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Wed Mar 27, 2019, 08:32 AM

Mueller's many loose ends

What's posted is just the tip of the iceberg...

Mueller’s many loose ends
What comes next now that the probe is finished.
By Andrew Prokopandrew@vox.com Mar 27, 2019, 8:00am EDT


On the topic of obstruction of justice, Mueller’s report specifically says it “does not conclude that the President committed a crime,” but that it “also does not exonerate him,” according to Barr. (Barr then proceeded to exonerate Trump himself.)

That, of course, raises the questions of what exactly Mueller found on obstruction. Here, the special counsel is known to have investigated:

The circumstances around Trump’s firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn
Trump’s conversations with FBI Director James Comey and his eventual firing of Comey
Trump’s pressures on Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the Russia investigation
Trump’s treatment of and contacts with various other Justice Department and intelligence officials, with regards to investigations implicating him or his associates
Whether Trump or his associates may have hinted at or offered pardons to witnesses in exchange for not incriminating him
False testimony from Trump associates to congressional committees investigating Russian interference
Trump’s involvement in crafting a false public story about Donald Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer

Barr’s letter also says that “most” of the presidential actions Mueller analyzed in the obstruction report have “been the subject of public reporting.” But most is not all, so there appear to be some potentially obstructive Trump actions we don’t yet know about. So what are they?


Barr writes that Mueller did not find that any Trump associates conspired or coordinated with the Russian government on the Kremlin’s two main efforts to interfere with the election: the Internet Research Agency’s social media propaganda operation, and the hacking and leaking of Democrats’ emails.

Yet Barr’s summary mentions nothing about ... well, many, many other topics related to the Trump team and Russia that we know Mueller has investigated. These include:

The Trump Organization’s business dealings related to Russia
The Trump Tower Moscow talks
Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower
Russian efforts to influence US policy on sanctions and Ukraine, both during the election and afterward
Paul Manafort’s handing over Trump polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik
Manafort’s efforts to reach out to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska
Connections between the NRA
Potential efforts to coordinate with WikiLeaks over the stolen emails
An offer from Gulf princes to the Trump team for election help on social media
Russia and other foreign-tied donations to Trump’s inauguration
Efforts by Jared Kushner to set up back-channel communications with Russia after the election

Barr’s summary tells us nothing of what became of Mueller’s inquiries into all these matters. But there are a few possibilities.



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