On May 29, 2019, Mueller announced that he was retiring as special counsel and that the office would be shut down, and he spoke publicly about the report for the first time. Saying "[t]he report is my testimony," he indicated he would have nothing to say that wasn't already in the report. On the subject of obstruction of justice, he said he had been prohibited by Justice Department policy from charging the president with a crime and that any potential wrongdoing by a president must be addressed by a "process other than the criminal justice system". This suggested that the investigation could now be picked up by Congress. He stressed that the central conclusion of his investigation was "that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American." He also stated: "If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime".
On January 25, 2019, Roger Stone, a long time advisor to Donald Trump, was arrested by the FBI at a pre-dawn raid in Florida. The indictment filed by the Office of the Special Counsel contained 7 charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering, and lying to congress in regard to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and his involvement with WikiLeaks. In the charging document, prosecutors alleged that, after the first Wikileaks release of hacked DNC emails in July 2016, "a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information [WikiLeaks] had regarding the Clinton Campaign. Stone thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by [WikiLeaks]." The indictment also alleged that Stone had discussed Wikileaks releases with multiple senior Trump campaign officials. By the time of those contacts, it had been publicly reported that the DNC emails had been hacked by Russians and provided to Wikileaks. Stone was convicted of all charges in November 2019, after the conclusion of the investigation.More Info
The Washington Post noted on January 9, 2018, that the source Simpson had referred to may not necessarily have been an informant willingly or directly, or during the campaign, but rather may have become an informant as a result of later becoming implicated in wrongdoing. Natasha Bertrand, then with Business Insider, reported on January 3, 2018, that a source told her Simpson had been referring to George Papadopoulos, who had first been interviewed by the FBI seven days after Trump's inauguration and whose cooperation with the FBI—to "provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant"—began with his arrest on July 27, 2017, and was not publicly known until his indictment in October 2017. The New York Times reported on May 18, 2018, that the FBI sent an informant to meet with George Papadopoulos in late-summer 2016, and to meet repeatedly with Carter Page over ensuing months, after the FBI had acquired evidence that the two men had suspicious contacts with Russians. The Washington Post reported the same day that the informant first approached Page at a symposium in Britain in July 2016, and in September 2016 invited Papadopoulos to London to work on a research paper. Late that summer, the informant also met with Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis in Northern Virginia. The informant was identified as an American academic who teaches in Britain, but both The Times and The Post declined to publish his name. NBC News identified him as Stefan Halper.More Info
A total of thirty-four individuals and three companies were indicted by Mueller's investigators. Eight have pleaded guilty to or been convicted of felonies, including five Trump associates and campaign officials. None of those five convictions "involved a conspiracy between the campaign and Russians" and "Mueller did not charge or suggest charges for [...] whether the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to influence the election". The investigation was, however, more complex. On May 29, 2019, In a press conference, Mueller stated that "If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime... A president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view – that too is prohibited."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 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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