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World’s senior Orthodox Bishop won’t back Ukraine’s breakaway extremist church

Patriarch Bartholomew OPPOSES Church schism in Ukraine, supports canonical Church

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A high-level delegation of Metropolitans/Bishops from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has met in Constantinople, at the Phanar, to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, specifically, the major issues of the Church in Ukraine, with the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Currently, there are three churches which claim to be Orthodox in Ukraine, however only one of them is canonical, meaning it is recognized as legitimate by the universal and organic consensus of the Orthodox Church, as The Duran has already reported. This is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, currently, lead by Metropolitan of Kiev Onufry.

Kiev Caves Lavra, one of the Five Lavra’s of the Russian Lands, the current Headquarters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the first Russian monastery in history

The other two non-canonical sects are the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”, neither of which are recognized by the international community of Orthodox Churches.

The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is a part of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Metropolitan Onufry is, in fact, the second highest bishop in the entire Russian Church, after Patriarch Kirill of Moscow himself.

Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church commemorates Patriarch Kirill in all services, and receives the Holy Myrhh from Moscow which is made by bishops according to ancient and secret recipe, however the Ukrainian Church operates with rather broad autonomy.

Truly, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has a very advantageous position within the Russian Church, and the ways in which they are stronger together are indescribable, however, the non-canonical churches attempt to destroy the church and murder her children. This was described perfectly by Patriarch Irenej of Serbia:

“The martyric Ukrainian Church—where the holy Prince Vladimir baptized the people of Holy Rus’—is now being defiled by the schismatics’ blasphemy, violence, and bloodshed,” His Holiness emphasized while accepting an award from the International Public Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox People, orthochristian.com reports.

‘Ukrainian politicians are enemies to all Slavs’ — head of Serbian Church

For his words, the Serbian Patriarch, who many of my friends have met, and know him to be a very Holy man, was put on what amounts to a state-sponsored hit-list in Ukraine.

Ukraine calls head of Serbian Church an “enemy”

It was because of this type of extremism used against her, the Ukrainian Church sent a delegation to the Phenar, to meet with the Patriarch of Constantinople, and to pray together and discuss solutions to the situation. There was a great concern that the radical sects were trying to gain legitimacy, and take over the property of the canonical Church, which they often do by force.

Now, we have received confirmation from Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary, the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Church, and one of her highest ranking bishops, that:

“His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew himself repeatedly said that in Ukraine there is one canonical Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry.

He dispelled many of the rumors that have been circulating these days, about what he wants to do in Ukraine as we were assured, “

Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary

Numerous sources, secular, and official Church news networks have reported that Patriarch Bartholomew has communicated to Metropolitan Antony there is no way to legalize the schism in Ukraine. There is only one Ukrainian Church, as the Union of Orthodox Journalists reports:

“It was repeatedly said about the impossibility of legalizing the schism, the question should be raised about the cure,” said Metropolitan Anthony. “Figuratively speaking, sometimes medicines do not help, and now we are in search of something that will help unite our brothers who have long been outside the church fence; and we see that the desire of the Patriarch of Constantinople – the Church in which we were baptized – is to help in this matter.”

According to the Chancellor of the UOC, Patriarch Bartholomew stressed that he does not want to interfere in the situation, but at the same time he wants to help solve the complex “Ukrainian issue”. “We must do everything to ensure that our brothers and compatriots who are in schism will return to the bosom of the Orthodox Church,” concluded Bishop Anthony.

Patriarch Bartholomew (left) and Metropolitan Antony (right)

TASS News also quotes Metropolitan Antony:

“Actually, it was stated several times today that legalizing the schism is out of the question. We are currently looking for those medicines, which will help unite and integrate our brothers who have been behind the church fence for a long time,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

According to Metropolitan Antony, Patriarch Bartholomew “is reluctant to interfere in the situation.” “However, as a responsible person, as the first among the equal patriarchs of the entire Orthodox Christian world, he wants to help resolve this complex issue.” He added that the problem would be handled on the basis of the canonical rules. The patriarch paid particular attention to statements made by some high-ranking officials that the Tomos had allegedly been signed. “It was even said that those who say that the Tomos has been written are working against the Church of Constantinople,” the metropolitan stressed.

