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.
In August 2017, Mueller's team issued grand jury subpoenas to officials in six firms, including lobbying firm Podesta Group and Mercury LLC with regard to activities on behalf of a public-relations campaign for a pro-Russian Ukrainian organization called European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. The public relations effort was headed by Paul Manafort, and took place from 2012 to 2014. The Podesta Group is run by Tony Podesta, and Mercury LLC is headed by Vin Weber, a former GOP congressman. Mueller is investigating whether the firms violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The Podesta Group announced in November 2017 that it would be permanently closing, with many of its employees moving to Cogent Strategies, a new firm founded by Podesta Group CEO Kimberley Fritts. Mueller's office later referred the matter to other federal investigators, who closed it in September 2019 without charges against Podesta or Weber.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
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.More Info
In March 2018, Mueller's office reportedly informed Trump's attorneys that the president is not a "criminal target" but remains a "subject" of the continuing investigation. Trump's advisers were reported to be split in their interpretation of this, with some believing it was an indication that his legal exposure was low, while others expressed concern that Mueller was inducing him to agree to a personal interview, which his attorneys have discouraged him from doing for fear he might perjure himself and thus change his status from subject to target. The Post reported that Mueller also advised the attorneys that he is "preparing a report about the president's actions while in office and potential obstruction of justice". The Post referenced Justice Department guidelines, which explain:More Info
The Washington Post reported on March 6, 2018, that Mueller's office had requested documents and interviewed witnesses regarding activities of Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime personal lawyer. Investigators are reported to be interested in at least two episodes relating to Russian interests, including the proposed construction of Trump Tower Moscow and "a Russia-friendly peace proposal for Ukraine that was delivered to Cohen by an Ukrainian lawmaker one week after Trump took office". The New York Times reported, on January 10, 2019, that Mueller investigators, and other federal prosecutors, were investigating the activities of over a dozen Russia-aligned Ukrainian political and business figures who attended the Trump inauguration, ostensibly promoting a pro-Russian "peace plan" for Ukraine that included the lifting of sanctions against Russia. Andrey Artemenko, a Ukrainian politician who attended the Trump inaugural, was interviewed by the FBI and the Mueller grand jury, having met, days after the inaugural, with Trump attorney Michael Cohen and former Trump business associate Felix Sater, in New York, to present a proposal. Cohen hand-delivered Artemenko's proposal to Michael Flynn one week before Flynn resigned as national security advisor.More Info
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