US backed Syrian force clears area retaken from IS

BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian fighters cleared explosives in the last area retaken from the Islamic State group on Sunday and arrested a number of militants hiding in tunnels, a day after declaring military victory and the end of the extremists’ self-styled caliphate.

The U.S.-led coalition said the clearing operations will continue until the area is secure.

A spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who goes by the nom de guerre Mervan The Brave, said Baghouz village where the militants made their final stand is “full of all kinds of explosives.” He said SDF forces have detonated land mines and suicide belts left behind by the militants.

The Kurdish Hawar News Agency reported that during the combing SDF forces arrested a number of militants found hiding in combat tunnels. Mervan The Brave confirmed the reports but had no further details.

Other activist groups monitoring the area reported limited clashes between remaining militants and SDF fighters.

In a series of tweets, the U.S.-led coalition said the SDF continued “back-clearance operations” to rid Baghouz of any militants or weapon caches.

“The Syrian Democratic Forces will continue to deny Daesh a physical space and influence in the area and work to deny them the resources they need to return,” it said using the Arabic acronym for IS. “This back-clearance operation will be deliberate and thorough and help ensure the long-term security for the area.”

A day earlier, a Syrian driver working with NBC News reporters was killed by an explosive device that went off in a house used by the SDF as a command post and a media center for journalists covering the fighting in Baghouz.

Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News, said in a statement that network employees escaped unharmed and that the reason for the explosion was being investigated. He expressed “deepest sympathies” to the driver’s family and …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

Trump responds to Mueller report summary: ‘Total EXONERATION’

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump signaled he was elated following the release of a Justice Department letter concluding that the special counsel Robert Mueller did not find a coordinated effort between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 US Presidential election.
“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION KEEP AMERICA GREAT,” Trump tweeted at Palm Beach, Florida.
In his report, Mueller reportedly did not recommend any additional indictments. His investigation did not yield a conclusive finding on whether Trump obstructed justice, according to Barr.
“The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'” Barr wrote.

President Donald Trump signaled he was elated following the release of a Justice Department letter concluding that the special counsel Robert Mueller did not find a coordination effort between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 US Presidential election.

“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION KEEP AMERICA GREAT,” Trump tweeted at Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump frequently railed against the investigation and characterized it as a “witch hunt.”

“Very few think it is legit,” Trump tweeted last week, referring to the special counsel investigation.

A confidential copy of Mueller’s report was submitted on Friday to Attorney General William Barr, who handed its “principal conclusions” to lawmakers this weekend. The principal conclusion was not expected to provide an extensive look at the investigation.

“The special counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election,” the four-page letter said.

Barr did note that despite Mueller not finding Trump’s campaign culpable of conspiring or coordinating with the Russian government, “Russian-affiliated individuals” had made “multiple offers … to assist the Trump campaign.”

In his report, Mueller reportedly did …read more

Source:: Business Insider

The Mueller Report Reveals No Collusion — But Lots Of Russian Interference

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is on its way to being released. In a summary to Congress on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr summarized the report’s findings. In short: there will be no further indictments and no collusion was discovered from the Trump camp.

In describing the investigation’s findings of Russian interference with the 2016 election, it determined that there was no conspiracy or coordination with Russian efforts from the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it.

It did, however, find that Russian interests did attempt to meddle in the election through disinformation and social media campaigns, for which numerous Russian nationals were brought up on charges during the course of the investigation. It also found that Russian military hacked into and stole emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and various Democrat parties, which they distributed through third-party sites, including WikiLeaks.

Further, the report does not recommend any additional indictments, and there are no sealed indictments coming out.

President Donald Trump responded to Barr’s summary on Twitter. “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION,” he wrote. “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”

No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019

In his summary, Barr notes that the Mueller report toes the line when it comes to charges of obstruction of justice by Trump. Ultimately, the report does not conclude that Trump obstructed justice — and Barr does not elaborate on which actions the investigation considered, though he does call them “the subject of public reporting” — but it does not draw a final conclusion, instead deferring to the attorney general’s office. “[W]hile this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime,” the Mueller report says, “it also does not exonerate him.”

Barr writes to Congress that the AG will not pursue charges against Trump for …read more

Source:: Refinery29

White House: Barr letter shows “total and complete exoneration” of President Trump

“The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”

The White House claimed victory after Attorney General William Barr issued his brief summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Sunday, asserting that it showed “a total and complete exoneration of the president of the United States.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders posted her statement on Twitter:

The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 24, 2019

The four-page Barr letter summarizing Mueller’s report to the Justice Department did state that the special counsel had not established that Donald Trump or anybody associated with his campaign had conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

On the obstruction of justice question, Mueller did not make a determination, instead choosing to lay out evidence on both sides of the case. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ultimately decided that the evidence presented did not rise to the level of an obstruction of justice charge against President Trump.

Democrats in Congress have pledged to continue pressing for the full Mueller report to be released and they might call Barr in front of House committees to testify about the findings.

You can read the letter that Barr delivered to Congress on Sunday here.

…read more

Source:: Vox – All