The Muller Report

A highlight reel of the investigation into Trump’s involvement with Russia

Hayk Martirosyan, Opinion Editor

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Nothing illustrates the divisiveness of the modern political climate like the ongoing Special Counsel investigation. This investigation began with the identifying Russian interference in American elections, and will be two years old on May 17. While many have argued that the election is a waste of money or a method to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency, it is difficult to argue that Russia possibly interfering in American politics is not a troublesome thought, with terrible global ramifications.

The investigation was set off in January 2017, when the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence made a claim that the Russian President,Vladimir Putin, ordered a publicity operation during the 2016 election, to undermine the Clinton campaign and increase political instability within the U.S.. A special investigation was called forth, and as the law dictates, it was to be overseen by the Attorney General.

Conflict arose soon after Jeff Sessions was appointed to the post of the new Attorney General, as he was accused of having contact with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak in 2016. To avoid a conflict of interest, Sessions recused himself from the investigation, stepping down as the overseer.

The position of overseeing the investigation fell to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was newly appointed for the position by President Trump. In turn Rosenstein called for a special council to oversee the investigation, appointing the ex-director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Robert Muller, as the head of the special council.

Prior to the establishment of the special council in May of 2017, the investigation was handled by the FBI. This came to an end when President Trump fired the then director of FBI, James Comey on May 9 of  2017. Theories began cropping up, accusing Trump of covering up the truth by removing Comey, and the demand for the Special Council grew louder.

By January of this year, the Special Counsel has initiated legal action against 34 people, including seven Americans, 26 Russians, and one Dutch lawyer. It has also indicted three Russian organizations, including subgroups belonging to the Russian intelligence agency GRU, which is directly under the jurisdiction of Putin.

George Papadopoulos, a Trump advisor, was found guilty of withholding information from the FBI, Paul Manafort, a lobbyist, was found guilty of fraud and withholding information from the FBI, Rick Gates, a lobbyist, was found guilty for conspiracy against the US, Michael Flynn, US National Security Advisor, was found guilty of withholding information from the FBIMichael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, found guilty of fraud and campaign funding violations.

Due to the many arrests during this investigation, the Counsel has been provided with dozens of witness testimonies and documentation handed over by the House Intelligence Committee, controlled by Democrats. Its latest arrest was made on Jan. 25 of this year, when an FBI raid led to the detainment of long time Trump advisor, Roger Stone. The latter was charged with obstruction of justice, lying to investigators, and tampering with evidence.

Previously led by the Republican Party, the House Intelligence Committee had a big impact on the arrest of Roger Stone. In the past, this committee was led by the Republican party, which repeatedly insisted on not cooperating with the Special Council.

Further dissatisfaction of the Special Council extended throughout the Republican Party, primarily amongst Trump appointees. One of the greatest threats to the Special Council is Matthew Whitaker, the Trump-appointed Attorney General who replaced Sessions. The president was publicly critical of Sessions for recusing himself, instead of handling the investigation directly, which lead to him dismissing Sessions.

Prior to his new position, Whitaker,, repeatedly criticized the Mueller investigation, calling it a “mob” that is out to “overthrow the President.” For these comments, congressmen suggested he recuse, and though, resistant at first, he left the Justice Department on March 2. William Barr took the post of Attorney General.

In a conference with Congress, Whitaker stated that he has been briefed regarding the Mueller Investigation, and that it is coming to an end very soon.Upon his choice, Barr will present the Congress with an omitted summary of the final case. In the event that the Congress is dissatisfied with Barr’s presentation, they may demand the full Mueller report.

Whichever case it may be, the implications of the Mueller case are astronomical, leading to possible global scale conflict between the United States and Russia. Furthermore, if proven true, the Report indicates conspiratorial corruption in the highest echelons of the American government.

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