The Mueller Report: Russian business overtures and ‘links’ to Donald Trump and his campaign

The Mueller Report: Russian business overtures and 'links' to Donald Trump and his campaign
[EDITOR: The following sections of the report should be read with the Emoluments clause of the Constitution in mind. It states: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State. — ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 8 The intent of this clause was to prevent members of the US government, including the president, from undue influence from foreign governments. Alexander Hamilton, in The Federalist No. 22, wrote: One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption. As a real estate developer, hotelier, golf course owner, and club owner, Donald Trump has had many business dealings with foreign nationals and foreign governments before, during and after his campaign for the presidency. The Special Counsel Report explores specifically the contacts between Russian businessmen, who had close ties with President Vladimir Putin, and members of the Trump Organization and Trump campaign. In many of these contacts, the Russians offered Trump ...

The Mueller Report: The Trump campaign’s keen interest in the stolen Clinton documents

The Mueller Report: The Trump campaign's keen interest in the stolen Clinton documents
While stopping short of accusing the Trump campaign of actively soliciting or participating in the hacks on Clinton and Democratic Party computer systems, the investigative team nonetheless establishes the Trump campaign was keenly interested in the material and in the now-infamous “Clinton emails,” which Donald Trump had asked Russia to locate during one of his campaign stops. Of particular interest in this section is the documented exchange of emails between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks about the hacked material. Coincidentally, (perhaps) the Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Trump Jr to appear again before the committee — presumably to testify about Trump Tower Moscow and perhaps other matters as well. Also of particular interest is the recent declaration by President Trump that the entire contents of the Mueller Report are protected by executive privilege, and he has refused to release the unredacted report and the supporting materials to Congress. This, while he also repeats to the media that the report exonerates him and that it shows there was “no collusion.” If the report clears him of any wrongdoing, then why keep it secret? Perhaps because this section is heavily redacted, and the redactions could show the President is lying. Again. * ...

More than 700 former US attorney generals say Trump would be charged with obstruction if not in office

More than 700 former US attorney generals say Trump would be charged with obstruction if not in office
In Volume II of their report to the US Attorney General, Robert Mueller and his team describe several examples of President Donald Trump trying to obstruct the investigations into Russian assistance of his election in 2016 and into his attempts to hinder those investigations. The Mueller report takes pains to state the team was not bringing formal charges against the President, because of a Department of Justice rule that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. The report does recommend that Congress investigate the incidents catalogued in the report. Trump and his advisors claim that Mueller and his team are on a “witch hunt,” claiming further that the conclusions of the report are politically motivated. Not so, say more than 700 former US attorneys. In an unprecedented move, both Democrats and Republicans have signed a letter stating categorically that Trump’s actions would be tried as felonies if they had been committed by anyone other than a sitting president. Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges ...

The Mueller Report: The Russian GRU disseminates stolen material through the Web and WikiLeaks

The Mueller Report: The Russian GRU disseminates stolen material through the Web and WikiLeaks
If you’ve been keeping score, we are now on page 41 of Volume I of the Mueller Report. After outlining how the Russian GRU and its agents attacked the computer systems of the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations (see previous installment here), the investigators now describe how the GRU used two fake social media “people” accounts, and then WikiLeaks, to disseminate the hacked documents as widely as possible. For its part, WikiLeaks was more than happy to spread material it saw as damaging to the Clinton campaign, since its leader, Julian Assange, had a marked animosity toward Clinton. WikiLeaks also saw a Republican victory as more advantageous politically than a Democratic victory, arguing that Clinton was a war-monger and Trump was not. This last part does not seem to be working out so well, but that’s just my opinion. * * * B. Dissemination of the Hacked Materials The GRU ‘s operations extended beyond stealing materials , and included releasing documents stolen from the Clinton Campaign and its supporters. The GRU carried out the anonymous release through two fictitious online personas that it created — DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 — and later through the organization WikiLeaks. 1. DCLeaks The ...

