President Trump said America is great when he found out Attorney General William Barr’s summary letter exonerated him from colluding with the Russians during the 2016 campaign. Barr said he didn’t finish reading the report, but one thing was clear to him. Trump didn’t have a preconceived plan to work with Russia to win the election.
Russia wanted Trump to win the election. Mr. Trump and Russia have a long-standing business relationship, according to the New York Times. For years, the Trump Organization wanted to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The Trump team had several meetings with Russians in order to win approval from the Kremlin. The Kremlin thought the plan to build a hotel that would be the tallest building in Europe was a good one. Trump planned to give President Putin the multi-million-dollar penthouse in the hotel for free.
In 2015, Mr. Trump was in Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant. During that visit, Trump tried to convince the Russians he could beat Hillary in 2016. But there’s no written evidence of those conversations, according to the New York Times. Trump’s 2015 meeting in Moscow was also the topic of a dossier written by Christopher Steele, an ex-British spy who gathered Trump dirt for a company called Fusion GPS. According to the Washington Post, Fusion GPS was part of Clinton’s organization.
Despite all the Russian meetings and Michael Cohen cooperation, Mueller decided collusion was not part of Trump’s intent in 2016. Trump aides said Trump wanted to win the election without help from anyone. But his actions and his conversations about Russia during the campaign prove Trump had a connection with the Russians during the campaign. In the end, Mueller couldn’t connect all those dots, according to the Barr summary letter.
But the Mueller report did say the obstruction of justice charge that developed after Trump fired James Comey is still on the table. Mueller wants Congress to make the obstruction charges stick. The report may show Mueller connected the obstruction dots, but he wants Congress to decide if the evidence he found is enough to pin obstruction of justice charges on the president.
Mr. Trump claimed a win when the Barr summary letter surfaced. And he claimed Mueller exonerated him from any wrongdoing. But that’s not the way the Democrats interpreted the letter. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the intelligence committee, still thinks there’s enough evidence to prove collusion. And he wants to hang obstruction charges around Trump’s neck too.