Here are five takeaways from the 22-month Trump-Russia investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller that concluded with a summary submitted to Congress on Sunday by Attorney General William Barr:
** Mueller’s investigation did not establish that President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election
** The special counsel left unresolved questions about whether the president obstructed justice. Barr concluded the evidence was “not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.”
** With the 2020 election campaign under way, the political fight continues in Washington. The Republican Trump said he had been completely exonerated and Democrats, conducting their own investigations in the House of Representatives, challenged him on that statement and demanded to see Mueller’s full report.
** Mueller ended his investigation on Friday after bringing charges against 34 people, including Russian agents and former key Trump allies such as campaign chairman Paul Manafort, national security adviser Mike Flynn and personal lawyer Michael Cohen, although none of those charges directly related to whether Trump’s campaign worked with Moscow to influence the election outcome.
** Trump’s legal woes are far from over, with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan and other prosecutors pursuing cases that include possible campaign finance violations. Prosecutors have said Trump directed Cohen to make hush-money payments to women who said they had sex with Trump. Trump denies having had sexual relationships with the two women: Stormy Daniels, the porn actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Prosecutors are also examining potential illegal donations to Trump’s inauguration committee.