The Mueller Report: Russians hack into Democratic organization computers

The Mueller Report: Russians hack into Democratic organization computers
Having established that Russian specialists had successfully weaponized American social media with fake news and pro-Trump and anti-Clinton posts, the Mueller team now describes the sophisticated and extensive Russian GRU (intelligence agency) infiltration of computers used by Democratic Party offices and workers, including those used by the Clinton campaign. The report does not address whether the GRU similarly hacked into Republican organization computers. If the GRU did, it has not released anything it may have found. As a reminder, the Russian hacking and disinformation efforts were clearly intended to favor a Trump win and damage the Clinton campaign. * * * [EDITOR: As before, the footnotes appear in the same location as they do in the original PDF version of the Mueller report. Links to external websites have been added, and are not in the original report.] III. RUSSIAN HACKING AND DUMPING OPERATIONS Beginning in March 2016, units of the Russian Federation’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) hacked the computers and email accounts of organizations, employees, and volunteers supporting the Clinton Campaign, including the email account of campaign chairman John Podesta. Starting in April 2016, the GRU hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign ...

The Mueller Report: Russians cultivate American ‘useful idiots’

The Mueller Report: Russians cultivate American 'useful idiots'
EDITOR: This relatively short section of the Mueller report describes how the IRA-controlled social media accounts were able to lure American citizens into spreading the Russian disinformation and propaganda. The investigators, however, did not conclude that any of the Americans, including Trump associates, were aware they were disseminating Russian “fake news” by retweeting and sharing posts, or by exchanging emails with IRA specialists pretending to be American supporters of the Trump campaign and administration. In other words, the Americans were “useful idiots.” 6. Targeting and Recruitment of U.S. Persons As early as 2014, the IRA instructed its employees to target U.S. persons who could used to advance its organization goals. Initially, recruitment focused on U.S. persons who could amplify the content posted by the IRA. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 88 IRA employees frequently used [INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUE] Twitter , Facebook, and Instagram to contact and recruit U.S. persons who followed the group. The IRA recruited U.S. persons from across the political spectrum. For example, the IRA targeted the family of [REDACTED-PERSONAL PRIVACY] and a number of black social justice activists – – – – – FOOTNOTES 88 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER – – – – – while ...

The Mueller Report: Russians create fake accounts, fake news, botnets on Facebook, Twitter

The Mueller Report: Russians create fake accounts, fake news, botnets on Facebook, Twitter
The Mueller team established what many had already suspected, that Russian operatives had weaponized Facebook and Twitter, and to a lesser extent other social media platforms, to sway public opinion toward candidate Donald Trump and against candidate Hillary Clinton. IRA specialists created fake accounts on these platforms and pretended to be US citizens and political activists. Twitter bots were designed to amplify the messages of the fake Twitter accounts, and interact with presumably real Twitter accounts to get more views and retweets. This section is also heavily redacted, suggesting there are still investigations in progress. *** 3. U.S. Operations Through Facebook Many IRA operations used Facebook accounts created and operated by its specialists. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 54 IRA Facebook groups active during the 2016 campaign covered a range of political issues and included purported conservative – – – – – FOOTNOTES 54 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER – – – – – groups (with names such as “Being Patriotic ,” “Stop All Immigrants,” “Secured Borders,” and “Tea Party News”) , purported Black social justice groups (“Black Matters,” “Blacktivist,” and “Don’t Shoot Us”), LGBTQ groups (“LGBT United”), and religious groups (“United Muslims of ...

President Trump is not happy with Robert Mueller, or (maybe) William Barr

President Trump is not happy with Robert Mueller, or (maybe) William Barr
Hot on the heels of Attorney General William Barr’s distressing performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday comes this letter from Emmet T. Flood, Special Counsel to President Donald Trump. tl;dr summary: Trump is not happy with Volume II of the Mueller report, which outlines at least a dozen instances of Trump trying to interfere with Mueller’s investigation of the Russian efforts to throw the election toward Donald Trump to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election. To put this letter in perspective, let’s recall that the FBI was investigating whether agents of the Russian government had interfered with the election and whether members of the Trump campaign or Trump associates cooperated or coordinated with such interference. FBI director James Comey was leading the investigation when he was suddenly dismissed by Trump. The dismissal resulted the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel (a Watergate-era legacy) to continue the investigation and determine whether Trump was trying to obstruct justice by interfering with the FBI investigation or any others, beginning with the firing of Comey. Volume I of the Mueller report concludes that the Russians did indeed interfere in several ways with the election, and did indeed have ...

