Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s office uncovered “evidence of numerous links” between officials working on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and individuals “having or claiming ties to the Russian government,” according to a 448-page, partially redacted report the Justice Department made public Thursday.
But did it find evidence of collusion?
That depends on your definition of the term. “No collusion” has become Trump’s common refrain throughout the course of Mueller’s two-year investigation — and Thursday he tweeted a Game of Thrones meme with those words. Attorney General William Barr invoked the term again in a press conference prior to the report's release, saying the investigation found “no underlying collusion with Russia” by the Trump campaign.
Collusion is not a legal concept, so to say “no collusion” doesn’t mean much, legally speaking. In its investigation, the Mueller team focused on “conspiracy” — a specific term in federal criminal law defined as an agreement between two or more people to commit an offense and then act in support of that agreement.
Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.