By Tunde Niyi-Akinmade
A jubilant President Donald Trump fired a tweet on Sunday to celebrate the end of a personal harrowing nearly two-year experience to clear his name of collusion with Russians to tamper with the United States 2016 presidential elections.
Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who was appointed a special counsel to oversee the inquiry, said the investigation was not able to establish any link between Trump and the Russians.
“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller was quoted as stating in a four-page excerpt of his report circulated on Sunday by U.S. Attorney-General William Barr.
Trump, who has been extremely critical of the highly publicised probe that commenced shortly after he was elected in November 2016, was estactic about the report.
“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION,” Trump tweeted. “KEEP AMERICA GREAT,” Mr Trump tweeted shortly after the disclosure Sunday.
Although Mueller was unambiguous in his exoneration of Trump on the Russian collusion allegations, his report left open the critical question about whether or not the president was culpable in obstruction of justice.
Trump heavily criticised Mueller in scores of tweets and public comments since the investigation commenced.
He described the investigation as a witch-hunt, and there were reports he mulled firing Mr Mueller at some point.
Now that the final submission cleared him of any wrongdoing in collusion, Trump and his fellow Republicans have been quick to embrace Mueller.
Democrats quickly downplayed the report as only one of several serious investigations into Trump’s activities, and said they would now shift focus to those.
Mueller’s office indicted about 37 persons, including top aides and associates of Trump, in the course of his probe.
Some of them, like Paul Manafort, were exposed for their shady foreign deals, mostly with Russians and Ukrainians, during the collusion probe, but were not found culpable of facilitating foreign interference in American elections.
American media reported on Sunday that Mr Trump might consider pardoning all his associates who were indicted by Mr Mueller because he saw them as a victim of a larger investigation that ultimately amounted to nothing.