The Mueller Report Will Be Big Even If It Finds No Collusion By Trump

Ken AshfordElection 2016, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This graph, from Phillip Bump, shows what WE KNOW will be in the Mueller report. This is no witch hunt.

That’s about 290 pages of documents detailing alleged and admitted illegal behavior, including, in most cases, broad context for the actions. (Many of those pages, particularly as they relate to Manafort, are carried over between documents.) It’s dozens of criminal charges, some rolled into plea agreements. It’s dozens of people, including a number of named Russian actors. It’s a handful of people who have served time in prison, been sentenced or who will be sentenced shortly.

It’s a broad description of criminal activity that overlaps at only one point: Involvement in the 2016 election.

It is absolutely true that little of the activity undertaken by the Americans on that list involved criminal activity directly related to the campaign. But Manafort’s and Gates’s involvement in the campaign meant they got looped into Mueller’s probe, to their detriment. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s involvement in the campaign led him to work on Trump’s transition team, about which he later lied to authorities. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen lied to Congress about how far into the campaign his conversations about a project in Moscow had continued. Former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos lied about his contacts with Russians while serving on the campaign. Trump adviser Roger Stone lied about his interactions with people as he sought out a back channel to WikiLeaks — which was in the process of releasing documents allegedly stolen by the Russian nationals working for the country’s military intelligence agency, the GRU.

The Mueller report that is sitting in plain sight above does not show that Trump himself actively conspired with Russian actors to influence the election. It does show, though, that his campaign and campaign team were a locus of suspicious activity and suspicious actors.

Okay then.