End of Mueller probe no end for feud in Washington

A confidential report recently submitted by special counsel Robert Mueller to the U.S. Department of Justice marking an end to a nearly two-year investigation is not likely to bring to an end the bitter partisan battle in Washington.

According to U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s synopsis, Mueller found no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 U.S. presidential election but did not reach a conclusion as to whether the president had obstructed justice. Barr concluded the special counsel’s findings are “not sufficient” to support a charge.

That is more than sufficient to give a sense of relief to the White House, which had been shadowed by Mueller’s investigation, commonly known as the Russia probe, as six Trump associates, along with over two dozen others, had been indicted since the special counsel’s appointment in May 2017.

More good news for Trump’s inner circle is that Mueller, according to Barr, “does not recommend any further indictments.” The president has claimed a “complete exoneration,” as his political allies were celebrating it as a victory.

For the Democrats, Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s wide-ranging inquiry is far from a satisfying answer. To get a clearer picture of the special counsel’s investigation, they are demanding a release of the complete report and Barr’s appearance before Congress.

A new fight has already started. Six Democratic committee chairs in the House sent a letter to Barr on Monday requesting that he submit the full report from Mueller to Congress by April 2. Also on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a non-binding resolution to make the full report public.

 The scenario was expected, as rarely is there a happy ending for both parties in U.S. politics, characterised by partisans bickering and you-win-I-lose games. During the Russia investigation, Republicans and Democrats were locked in a tit-for-tat fight in a politically toxic manner.

As a result, the nation has been driven further apart. Mueller’s report, no matter what findings it produces, by no means spells a solution to their entanglement. In other words, neither the end of the Mueller-led probe nor Barr’s conclusions would put partisan fights to rest.  –Xinhua

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