The Mueller Report: Russian social media activity for Trump, against Clinton (part 1)

The Mueller Report: Russian social media activity for Trump, against Clinton (part 1)
There are large sections of this part of the Mueller report that have been redacted as “Harmful to ongoing matter,” that is, other investigations and/or prosecutions. It begins with a general introduction to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russia-based operation with the express purpose of manipulating public opinion using American social media, namely, Facebook and Twitter. Then, the report details how each of the social media platforms were weaponized by the IRA to promote the candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and oppose the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Russian operatives also pretended to be US citizens and promoted rallies for Trump, and tried to recruit actual US citizens to join pro-Trump activities. In this section, the report also details the number of times IRA associates and Trump campaign associates met and communicated with one other. (HINT: It was more than once.) Then, the report details Russian hacking efforts against the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, the dissemination of hacked and stolen material, and the contacts between the Russians and members of the Trump circle. (HINT: It was more than once.) Because this section is quite lengthy, despite the heavy redactions, I’m going to divide it into sections. ...

Robert Mueller is not happy with AG William Barr

Robert Mueller is not happy with AG William Barr
To put this in perspective, Robert Mueller is a former FBI director and a skillful lawyer with a long track record of being “Mr Straight Arrow Lawman.” He would be last person on Earth to question his superiors, unless he felt his superiors were in the wrong. He has spent the last two years leading a team investigating foreign influence on the 2016 presidential election and the president’s actions regarding that investigation. The team then submitted a 448-page to the attorney general, William Barr, which Barr then condensed into a four-page summary for public consumption. Quite surprisingly, Barr also allowed a redacted version of the Mueller report to be released to the public, and it has become clear the summary completely misinterprets the report. During his testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr admitted he had not read the entire report before writing his summary, but Mueller perhaps did not know that when he wrote the following letter to Barr on March 27. I have highlighted Mueller’s key objection. March 27, 2019 The Honorable William P. Barr Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice Washington, D.C. Re: Report of the Special Counsel on the Investigation Into Russian ...

The Mueller Report: The Special Counsel’s Charging Decisions

The Mueller Report: The Special Counsel's Charging Decisions
Continuing the republication (with commentary) of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, here is the section explaining how the team reached its decisions to charge — or not charge — individuals with specific crimes. Following that is a brief description of the investigation. Incidentally, we have not even gotten to the detailed sections of the report. In the news today was a report that Mueller had sent a letter in late March to Attorney General William Barr, saying that Barr’s four-page summary of the special counsel’s report failed to capture the “context, nature, and substance” of the investigation. This is a fancy way of saying Barr lied about what the report says. For Mueller to admonish the attorney general in such a way is remarkable in itself, and suggests that Mueller is not pleased with the executive branch’s reaction to his team’s report. *** THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S CHARGING DECISIONS In reaching the charging decisions described in Volume 1 of the report, the Office determined whether the conduct it found amounted to a violation of federal criminal law chargeable under the Principles of Federal Prosecution. See Justice Manual § 9-27.000 et seq. (2018). The standard set forth in the Justice ...

The Mueller report: Executive Summary of Volume 1

The Mueller report: Executive Summary of Volume 1
We resume our republishing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and President Donald Trump’s subsequent actions. Following the general introduction, the report then offers an executive summary of Volume I, which follows. Several parts of this section were redacted by the special counsel’s office; “harm to ongoing matter” means the information redacted pertains to investigations or prosecutions in progress, and therefore cannot be divulged now. **** EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TO VOLUME I RUSSIAN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN The Internet Research Agency (IRA) carried out the earliest Russian interference operations identified by the investigation – a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States. The IRA was based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and received funding from Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin and companies he controlled. Prigozhin is widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin [REDACTED – HARM TO ONGOING MATTER] [EDITOR: For more information about Prigozhin and Putin, see this Seattle Times article from 2018.] In mid-2014, the IRA sent employees to the United States on an intelligence-gathering mission with instructions [REDACTED – HARM TO ONGOING MATTER] The IRA later used social media accounts ...
WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com