Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation did not find evidence that President Donald Trump or members of his campaign conspired with Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election, delivering a boost to the president in a case that has shadowed his administration since its first days.
But the special counsel's report leaves "unresolved whether the president's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction," Attorney General William Barr said in a letter to Congress delivered Sunday.
"While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him" on whether he obstructed justice, Mueller said in the report, according to Barr's four-page summary.
Barr said that he and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, concluded that the evidence Mueller gathered "is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense."
Mueller's investigation also concluded that Trump's campaign received "multiple offers" of assistance from people linked to Russia.
The delivery of Mueller's findings ends a weekend of anticipation in Washington, as lawmakers and the White House awaited the findings of an inquiry that shadowed the first two years of Trump's presidency and could shape its future.
Mueller's findings seemed destined to fuel a highly political fight unfolding against the backdrop of a presidential campaign – with a crowded field of Democrats vying to unseat a president who has been tailed by criminal investigations almost since he took office.
What Barr delivered on Sunday is not Mueller's full report. Instead, it's Barr's summary of Mueller's findings.
Mueller's report, delivered Friday to Barr, signaled the end of an investigation secretly launched in the months before Trump was elected, when the FBI began gathering clues that made them suspicious of aides to Trump's campaign. The probe mushroomed to include whether the campaign coordinated with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, and whether the president himself attempted to obstruct it. And it produced a cascade of other criminal investigations targeting people around Trump, which have not yet concluded.
The inquiry revealed an extensive Russian intelligence operation that used hacking, stolen documents and phony social media campaigns to sow discord in U.S. politics and support Trump's campaign for the presidency.
It also disclosed that some of Trump's aides worked eagerly to benefit from that operation, seeking damaging information from Russians even as Trump was seeking out business in the country. At least a half dozen of Trump's aides, who were charged in the investigation, then lied to Congress, federal investigators and the public to downplay those connections.
The now-completed probe, however, has not resulted in charges that anyone associated with Trump coordinated with the Russians, and a Justice Department official said Mueller's report did not recommend that anyone else be indicted.