Patriarch Bartholomew (left) hugs Metropolitan Antony (right)

Hearing word from the highest sources, that Patriarch Bartholomew has said this allows for all the faithful of the entire Russian church worldwide, including the Ukrainian Church, to rest a little easier. It must be said, that Patriarch Bartholomew is not the “pope” of Orthodoxy; Orthodoxy has no single bishop above all others, but his voice is very influential with soft power.

Patriarch Bartholomew has now made it clear that he supports the canonical Church, does not wish to interfere, but would be happy to assist the canonical Church in attempting reconciliation at their request.

For some time, there has been a great concern raised by many, that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was sympathetic to the idea of creating a single national church in Ukraine, which could make the Non-Canonical Churches canonical by joining them to it. In this model, they would theoretically become legitimized, simply by becoming a part of his church and by his decree, however this move would be highly controversial.

This is exactly what the forces which have illegally taken power in Kiev want, as President Poroshenko has repeatedly called for this.

It must be said, that President Poroshenko has a lot in common with members of the nationalist, non-canonical churches, especially self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Filaret. They both happen to believe that all those who don’t support their Neo-Nazi vision, including children, deserve to die.

Jesse Dominick has reported on this subject very keenly:

As orthochristian.com reports, the self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko of the “Kiev Patriarchate,” the darling of all Ukrainian nationalists, publicly preached in November 2016 that Donbass residents affected by the ongoing conflict there are to blame for their afflictions, due to their “sin of federalization,” and deserve to die:

Filaret is a bitter, angry, and very sad man. From what I have seen of his more recent public appearances and videos, he seems literally senile. His eyes are cold and dead. Metropolitan Onufry, however, radiates grace and holiness.

Dominick is, of course, referring to that horrifying moment, when the so-called religious leader Filaret said:

We should not think that the population of Donbass is innocent in these sufferings. It is guilty! And it must expiate its guilt by torment and blood.

Sad and Angry Filaret loves to yell

Not only are Filaret’s calls for Donbass people to “drown in their own blood” as “penitence” disgusting, and a sign of severe mental disorder, if not demonic possession, but they are also similar to President Poroshenko, who said “they” will win the war in Ukraine, when:

Our Children will go to school – theirs (Eastern Ukrainians) will be hiding in bomb shelters

For those people who are not religious, and therefore do not care about our Orthodox Faith, I remind you this is not merely an issue for religious people. The non-canonical churches are filled with dangerous psychopaths who believe Ukrainian children deserve to drown in blood.

The best part is – Filaret is no Western Ukrainian holdout, with ties to an old lineage of independent Ukrainian bishops, during the Soviet Era, and the early 90s, he was a normal Russian bishop, born in Donbass, who was upset he was not elected Metropolitan of Kiev, and so he formed a nationalist church. He is an opportunist.

Metropolitan Onufry is practically a living Saint, he is the definition of what we call, and he is ironically born in Western Ukraine.

Многая Лета!!!

The difference between the deranged Filaret, and the exceptionally blessed and beloved Vladica Onufry, is so evident if you’ve ever heard them speak, or even seen their eyes. This difference was perfectly summed up in this English language translation of a great article on the official news agency of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The article was called “Light and darkness, Metropolitan Onufry and Filaret”.

Metropolitan Onufry (left) is like the grandfather of Ukraine. Everyone wants to hug him. Filaret (right) is more like the Krampus of Ukraine, he’s just mad because no one wants to hug him.

Indeed, this is not the only day and night difference that can be observed in the Ukrainian Church, as there is also the matter of the population. Now that Neo-Nazis have taken over power in Ukraine, it must be said that the canonical church does not have even close to the same number of believers as the radical groups…

The Canonical Church is totally different…

The Canonical Church outnumbers them by far.

