Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019)

What year was the law issued that gave Congress the power to issue criminal charges against Barr?

On April 19, 2019, Nadler issued a subpoena for the release of the full unredacted report. On May 3, 2019, Nadler informed Barr that a subpoena had been issued giving him until May 6 to release the full unredacted Mueller Report to the House Judiciary Committee. On May 6, after Barr failed to meet the committee's deadline to release the full report, the committee agreed to hold a vote to start Contempt of Congress proceedings against Barr on May 8. A law issued in 1857 gives Congress the power to issue criminal charges for this matter. Trump's announcement of executive privilege came just hours before the House Judiciary Committee planned to vote on whether to hold Barr in contempt. On May 8, 2019, after Trump invoked executive privilege, the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to reject White House's assertion of executive privilege and approve a motion put forward by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl) which states that a vote to hold Barr in contempt would not "be construed as a directive for the Attorney General to violate Federal law or rules." In a 24-16 vote, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt.

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  • 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.

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  • The New York Times reported on April 3, that some members of the special counsel had told associates that they believe Barr's letter did not adequately portray their findings, which they considered to be more troubling for Trump than reported. The next day, The Washington Post reported that members of Mueller's team, who spoke anonymously, reported that the evidence gathered on obstruction of justice was "much more acute than Barr suggested." These members of Mueller's team revealed that they believed that the evidence showed Trump obstructed justice, but that the entire team could not draw a conclusion because they were split over the evidence and law. The Washington Post report did not explain why they believed their findings to be more serious than Barr's conclusions and it is unknown how many members of the special counsel hold these opinions.

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  • Glenn R. Simpson, a co-founder of Fusion GPS, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017, that the FBI told Christopher Steele—and then Steele told Simpson—that the FBI had "a human source from inside the Trump organization" (and, more specifically, "an internal Trump campaign source"). Simpson did not indicate when Steele received this information or when he conveyed it to Simpson. The Washington Post reported on May 8, 2018, that a longtime FBI and CIA informant had provided information about connections between Russia and the Trump campaign to FBI investigators early in their investigation. This sparked speculation that the FBI had planted a "mole" inside the Trump campaign, although it was not clear that the individual Simpson described was the same individual described by The Post. The Washington Post reported on May 9, 2018, that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes subpoenaed the Justice Department to provide him with all documents regarding the longtime informant; The Post quoted the subpoena as demanding "all documents referring or related to the individual referenced in Chairman Nunes' April 24, 2018, classified letter to Attorney General Sessions", although Nunes denied he had referred to any specific individual. The Justice Department resisted on the grounds that revealing the information could endanger the life of a longtime top-secret informant for the FBI and CIA, and the Trump White House—with the president's agreement—sided with the Justice Department. The New York Times reported on May 16, 2018, that at least one government informant had met several times with Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

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