- Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe report said that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign did not coordinate with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
- Barr’s letter to Congress said Mueller, who had been investigating Russian interference since May of 2017, identified two separate Russian-sponsored attempts to interfere in the election.
- The letter said that neither the “Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts.”
Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election found that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign did not coordinate with Russia to influence the election.
Barr’s letter to Congress said Mueller, who has been investigating Russian interference since May of 2017, identified two separate Russian-sponsored attempts to interfere in the election.
Mueller identified an online disinformation effort spearheaded by a firm called the Internet Research Agency, and a targeted campaign that waged cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, obtaining materials later disseminated to the public by WikiLeaks.
The special counsel’s office indicted 3 Russian companies and 13 Russian nationals in connection with the Internet Research Agency in the summer of 2017, and charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking and aggravated identity theft in July of 2018.
The letter said that neither the “Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from the Russian-affiliated officials to assist the Trump campaign.”
Court filings from the Mueller probe and previous reporting has so far identified over 100 separate points of contact between members of the Trump campaign and Russian government-linked individuals or entities.
Multiple members of the Trump campaign, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and campaign advisor George Papadopoulos previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Russian individuals.
They were not charged, however, with any offenses related to conspiring with a foreign power to influence the election or improperly accepting material assistance from a foreign power, a federal crime.
The event most publicly scrutinised for possible illegal coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the election was a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lobbyist and lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
Music publicist Goldstone contacted Donald Jr. on behalf of one of his clients, musician Emin Agalarov, whose father is a real estate developer with close ties to Putin.
In an email, Goldstone said Agalarov could provide “very high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate Hillary” and was a part in “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Donald Jr. quickly replied: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
The Trump campaign attended the meeting with lobbyist Natalia Veselnitskaya and other Russian nationals under the impression that they would receive the damaging information about Clinton they were promised. But Veselnitskaya came with nothing on Hillary Clinton.
Her mission was instead to prove that major Democratic donors were evading taxes, and to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, which places financial and travel restrictions on Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses.
Some legal experts said the meeting could have landed Trump Jr. in legal jeopardy for soliciting material aid from a foreign government, but he was not charged in Mueller’s investigation.
“The Mueller report proves what all of us with sane minds have known all along, there was ZERO collusion with Russia,” Trump Jr. said in a Sunday statement.
Russian intelligence operatives also corresponded with Trump ally and occasional advisor Roger Stone, who was indicted by the special counsel in January on charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
After the Washington Post reported that the DNC was hacked by Russian operatives, Stone responded by writing in Breitbart in July 2016 claiming that Guccifer 2.0, who he called “a lone hacker,” and not the Russian government, carried out the hacking.
Over the following weeks, Stone and Guccifer exchanged several messages on Twitter in which Guccifer expressed admiration for Stone and offered to assist the Trump campaign.
“please tell me if i can help u anyhow,” Guccifer wrote in one message.
US intelligence officials had long suspected that Guccifer was either a real person linked to Russian intelligence or a fake persona they had created. In March of 2018, that suspicion was confirmed when Guccifer accidentally revealed himself to be a Russian security officer.
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