Don’t believe me, here is a simple video that shows just how far the canonical church towers over the Neo-Nazi sects – the canonical Church has the support of the people. The video below, shows the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession to Saint Vladimir’s Hill on the Feast of the Baptism of Holy Rus’. For the first three minutes, you will see over one hundred thousand faithful members of the canonical Church. After three minutes, the video lets you compare this to the tiny horde of nationalists who had around 2000 people.

Such massive processions are normal events in Ukraine and Russia, as evidenced by the videos below (which only show the canonical Church). The Church easily attracts tens of thousands of people for these long and difficult pilgrimages on foot hundreds of kilometers. This shows that the people can tell good from evil.

It is worth noting, that many Orthodox people believe the events in Ukraine were prophesied by Saint Lavrenty of Chernigov (Ukraine) who reposed (died) in 1950. Saint Lavrenty predicted the schism and fighting in Ukraine, but also said God would use it to drive evil out of the church, and unite the Russian lands and Church. Here are some of Saint Lavrenty’s words, spoken in our times, which eerily match up with events in Ukraine.

He spoke of a great persecution in his homeland, in the Ukraine, after “a little freedom comes”. Seeing as Saint Lavrenty lived in both the Imperial and the Soviet period, many people believe this little freedom meant the end of Communism, which would coincide with events that occurred. After the Soviet Union fell, this schism began in Ukraine.

St. Lawrence’s Prophetic Words About Heresies and Schisms in the Ukrainian Church”4

“When a little freedom appears, when the churches and monasteries are being opened and restored, then all false teaching will come out, and the demons and secret atheists (Catholics, Uniates, Ukrainian self-ordained, and others) and will fiercely take up arms against the Orthodox Russian Church, its unity and its conciliar nature.

A godless authority will support these heretics, and therefore they will take churches away from the Orthodox and slaughter the faithful.

The whole world will be amazed at his lawlessness and will be frightened.

But all these slanders of the evil one and false teachings will disappear in Russia, and there will be One Orthodox Russian Church.”

Elder Lawrence’s Words about Rus’, about the Concept of “Russian,” about Heresies and Schisms, and about Faithfulness to the Mother-Church7

St. Lawrence spoke emphatically and strictly, with warning, that the word for our native land and people is Rus’ and Russian.8 “And it’s absolutely necessary to know, remember, and not forget that it was the Baptism of Rus’ (Russia), and not the baptism of Ukraine. Kiev is a second Jerusalem and the mother of Russian cities. Kievan Rus’ was together with Great Russia. Kiev without Great Russia and separate from Russia is completely unthinkable.

Saint Lavrenty felt strongly that the name Ukraine was forced on the people, in order to make them forget their connection to Kievan Rus’, saying foreign powers did this “so that we would be torn away from Holy and Orthodox Rus’ forever.” You can read the entire prophecies from Saint Lavrenty here, at Orthochristian.

The international Orthodox community understands the plot of neo-Nazis to create a single national Church in Ukraine, which in their design, would be a nationalist club to bless and legitimize their politics, as Uniate (Eastern Catholic) clergy blessed the Nazi soldiers of the Uniate Bandera, who allied with Hitler in WW2.

A Uniate priest blessing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Note: Uniates are part of the Catholic Church, they do not claim to be Orthodox

The long-suffering Ukrainian lands are part of the Ancient Lands of Rus’ or Holy Russia. In the words of Saint Lavrenty of Chernigov.

“As it is impossible to divide the Most Holy Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, for it is One God, so also it is impossible to divide Russia, the Ukraine and Belorussia, for these together are Holy Rus’. Know, remember, and do not forget.”

Those words will forever remain true. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church will bring Sobornost’ (unity) to the lands of Kievan Rus’. Nothing, not even death can destroy the Church, for she already conquered death.

