Mueller’s Investigation Is Over. Trump Corruption Probes Are Just Getting Started.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr. This puts an end to the 1 year, 10 month-long investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, a potential conspiracy between Russia and the Trump Campaign, and potential obstruction of justice on the part of President Trump. Americans have been waiting on the edge of their seats for this historic moment, and here it is.
The Justice Department (DOJ) sent a letter to the Judiciary Chairs and ranking members of the Senate and the House, alerting them that the DOJ received Mueller’s report late afternoon on Friday. Barr wrote that the DOJ did not interfere with the Special Counsel’s probe. And most importantly, Barr wrote that he will review the report and brief Congress on the key conclusions as early as this weekend. House Democrats are already calling for the report (and underlying evidence) to be released in its entirety. But the White House is also asking to comb through it first.
Justice Department officials have also said that Mueller will not recommend any additional indictments. This does not mean, however, that Mueller won’t outline conduct that the House may deem impeachable, given the fact the President cannot be indicted while in office per DOJ policy. According to legal experts (and special counsel regulations), the report will likely contain explanations of declination decisions not to indict President Trump or members of his inner circle. It’s possible the report will outline all of the known evidence of coordination between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government and obstruction of justice, and equally possible that it won’t.
Over the lifetime of the probe, the Special Counsel levied 37 indictments, 6 of which were indictments from Trump associates – 5 pleaded guilty. That included the indictments of 25 Russian individuals or entities for hacking and leaking Democratic emails as well as running the Russian troll operation. Mueller’s investigation was cheaper and more efficient than past investigations of its kind. Now, it’s over. But, there are others, which don’t have as narrow a scope as Mueller’s did.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released a statement noting that by law, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s counterintelligence findings must be shared with his committee. Rep. Schiff has rebooted House Intel’s Trump-Russia probe, which is also probing whether or not President Trump is compromised by Russian money laundering. This is one of several investigations underway in the House. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has already received tens of thousands of documents from some of the 81 individuals and entities his committee requested information from. This is part of this wide-ranging inquiry into corruption, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power on the part of President Trump and his associates.
As we reported earlier this week, other corruption investigations are ongoing. New York Attorney General Letitia James recently subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank related to loans the Trump Organization may have received by inflating assets. This came after the New York State Department of Financial Services subpoenaed a Trump Organization insurance broker probing similar fraud. The Manhattan District Attorney filed the first state charges against a member of the Trump Campaign by indicting Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort. There is also the Southern District of New York’s investigation which has already yielded a guilty plea from Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen and which implicated President Trump (Individual-1) in two campaign finance felonies. There are also multiple state probes into Trump’s Inaugural Committee and emoluments clause lawsuits.
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