The second method of Russian interference saw the Russian intelligence service, the GRU, hacking into email accounts owned by volunteers and employees of the Clinton presidential campaign, including that of campaign chairman John Podesta, and also hacking into "the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)". As a result, the GRU obtained hundreds of thousands of hacked documents, and the GRU proceeded by arranging releases of damaging hacked material via the WikiLeaks organization and also GRU's personas "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0."
On March 24, 2019, Attorney General Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress regarding the special counsel's findings regarding Russian interference and obstruction of justice. Barr said that on the question of Russian interference in the election, Mueller detailed two ways in which Russia attempted to influence the election, firstly disinformation and social media campaigns by the Internet Research Agency to cause social discord, and secondly computer hacking and strategic release of emails from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and Democratic Party organizations. However, Barr quoted the report as saying: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."More Info
The Washington Post reported on June 28, 2018, that the Mueller investigation, as well as British investigators, were examining relationships between the Brexit movement, Russia and the Trump campaign. The Post reported that Mueller's investigators had specifically asked two individuals, including former Trump communications official Michael Caputo, about relationships between Trump associates and Brexit leader Nigel Farage. Ted Malloch, who had worked with the Trump campaign and was later questioned by Mueller investigators, was reportedly close to Farage.More Info
On March 22, 2019, the special counsel's office concluded their investigation and sent a report to the Department of Justice where it was received by Attorney General William Barr. Barr, at Trump's nomination, had become Attorney General on February 14, 2019, gaining oversight of the investigation from Trump-appointed Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Whitaker had assumed oversight from Rosenstein on November 7, 2018, after the resignation of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from the investigation. Both Barr and Whitaker had been critical of the Mueller investigation before their appointments. Barr has faced bipartisan pressure to release the full report to the public, to the maximum extent permissible by law.More Info
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
Axios reported on March 4, 2018, that it had seen a grand jury subpoena that Mueller's office sent to a witness in February 2018. Axios did not name the witness. The subpoena reportedly demands all communications, from November 1, 2015, to date, that the witness sent or received "regarding" Trump; Carter Page; Corey Lewandowski; Hope Hicks; Keith Schiller; Michael Cohen; Paul Manafort; Rick Gates; Roger Stone; and Steve Bannon. A subsequent report by NBC News stated that the subpoena also encompasses "work papers, telephone logs, and other documents". On March 5, 2018, the witness was identified as Sam Nunberg, who served as a communications consultant on the Trump campaign until August 2, 2015, and later as an informal adviser. Nunberg stated that he had been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury on March 9, 2018, but he would refuse to appear or provide any of the subpoenaed documents. After multiple defiant television appearances on March 5, 2018, Nunberg indicated the next day that he planned to comply with the subpoena.More Info
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