Tim Caplan –News Editor
After two years of investigation, Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice Robert Mueller III released the redacted final version of the “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election.
The report has two volumes, the first concerning the events that took place involving the Russian intelligence agencies GRU (The Russian Military Intelligence Service) and the IRA (Internet Research Association).
The report details how these agencies created fake social media accounts in an attempt to influence American voters. Together, these social media accounts received millions of views, with names like “Secured Borders,” “Black Matters” and “United Muslims of America,” they were created to evoke political engagement among followers. They even organized rallies in several different states under these fake accounts.
The report also describes how the GRU hacked into the servers of The Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to take emails and disseminate them to the public through Julian Assange at WikiLeaks by way of an undercover GRU agent using the persona “Guccifer 2.0.” The website “dcleaks.com” was also used to release information hacked from these two organizations.
The report details how members and former members of President Trump’s campaign had contact with Russian state entities, including attempts to establish meetings between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and providing polling information to Russian authorities. However, no direct line of contact between Trump and these entities or knowledge of interference in the election has been established, and as a result the president will not be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States with a foreign actor.
The second volume has to do with alleged obstruction of justice by Trump and his allies to interfere with the investigation itself. A series of events were examined by the Mueller team to look into whether the Trump team did so. Many of these episodes had to do with Trump attempting to do something that could potentially be considered attempting to delay, obstruct, or prevent the process of investigating a criminal violation, however his staff would often go against his orders, averting that type of situation. Some of these examples include White House counsel Don McGhan refusing to fire Mueller after being told to do so by Trump, and suggesting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions take back his recusal on the investigation to try to have it stopped.
In the end, the president was charged with no crimes, but received a mixed reaction from the American political class. Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted “The #MuellerReport paints a disturbing picture of a president who has been weaving a web of deceit, lies and improper behavior and acting as if the law doesn’t apply to him,” while Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio released a statement saying “Democrat Members of Congress should take a deep breath and read the Special Counsel’s report before jumping to conclusions. The Attorney General already confirmed what we long suspected. No collusion. No obstruction. It would be a miscarriage of justice to use cherry-picked bits of information from the report to sow further divisiveness and spread conspiracies that serve only to undermine our democratic institutions. One thing, however, is clear with the release of the report today: this sad chapter of American history is behind us.”
Robert Mueller has been subpoenaed to appear in front of the House Committee on Judiciary by chairman Jerrold Nadler no later than May 23.