The Orthodox Church is built on the blood of the martyrs. I sometimes wonder if the Church’s enemies realize she survived the Mongols, the Ottomans, Napoleon, the Bolsheviks, and Hitler, and she survives to this day in Syria. This persecution in Ukraine will also pass, but the Church is eternal, she will outlast.

Attempts to destroy Russia in the last few centuries have given her millions of martyrs praying before the throne of God, interceding on Russia’s behalf.

The New-Martyrs of Russia, among the first of which, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and Galicia

Holy Rus’ is still alive, no matter how much she suffers, she survives. Whenever evil forces believe they will bring down darkness upon Holy Rus’, they must remember that the works and words of her Saints have resounded harmoniously throughout the Russians lands.

They are like little embers from an old fire, like echoes from the bygone years, dancing across the Ukrainian steppes. This is the heritage of Holy Rus’, a light shining in the darkness, bought ages ago to Crimea and Kiev by luminaries from Constantinople, Anatolia, and Syria – deliverers of the Orthodox Faith.

The Baptism of Rus occurred in Kiev – what makes these Nazis think the Church is afraid of them – after all, she already survived Hitler. The Neo-Nazis are just a pale imitation. They will find it is fascism which will fade like dew before the Bright Sun – a play on the words of the Ukrainian national anthem, the term “Bright Sun” being a term for Saint Vladimir of Kiev.

Saint Vladimir and the Baptism of Rus

If you ever need a reminder what is the difference between the heretics and the Canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, just save this picture. Those who dwell in darkness can’t understand light, but once you’ve seen light, you’ll never forget what it looks like.

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franz kafkaDenLilleAbelinapogohereNicholas Ferris Recent comment authors
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franz kafka
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franz kafka

The Ukrainian Fascist Patriarch looks like Al Baghdadi, the CIA/Mossad appointed head of ISIS/ISIL got himself a new gig.

DenLilleAbe
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DenLilleAbe

I am not religious. I do respect peoples right and wish to be religious, and some people are truly devout. Am I to question that ? No, I am not. However i do recognize a fraud when I see one. The picture with people in Waffen SS uniforms is disgusting and disturbing. Any religion that embraces Nazism, must inherently be evil.

lina
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lina

The Church of the “Holy Rus” is wandering in the wilderness mostly because of its ungodly political leaders and their treasonous policies towards own people and other orthodox brothers ( i.e Serbs ). The period in question is 1917 to today, and can be safely extended all the way back to Peter the Great, the Tsar loved by todays olgharcs and their Kremlin protectors.

pogohere
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Excellent article and links. Thanks.

Nicholas Ferris
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Nicholas Ferris

Great news. Hopefully, this will help avoid a religious civil war in Ukieland. Also the link to St Lawrence article is very valuable.

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Parliament Seizes Control Of Brexit From Theresa May

Zerohedge

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Schaeuble, Greece and the lessons learned from a failed GREXIT (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 117.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine a recent interview with the Financial Times given by Wolfgang Schäuble, where the former German Finance Minister, who was charged with finding a workable and sustainable solution to the Greek debt crisis, reveals that his plan for Greece to take a 10-year “timeout” from the eurozone (in order to devalue its currency and save its economy) was met with fierce resistance from Brussels hard liners, and Angela Merkel herself.

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Via FT

“Look where we’re sitting!” says Wolfgang Schäuble, gesturing at the Berlin panorama stretching out beneath us. It is his crisp retort to those who say that Europe is a failure, condemned to a slow demise by its own internal contradictions. “Walk through the Reichstag, the graffiti left by the Red Army soldiers, the images of a destroyed Berlin. Until 1990 the Berlin Wall ran just below where we are now!”

We are in Käfer, a restaurant on the rooftop of the Reichstag. The views are indeed stupendous: Berlin Cathedral and the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz loom through the mist. Both were once in communist East Berlin, cut off from where we are now by the wall. Now they’re landmarks of a single, undivided city. “Without European integration, without this incredible story, we wouldn’t have come close to this point,” he says. “That’s the crazy thing.”

