When the special counsel was appointed by Rod Rosenstein in May 2017, the special counsel took over an existing counterintelligence investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into what proved to be Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and numerous secretive links between Trump associates and Russian officials. According to reports, Australian officials informed American officials that in May 2016, a Trump presidential campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, told the Australian High Commissioner to Britain, Alexander Downer, that Russian officials were in possession of politically damaging information relating to Hillary Clinton, the rival presidential candidate to Trump from Democratic Party. Since the FBI, in response to this information, opened an investigation into the links between Trump associates and Russian officials on July 31, 2016, the meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer is considered to be the 'spark' that led to the Mueller investigation. In February 2018, the Nunes memo, written by staff for U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, stated that the information on Papadopoulos "triggered the opening of" the original FBI investigation, rather than the Trump-Russia dossier of Christopher Steele (see below) as asserted by, among others, Trump, Nunes, Fox News hosts Steve Doocy, Ed Henry, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy.
King Salman replaced his half-brother Muqrin as crown prince with Muhammad bin Nayef and named his son Mohammed bin Salman as defence minister, and then-Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir as foreign minister. Some reports linked the cabinet reshuffle to the war. At least one political analyst suggested that Muqrin was not supportive of the military intervention, and that this cost him his position. Prince Muqrin's Yemeni Lineage was pointed out as another possible cause.More Info
On 15 May 2015, new UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed proposed peace talks in Geneva. Rebel spokesman Hamed al-Bokheiti said the Houthis were willing to hold talks in any "neutral" country. Five days later the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon announced that peace talks would be held in Geneva starting on 28 May and urged all parties to participate. Houthi rebels reiterated their support for the talks while exiled government officials said they would participate only if the Houthi's withdrew from occupied cities.More Info
On 2 May 2015, the Yemenis Forum of Persons With Disability stated that 300 centres and organizations had been forced to stop operations following the intervention. The organization denounced the air and sea blockade that "increased the suffering of the disabled greatly". The same day Hussein al-Ezzi, the Houthi head of foreign relations, sent a letter addressed to Secretary General Ban seeking an end to the "unjustified Saudi aggression". He asked the UN to seek an end to what Houthis described as blatant aggression against the country.More Info
The Special Counsel investigation was an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, alleged links between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials and possible obstruction of justice by Trump, conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller from May 2017 to March 2019. It was also called the Russia investigation, the Mueller probe, and the Mueller investigation. Prior to the appointment of the Special Counsel, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been, starting in July 2016, covertly investigating activities by Russian operatives and by members of the Trump presidential campaign, under the code name "Crossfire Hurricane". The investigation culminated with the Mueller Report which concluded that — though the Trump campaign welcomed Russian interference and expected to benefit from it — there was insufficient evidence to bring any conspiracy charges against Trump or his associates. The Report did not reach a conclusion about possible obstruction of justice, citing a Justice Department guideline that prohibits the federal indictment of a sitting president.More Info
Human Rights Watch criticized the UN Security Council repeatedly for "remaining almost silent on coalition abuses". In January 2016 an unpublished United Nations panel investigating the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen uncovered "widespread and systematic" attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law, calling UN Security Council up for an international commission of inquiry. Saudi Arabia had previously objected to an inquiry being set up, and had not been supported by Western governments.More Info
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