

The special counsel issued three separate indictments against Manafort. In the third, prosecutors implicated Kilimnik for the first time, charging him with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. These charges concern communications between Manafort and Kilimnik regarding messages they exchanged with two journalists who were potential witnesses in the case against them. Though Kilimnik has been indicted, he remains outside of the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn

In his dramatic and surprise guilty plea in U.S. District Court on Dec. 1, 2017, early in Mueller's investigation, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn acknowledged that his false statements and omissions in FBI interviews a few days after Trump was sworn in "impeded and otherwise had a material impact on the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the campaign and Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election," which the statement of offense he agreed to said.

He specifically admitted to lying about asking the Russian ambassador to refrain from responding to Obama administration sanctions against Russia for its election interference and further requested Russia help block a United Nations vote on Israeli settlements which the incoming administration didn't agree with. Flynn also agreed that he lied about his lobbying activities in federal filings related to work on behalf of the Republic of Turkey throughout the 2016 campaign.

Roger Stone

The seven counts against President Donald Trump's longtime friend and veteran political operative Roger Stone include one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements -- including lying to Congress -- and one count of witness tampering in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

The charges brought by Mueller's office largely revolve around false statements Stone is accused of making to the House Intelligence Committee regarding his communications with associates about Wikileaks. He also stands accused of witness tampering in connection with humorist and radio show host Randy Credico's testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. In Stone's 24-page indictment, Mueller painted perhaps the clearest picture yet of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen, President Donald J. Trump’s former personal attorney and long-time fixer, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to Congress, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. In December, a federal judge in New York sentenced Cohen to three months in prison on the false statements charge to be served concurrently with a three-year sentence he received for other crimes committed in the Southern District of New York. He is due to report to prison by March 6.

Rick Gates

Long before Russian hackers purportedly stole emails from the Democratic National Committee, other Russians were already attempting to interfere with the U.S. political system and American society through a widespread online influence campaign, according to special counsel Robert Mueller. The influence operation started as far back as 2014, was well-funded in part by a reported associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and took advantage of the already divisive political landscape to try to turn Americans against one another, an indictment filed by the special counsel says.

The Russian Intrusion

On July 13, 2018 special counsel Robert Mueller took direct aim at the Russians who allegedly were personally responsible for infiltrating the Democratic National Committee’s computer system, among others, setting in motion what former intelligence officers call one of the most effective active measures campaigns in history. The defendants are charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States, Aggravated Identity Theft and Conspiracy to Launder Money.

George Papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos, the novice, unpaid foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump was secretly arrested for lying to FBI investigators about his correspondence with foreign nationals with close ties to senior Russian government officials. His indictment was revealed to the public after he pleaded guilty in October 2017. In September 2018, Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days incarceration, 200 hours of community service and a $9,500 fine

Alex van der Zwaan

In April 2018, Dutch national Alex van der Zwaan became the first person sentenced in special counsel Robert Meuller's Russia investigation in federal court in Washington. Earlier that year, he had pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Trump campaign deputy chair Rick Gates in September 2016

Richard Pinedo

Richard Pinedo might be one of the lesser-known figures caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation but the California man played an instrumental role in a Russian troll factory's online influence campaign during the 2016 election by unwittingly selling bank accounts to Russians. In February 2018, Pinedo pleaded guilty to one count of identity fraud and in October that year was sentenced to serve six months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement and 100 hours of community service.

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- This is the letter sent to Congress from Attorney General William Barr summarizing Robert Mueller's report.

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:

As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.

The Special Counsel's Report

On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a "confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions" he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitled "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election." Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.

The report explains that the· Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel's report.

Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The Special Counsel's report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel's investigation was whether any Americans -including individuals associated with the Trump campaign - joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

[Footnote from letter: In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign "coordinated" with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined "coordination" as an "agreement-tacit or express-between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference."]

The Special Counsel's investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.

The second element involved the Russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple. offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.