As Angela Merkel’s finance minister from 2009 to 2017, Schäuble was at the heart of efforts to steer the eurozone through a period of unprecedented turbulence. But at home he is most associated with Germany’s postwar political journey, having not only negotiated the 1990 treaty unifying East and West Germany but also campaigned successfully for the capital to move from Bonn.

For a man who has done so much to put Berlin — and the Reichstag — back on the world-historical map, it is hard to imagine a more fitting lunch venue. With its open-plan kitchen and grey formica tables edged in chrome, Käfer has a cool, functional aesthetic that is typical of the city. On the wall hangs a sketch by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who famously wrapped the Reichstag in silver fabric in 1995.

The restaurant has one other big advantage: it is easy to reach from Schäuble’s office. Now 76, he has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot in an assassination attempt in 1990, and mobility is an issue. Aides say he tends to avoid restaurants if he can, especially at lunchtime.

As we take our places, we talk about Schäuble’s old dream — that German reunification would be a harbinger of European unity, a step on the road to a United States of Europe. That seems hopelessly out of reach in these days of Brexit, the gilets jaunes in France, Lega and the Five Star Movement in Italy.

Some blame Schäuble himself for that. He was, after all, the architect of austerity, a fiscal hawk whose policy prescriptions during the euro crisis caused untold hardship for millions of ordinary people, or so his critics say. He became a hate figure, especially in Greece. Posters in Athens in 2015 depicted him with a Hitler moustache below the words: “Wanted — for mass poverty and devastation”.

Schäuble rejects the criticism that austerity caused the rise of populism. “Higher spending doesn’t lead to greater contentment,” he says. The root cause lies in mass immigration, and the insecurities it has unleashed. “What European country doesn’t have this problem?” he asks. “Even Sweden. The poster child of openness and the willingness to help.”

But what of the accusation that he didn’t care enough about the suffering of the southern Europeans? Austerity divided the EU and spawned a real animus against Schäuble. I ask him how that makes him feel now. “Well I’m sad, because I played a part in all of that,” he says, wistfully. “And I think about how we could have done it differently.”

I glance at the menu — simple German classics with a contemporary twist. I’m drawn to the starters, such as Oldenburg duck pâté and the Müritz smoked trout. But true to his somewhat abstemious reputation, Schäuble has no interest in these and zeroes in on the entrées. He chooses Käfer’s signature veal meatballs, a Berlin classic. I go for the Arctic char and pumpkin.

Schäuble switches seamlessly back to the eurozone crisis. The original mistake was in trying to create a common currency without a “common economic, employment and social policy” for all eurozone member states. The fathers of the euro had decided that if they waited for political union to happen first they’d wait forever, he says.

Yet the prospects for greater political union are now worse than they have been in years. “The construction of the EU has proven to be questionable,” he says. “We should have taken the bigger steps towards integration earlier on, and now, because we can’t convince the member states to take them, they are unachievable.”

Greece was a particularly thorny problem. It should never have been admitted to the euro club in the first place, Schäuble says. But when its debt crisis first blew up, it should have taken a 10-year “timeout” from the eurozone — an idea he first floated with Giorgos Papakonstantinou, his Greek counterpart between 2009 and 2011. “I told him you need to be able to devalue your currency, you’re not competitive,” he says. The reforms required to repair the Greek economy were going to be “hard to achieve in a democracy”. “That’s why you need to leave the euro for a certain period. But everyone said there was no chance of that.”

The idea didn’t go away, though. Schäuble pushed for a temporary “Grexit” in 2015, during another round of the debt crisis. But Merkel and the other EU heads of government nixed the idea. He now reveals he thought about resigning over the issue. “On the morning the decision was made, [Merkel] said to me: ‘You’ll carry on?’ . . . But that was one of the instances where we were very close [to my stepping down].”

