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What is the Mueller report?

The Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 19, 2019, 09.12 AM (IST)

The US justice department on Thursday released a redacted version of the long-awaited report on Russian involvement in 2016 US presidential election and the contacts between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

The report officially titled 'Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election' runs nearly in 400 pages. However, some pages of the 400-page report were blacked out by Attorney General Bill Barr to protect ongoing investigations and for other reasons.

With the release of the report, US Attorney General William P Barr informed that Mueller report found no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.

The Attorney General, however, said Russians did try to interfere in the US presidential elections. Barr while releasing the report also clarified that the president did not obstruct justice and that the White House freely cooperated in the report.

Timeline: Big moments in Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in 2016 US election

While Special Counsel Robert Mueller may not have found evidence of a criminal conspiracy between Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia, but his report details extensive contacts between the campaign and Russian operatives who sought to influence the election.   

Mueller said in his report that he found "numerous links" and that the Trump campaign "expected it would benefit" from Russia's effort to tilt the ballot in Trump's favour.

Ultimately, Mueller determined the various contacts either didn't amount to criminal behaviour or would be difficult to prove in court, even if people in Trump's orbit sometimes displayed a willingness to accept Russian help, the report showed. 

The report also stated that US President Donald Trump sought to have special counsel Robert Mueller removed nearly two years ago from the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

It said that on June 17, 2017, Trump called White House counsel Don McGahn at home "and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed."

Before its release, the redacted version of the report was reviewed by President Donald Trump's lawyers.

The White House made no changes on the final report and did not assert executive privilege to protect internal White House information, US Attorney General William P Barr added.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The report officially titled Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election runs nearly in 400 pages. However, some pages of the 400-page report were blacked out by Attorney General Bill Barr to protect ongoing investigations and for other reasons.