Obstruction of Justice. The report's second part addresses a number of actions by the President - most of which have been the subject of public reporting - that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a "thorough factual investigation" into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion - one way or the other - as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as "difficult issues" of law and fact concerning whether the President's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction .. The Special Counsel states that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

The Special Counsel's decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves itto the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel's office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel's obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel's final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have 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. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.

[Footnote from letter: See A Sitting President's Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C. 222 (2000).]

In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that "the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference," and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President's intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President's actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department's principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of¬justice offense.

37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel's report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6( e ), which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to "matter[ s] occurring before [a] grand jury." Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B). Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6( e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function. Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6( e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6( e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that "the Attorney General may determine that public release of' notifications to your respective Committees "would be in the public interest." 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Amid the anticipation of Attorney General William Barr's expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 presidential election, Democrats continued calls for the full release of the findings.

On the campaign trail and on the Hill, Democrats made clear they are going to want every detail and document about the investigation and some have said they are willing to use their subpoena power in order to get it.

"It means make the request, if the request is denied subpoena, if the subpoenas are denied we will hold people before the Congress and yes, we will prosecute in court as necessary to get this information," House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday on "This Week".

Democratic candidates running to unseat President Donald Trump in 2020 reacted quickly to the news that Mueller delivered his report to DOJ with one consistent message: Make it public.

"The Mueller report must be made public — all of it," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY said in a presidential campaign speech outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City.

"The Mueller report must be made public — all of it," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says in 2020 speech.

"it is not often that I agree with Richard Nixon, but he was right to say that the American people have a right to know whether their president is a crook" https://t.co/rTYLWyQTQg pic.twitter.com/bsJxzCYQIN

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 24, 2019

She added: "It is not often that I agree with Richard Nixon, but he was right to say that the American people have a right to know whether their president is a crook."

The much-awaited report was handed to the Justice Department for Barr’s review, and Congress was notified of the transfer late Friday afternoon, according to a Justice Department spokeswoman.

After reviewing Mueller's report, Barr will then send what he has described as his own "report" on the Mueller investigation to the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary committees. Barr has promised to be as transparent as possible, but it's unclear how extensive or detailed Barr's own "report" to Congress will be.

 In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, Barr wrote that he is reviewing the report and anticipates that he "may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend." He continued that, separately, he intends to "consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law."

"The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted on Friday afternoon.

A senior Department of Justice official told ABC News on Friday that the report will not include any further indictments.

Mueller and his team investigated how far the Kremlin went to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including trying to determine whether any Americans may have helped those efforts.

At the heart of Mueller’s probe were two Russian operations: the spread of disinformation on social media, and the release of thousands of sensitive emails stolen by hackers from the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic targets. Mueller’s team has charged 25 Russian nationals and three foreign companies for their alleged role in those operations.

In appointing a special counsel to investigate, however, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also directed Mueller to look into “allegations” of possible “coordination” between Russian operatives and associates of President Donald Trump.

Trump and his Republican allies have derided the investigation as a “witch hunt.” But Rosenstein, FBI Director Chris Wray and Barr have each explicitly disputed that description.

At least four Trump associates, including Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during the Russia-related investigation.

Another Trump associate, the president’s former attorney Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Moscow. And former Trump adviser Roger Stone has been charged with lying to Congress about his alleged role in tracking information stolen from Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller’s investigation grew out of a probe the FBI launched in late July 2016.

By then, the FBI was already scrutinizing Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business dealings with pro-Russian officials in Ukraine – dealings that have since landed Manafort in jail. And the FBI was keeping tabs on Trump adviser Carter Page, who was previously targeted for recruitment by Russian spies and had raised eyebrows with a trip to Moscow in mid-July 2016.

But claims by Trump adviser George Papadopoulos – that the Russians were touting “dirt” on Clinton – really set off alarms inside the FBI.

“If any Americans were part of helping the Russians [attack] us, that is a very big deal,” James Comey, who was FBI director at the time, later told lawmakers.

