The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country mostly located in central North America, between Canada and Mexico. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2), it is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area. With a 2019 estimated population of over 328 million, the U.S. is the third most populous country in the world. Americans are a racially and ethnically diverse population that has been shaped through centuries of immigration. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.
On April 9, 2019, Attorney General William Barr testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee. Barr announced that the Department of Justice will be "reviewing the conduct" of the FBI's Russia probe. "I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016," Barr said. Barr also said that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz will be releasing a report on the FBI's use of the FISA process and related matters. The report is expected to be released in May–June 2019. When asked whether he was suggesting that spying occurred, Barr said, "I think that spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated, but I need to explore that."More Info
The New Yorker reported on March 5, 2018, that Christopher Steele spoke with Mueller's investigators in September 2017. The magazine asserted that Steele discussed another document he had authored in November 2016—after the Steele dossier—that describes discussions "a senior Russian official" had heard inside the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: that the Kremlin had asked Trump "through unspecified channels" to not appoint Mitt Romney as Secretary of State. As a presidential candidate in 2012, Romney described Russia as "our number one geopolitical foe". After publicly considering Romney as Secretary of State, Trump ultimately selected Rex Tillerson, who has a long history of business dealings in Russia and was awarded the Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin in 2013.More Info
Charges were filed against Trump campaign members George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, and Michael Cohen. Charges were also filed against bank account seller Richard Pinedo, and lawyer Alex van der Zwaan as well as Paul Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik. Also indicted were Russia-based Internet Research Agency and related organizations and individuals directed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, and a group of Russian hackers referred to as Viktor Netyksho, et al. On March 16, 2020, the US government dropped the charges against Prigozhin-owned companies Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering.More Info
The Wall Street Journal reported on December 15, 2017, that Mueller's office had requested and received employee emails from Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that worked for the Trump campaign, earlier that year. The Washington Post reported on March 20, 2018, that Christopher Wylie, an employee of Cambridge Analytica until late 2014, said that former Trump campaign CEO and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon oversaw a 2014 effort at the company (which he co-founded) to gather Facebook data on millions of Americans and test the effectiveness of anti-establishment messages such as "drain the swamp" and "deep state", which became major Trump themes after Bannon joined the campaign in August 2016. Views of Russian President Vladimir Putin were also tested. The Associated Press reported on March 22, 2018, that the special counsel is examining the connections between the company, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, particularly how voter data may have been used in battleground states.More Info
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