Illustration done by James Membreno
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It’s been just over two years since Donald Trump took the office of the presidency, and ever since he’s dealt with constant controversy surrounding his possible connection to Russia during the 2016 election. The recently completed and released Mueller report was supposed to have all the answers that would put Trump on the brink of impeachment. Instead, it raised more questions than answers, and Trump used this to his advantage.

Attorney General William P. Barr’s summary prematurely cleared President Trump of any wrongdoing during the election, but until the full report is released, it will not be compelling enough to make many believe that Trump hadn’t intended to commit a serious crime sometime during the election.

In the initial lead up to Robert Mueller’s report, it looked like President Trump would be in serious trouble, with some of his closest consultants, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, and most notably his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, being charged for lying to the FBI. Mueller also indicted multiple Russian officials connected to interference in the 2016 election. All of these indictments and Cohen’s testimony made it plausible that President Trump could be ousted from the presidency in the near future.

But when Barr released his short 4 page summary on the entire Muller report – which according to the New York Times is over 300 pages – saying that President Trump and his campaign had not conspired to interfere in the 2016 election but it did not mean he was exonerated from commiting a crime, it was not what many had expected at all. Those who opposed President Trump and Democrats were hoping that the Mueller report would support their claims that Trump and his campaign had connections to Russia.

Barr could have done a better job of releasing more than just a 4 page summary on a report that has been in the works since 2016 which could still have major implications to Trump in the immediate future but right now as it stands, as hard as it is to believe, President Trump is an innocent man.

Even though the full Mueller report had not been released, and after a unanimous vote by Congress to release the complete report, President Trump expectedly insisted that he was an innocent man and that he was completely exonerated from any collusion with Russia.

It may not be completely true, but it’s hard not to blame him for his response: ever since he became President, Trump has faced consistent allegations from Democrats and those in his own party that he had ties to Russia during the 2016 election. The four page summary now gives a big credibility boost for Trump and his campaign, especially with the 2020 election in the future.

According to a poll published in the Washington Post during the investigation process, Americans supported Mueller’s investigation into whether President Trump had committed serious wrongdoing during the election. Now that the Mueller report was released, it seems public opinion has swayed according to a recent study published by the Washington Post; it shows that Americans are split on whether Democrats should continue investigating President Trump’s connections to Russia but until the full report is released, House Democrats should continue the investigation process.

The House Judiciary Committee plans to subpoena those who were found in the Mueller report to be closest to Trump. It is a necessary step in the process of truly proving President Trump is off the hook from any wrongdoing, once and for all.

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