It is an extraordinary revelation, one that highlights just how rocky his relationship with Merkel has been over the years. Schäuble has been at her side from the start, an éminence grise who has helped to resolve many of the periodic crises of her 13 years as chancellor. But it was never plain sailing.

“There were a few really bad conflicts where she knew too that we were on the edge and I would have gone,” he says. “I always had to weigh up whether to go along with things, even though I knew it was the wrong thing to do, as was the case with Greece, or whether I should go.” But his sense of duty prevailed. “We didn’t always agree — but I was always loyal.”

That might have been the case when he was a serving minister, but since becoming speaker of parliament in late 2017 he has increasingly distanced himself from Merkel. Last year, when she announced she would not seek re-election as leader of the Christian Democratic Union, the party that has governed Germany for 50 of the past 70 years, Schäuble openly backed a candidate described by the Berlin press as the “anti-Merkel”. Friedrich Merz, a millionaire corporate lawyer who is the chairman of BlackRock Germany, had once led the CDU’s parliamentary group but lost out to Merkel in a power struggle in 2002, quitting politics a few years later. He has long been seen as one of the chancellor’s fiercest conservative critics — and is a good friend of Schäuble’s.

Ultimately, in a nail-biting election last December, Merkel’s favoured candidate, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, narrowly beat Merz. The woman universally known as “AKK” is in pole position to succeed Merkel as chancellor when her fourth and final term ends in 2021.

I ask Schäuble if it’s true that he had once again waged a battle against Merkel and once again lost. “I never went to war against Ms Merkel,” he says. “Everybody says that if I’m for Merz then I’m against Merkel. Why is that so? That’s nonsense.”

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The conclusion of Russiagate, Part I – cold, hard reality

The full text of Attorney General William P Barr’s summary is here offered, with emphases on points for further analysis.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The conclusion of the Russiagate investigation, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was a pivotal media watershed moment. Even at the time of this writing there is a great deal of what might be called “journalistic froth” as opinion makers and analysts jostle to make their takes on this known to the world. Passions are running very high in both the Democrat / anti-Trump camps, where the reactions range from despondency to determined rage to not swallow the gigantic red pill that the “no collusion with Russia” determination offers. In the pro-Trump camp, the mood is deserved relief, but many who support the President are also realists, and they know this conflict is not over.

Where the pivot will go and what all this means is something that will unfold, probably relatively quickly, over the next week or two. But we want to offer a starting point here from which to base further analysis. At this time, of course, there are few hard facts other than the fact that Robert Mueller III submitted his report to the US Attorney General, William Barr, who then wrote and released his own report to the public Sunday evening. We reproduce that report here in full, with some emphases added to points that we think will be relevant to forthcoming pieces on this topic.

The end of the Mueller investigation brings concerns, hopes and fears to many people, on topics such as:

  • Will President Trump now begin to normalize relations with President Putin at full speed?
  • In what direction will the Democrats pivot to continue their attacks against the President?
  • What does this finding to to the 2020 race?
  • What does this finding do to the credibility of the United States’ leadership establishment, both at home and abroad?
  • What can we learn about our nation and culture from this investigation?
  • How does a false narrative get maintained so easily for so long, and
  • What do we do, or what CAN we do to prevent this being repeated?

These questions and more will be addressed in forthcoming pieces. But for now, here is the full text of the letter written by Attorney General William Barr concerning the Russia collusion investigation.

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:
As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.
The Special Counsel’s Report
On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.
The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel’s report.
Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans including individuals associated with the Trump campaign joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. 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 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.
The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
Obstruction of Justice.
The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President most of which have been the subject of public reporting that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.
Status of the Department’s Review
The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a “confidential report” to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038, 37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to “matter[s] occurring before grand jury.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B) Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6(e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g. 18 U.S.C. 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.
Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
* * *
As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of” notifications to your respective Committees “would be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.
Sincerely,
William P. Barr
Attorney General

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