The Vox guide to Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation

Special counsel Robert Mueller has completed his report on possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. In May 2017, the Justice Department appointed Mueller, a former FBI director, to oversee the investigation.

Since then, Mueller’s investigation has unearthed numerous crimes, some related to the Russian collusion question and some not, that have led to indictments or guilty pleas from 34 individuals and three companies. This includes six former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, one California man, three Russian companies, and one London-based lawyer. Seven of these 34 people have pleaded guilty to crimes. That number includes five former Trump associates who have pleaded guilty or been convicted: Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and Rick Gates.

Mueller has now completed his report, but what happens next is up to Attorney General Bill Barr. This guide will help you understand everything you need to know about this story, from the crimes to the key players to how it all connects to President Trump — and what it could mean for his administration.

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Source:: Vox – All

Barr’s summary of the Mueller report is out. Here are the key Trump-Russia questions we still don’t have answers to.

robert mueller

Following the release of Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia investigation, there are myriad questions we still don’t have answers to.
Mueller found no evidence that there was a conspiracy between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians during the 2016 election, but he did not “exonerate” Trump on obstruction of justice.
Barr said he will try to make as much of Mueller’s report public as he can, consistent with Justice Department guidelines.
In the meanwhile, scroll down for a running list of questions we still have about the slew of contacts and meetings between Trump associates and those linked to Russia; Trump’s continued and often public attempts to exert control over the Russia probe; and the biggest mystery of them all: whether Trump acted as a witting or unwitting agent of Russia.

Attorney General William Barr released a highly anticipated summary of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election on Sunday.

Barr’s conclusions were as follows:

“The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed [an obstruction-of-justice] crime, it also does not exonerate him.'”
“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia” during the election.
Russia’s interference operation consisted of two main elements: a social-media influence campaign aimed at swaying American voter opinion, and a hacking operation aimed at stealing and disseminating information to tilt the 2016 election.
Mueller “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” on whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice in the Russia probe and did not draw a conclusion one way or the other. Instead, he laid out all the evidence prosecutors had collected and left it up to Barr to determine …read more

Source:: Business Insider

Mueller report: What Attorney General Barr says about Trump and obstruction of justice

Attorney General Bill Barr.

Mueller specifically didn’t “exonerate” Trump. Trump appointee William Barr made the decision not to charge him.

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that President Donald Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice. It didn’t find him innocent, either.

Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have concluded that “the evidence is not sufficient” to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. But as a letter written by Barr to the House Judiciary Committee Sunday (summarizing the still-confidential Mueller report submitted to Barr and the Department of Justice on Friday) makes clear, that was Barr and Rosenstein’s decision — not Mueller’s.

In his letter, Barr explains that Mueller decided there was sufficient evidence to “establish” whether Trump and his associates were involved in Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. But according to Barr, Mueller didn’t draw any conclusions or make any decisions about the second part of his investigation: whether Trump obstructed justice by interfering in the investigation of Russian interference. This could have included firing FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, a decision that Comey said Trump made after asking Comey to “go easy” on Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Instead, Mueller simply laid out the facts of Trump’s actions with regard to the investigation. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein used those facts, as well as conversations they’d had with Mueller over the course of the investigation, to draw a conclusion about whether Trump would meet the requirements to be charged with obstruction. Their conclusion, according to Barr, is that the facts they have wouldn’t be enough to charge Trump with obstruction.

Trump is already claiming that Barr’s letter is a “COMPLETE AND TOTAL EXONERATION” proving there was “no obstruction.” But it’s important to understand that Mueller didn’t draw that conclusion; …read more

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Bill Barr’s letter summarizing Mueller’s findings, explained

Mueller didn’t establish collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, and punted on obstruction of justice.

The Mueller investigation is done — and according to a summary of the special counsel’s conclusions written by Attorney General Bill Barr and submitted to Congress on Sunday, Mueller did not affirmatively find either collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, or obstruction of justice on the part of President Trump.

We don’t yet have Mueller’s report to read it for ourselves. But Barr does quote the special counsel’s exact words on a few key points.

On the topic of collusion, Mueller writes, “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

That means Mueller did not find — or at least could not prove — that Russian government officials worked with the Trump campaign in their effort to help elect Trump president.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Special counsel Robert Mueller with his wife Ann Mueller in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2019.

Second, on the topic of obstruction of justice, Mueller declined to issue a recommendation either for or against prosecution. “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Mueller wrote.

However, Barr and Rosenstein then add that they examined the obstruction evidence themselves, and decided that Trump’s conduct was not criminal. Mueller’s reluctance to make a judgment call on this issue, however, will likely spur demands from House Democrats to see the underlying evidence themselves.

Unless Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusions is highly incomplete or misleading, the report sounds like good news for Trump — and heralds the end of the investigation that his loomed larger over his presidency than any others.

Mueller’s investigation did not prove any …read more

Source:: Vox – All