Several weeks after formally launching the Russia probe, counterintelligence agents leading the investigation in Washington received a so-called “dossier,” which had been compiled at the behest of Democrats and detailed uncorroborated allegations of coordination between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

Some of the allegations involved Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, so agents began secretly intercepting his communications. Page has never been charged with any crimes.

The wide-ranging investigation continued even after Trump took office. After Jeff Sessions became attorney general, he recused himself from oversight of the FBI’s Russia-related probe, citing his previous advocacy for Trump on the campaign trail.

Rosenstein subsequently assumed oversight of the investigation.

And then Trump shocked the federal law enforcement community: He fired Comey.

The move prompted Rosenstein to appoint Mueller to take over the whole matter, including a review of whether Comey's firing and other actions meant Trump improperly tried to obstruct the probe.

Comey later alleged that in a private meeting with Trump before his removal, the president directed Comey to “let [Flynn] go.”

Mueller has not released any evidence suggesting Trump committed a crime related to Russian efforts.

However, Mueller did uncover evidence of other possible crimes and referred those cases to other federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan ended up tying Trump to federal campaign violations, alleging that – in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign – Trump personally directed Cohen to silence two woman claiming affairs with Trump by making illegal payments to them; Trump has repeatedly denied the affairs.

Cohen has pleaded guilty for his role in the matter, but no other charges have been filed.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Back in February 2018, special counsel Robert Mueller's team of prosecutors brought charges against 13 Russian individuals and three Russian businesses for their alleged role in what one of the accused had allegedly described as "information warfare" -- a sophisticated influence operation targeting the 2016 presidential election. But it wasn't until almost a year later that Mueller's team revealed that those weren't the only suspected trolls the U.S. government had in its sights.

In a court filing arguing against sharing "sensitive" information with some of the defendants, Mueller’s team said in January that some of the information it had “identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in operations that interfere with lawful U.S. government functions like those activities charged in the indictment.”

Two months later, no other suspects have been charged, and a senior Justice Department official told ABC News Friday that Mueller was not recommending any more indictments -- presumably including the suspected Russians. So now that Mueller's investigation has concluded, what fate awaits them?

Experts told ABC News Saturday that just because Mueller is done, it doesn’t mean the Russians are in the clear legally, depending on how the U.S. government wants to proceed.

“Charges involving other trolls could be brought by other [Department of Justice] offices, whether a U.S. attorney’s office or main Justice,” Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor and lecturer at George Washington University, said.

Another former federal prosecutor, Ken White, agreed.

“Other federal prosecutors could absolutely charge them,” he said.

Eliason said that since Mueller’s mandate was in part to investigate interference in the 2016 presidential election, “any more recent efforts probably would fall outside his mandate” and become the responsibility of another DOJ office.

Such was the case in October when the Justice Department charged Russian national Elena Khusyaynova for “her alleged role in a Russian conspiracy to interfere in the U.S. political system, including the 2018 midterm election.”

Though she is accused of being involved in the same alleged conspiracy as the St. Petersburg troll factory that was the epicenter of the 2016 influence operation, the charges against Khusyaynova were for more recent purported actions and were brought by prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, instead of Mueller.

But it’s still an open question as to whether the U.S. would choose to legally pursue more Russian nationals. All of the Russian individuals charged so far in connection to the interference operation have declined to answer the accusations in court and are believed to be safely in Russia, outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

Former senior CIA officer John Sipher said that from an intelligence perspective, it was unusual for the U.S. government to charge the Russians that it did, but a necessary step for Mueller to fulfill his mandate to investigate Russian interference.

Sipher, who once ran the agency’s Russia operations, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. held off from filing further legal action because it may be more valuable to track the suspects’ activity than to file charges against them.

Khusyaynova’s case notwithstanding, Sipher said now that Mueller’s done, he expects “we will revert to our normal process of uncovering and tracking hostile intelligence resources.

“For what it’s worth, the Russians indicted by the Mueller probe were just a tiny fraction of what the U.S. intelligence community knows about Russian intelligence, and Russian intelligence officers,” Sipher said.

The Russian government has long denied the allegations of election interference.

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