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https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/12/10/my-theory-on-what-barr-and-durham-are-doing/

 

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My Theory on What Barr and Durham Are Doing


RUSH: We’ll go to San Francisco. Jim, welcome, sir, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.


CALLER: Hey, Rush. I agree with everything you’re saying, of course, but the bottom line is the headliner out of this is no bias, right? It’s their Mueller report, you know, no collusion. That’s all you’re gonna hear despite the fact what you’re pointing out. I think there are two things that we can do to put the spotlight back on.


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The first one is gonna come tomorrow during the Senate hearing. These senators need to grill Horowitz. When he appeared in front of the House the last time answering the Hillary email question, he got thrown softballs by legislators who didn’t really know the issues and were just asking questions that their staffers gave to them and had no follow-ups to the BS that he was putting out.


They need to really cashier this guy. If he can’t find in evidence of bias, then they need to go over and over and over again about the motives, what possible motives did Brennan have, what possible motives did Sally Yates in unmasking Michael Flynn. And just go over and over and over and they need to coordinate their assault. They need to have somebody that is very good speaking basically do a prosecutorial assault on Michael Horowitz tomorrow. The second thing that needs to happen, Rush, John Durham’s been in office since — working on this since May —


RUSH: All right. Hang on a minute. Look. I’m out of time here. Can you hang on through the break? Because I’m not gonna get enough time for you to get your second point.


BREAK TRANSCRIPT


RUSH: I want to go back to Jim in San Francisco. Jim, I really appreciate your holding on through the break. I want to go back to the very top of your comments. I want to preface them with what Horowitz is actually saying, because you’re right.


CALLER: Yeah.


RUSH: He says over and over, “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations.” Again: “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced” the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page. Now, that alone is all the media needs to ignore everything in this — and you’re right. It’s just like when the Mueller report came out and said, “No collusion.”


That was it, and the Democrats have been trying to rebuild that ever since, and they haven’t been able to. And we’re gonna have a tough task, which is why I’m spending some time on it today. But I want to give you just an example here of how Horowitz admits this. He asked Peter Strzok… Horowitz goes in, he asks Strzok if he was biased because he was texting with Page about how Trump was the “opposition,” how they needed an “insurance policy,” all these texts.


Horowitz knew that Strzok and Page were sending these texts back and forth. So he goes and asks Strzok if he was biased, and Strzok said he wasn’t biased until he began the investigation — which is an obvious lie, but Horowitz claims to have believed him. (chuckles) So that’s how they come up with “no documentary or testimonial evidence.”


CALLER: Rush, nobody thinks they’re biased. Hitler didn’t think he was biased against the Jews. The problem is that we have to get… Tomorrow. It starts tomorrow, and the senators really have to do their homework, and instead of all 10 of them speaking, they should defer to the guy who’s best, and let somebody who really understands these topics really bore down into Horowitz. The second point I was gonna make — and it’s very important, and this would go a long way — is John Durham has been on the case since May. What has he done?


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I mean, we hear all this stuff. “Oh, he’s empowered to pull people in that are outside of government. He’s empowered to impanel a grand jury.” Well, has he impaneled a grand jury? I mean, my goodness, Rush. At this point, seven months into this… At this point, Mueller has already impaneled a grand jury and very publicly indicted Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and others. We need to start seeing some action out of Durham, otherwise what’s gonna happen is they’re just gonna wait this whole thing out. And then, God forbid, Trump loses, Barr will go away and this whole investigation will go away. (crosstalk)


RUSH: Wait just a minute. Is that what you suspect? You suspect we’re being played even by Barr?


CALLER: No, but I think that they’re taking their sweet time about it. (crosstalk)


RUSH: And why do you think they are?


CALLER: Because seven months into the Mueller report, we had already had a lot of action.


RUSH: No, no, no. Why? No, no. I’m acknowledging that they are. Why do you think they are taking their sweet time? Why are they not giving us status reports? Why are they not telling us what they found so far, either by action or indication?


CALLER: I think Durham is probably like Horowitz in that he likes to dot the I’s, cross the T’s, make sure everything is perfectly accurate. But you know what? You could take a year and a half and do that and be out of office. The thing is, you get things done by getting them done. It may not be perfect, but you start arresting people. Kick the doors down!


RUSH: All right. Look. Stick with me on something here. I think… I’m gonna take a stab at explaining this. I may not succeed. It may take me two or three times. I’m not making excuses for anybody. If I were to answer my question to you myself (proving, once again, that the best questions asked of me are ones I ask myself), I would hope that its timing is coordinated with the reelection campaign. I would hope that the big reveal is going to happen at a time where it has the greatest electoral impact. Now, that kind of flies in the face of independent investigations that are not biased and not, of course, dependent on any other real-world activity. I think it’s really this. Do you —


CALLER: Rush, I —


RUSH: (sigh) Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.


CALLER: Okay. Well, you know what? I think, you know, maybe you’re right —


RUSH: No, no. I haven’t told you what I really think is going on here. But go ahead and object to it anyway.


CALLER: Okay. Well, I think a lot of us on this side have been patiently waiting. Frankly, we were given a lot of false expectations about this Durham report —


RUSH: By who? Wait a minute! Who gave you —


CALLER: Not by you. Not by you. Not by you.


RUSH: No —


CALLER: Not by you, but by —


RUSH: Durham didn’t. Durham didn’t give you any false expectation, and Barr hasn’t. So who has?


CALLER: No, I’m talking about the Horowitz report. There was a lot of blowing up. You watch Fox News. But my point is —


RUSH: Okay.


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CALLER: We have kept our powder dry for three years, okay? “Just wait. Just wait ’til this comes out. Just wait to that comes out,” and now we waited for Horowitz, and it’s gonna be a big, you know, gas bag, basically. So now it’s like, “Wait for Durham.” I think instead of waiting for a final report from Durham — you know, which will come out in June during the election season — I think it would help us keep our motivation up.


If we saw some indictments… Indictments, the kicking the doors down. You know, calling CNN and having them be there while we kick the door down of some of these people. James Comey. James Comey, whether we’re gonna ever indict him or not, he needs to be put under oath and made to squirm in front of a prosecutor under oath with threat that anything he’s gonna say is gonna be held against him. But I think it all starts tomorrow, Rush, with these hearings.

RUSH: Right. Okay, who chairs the committee?


CALLER: It’s gonna be Grassley, and he’s the Elmer Fudd.


RUSH: No. No. No. Lindsey Graham chairs the committee.


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CALLER: Oh? Oh, n…? He chairs the Judiciary Committee?


RUSH: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes, he chairs the committee.


CALLER: Okay. Well, Lindsey, who’s… I’ve got questions about Lindsey. He’s a lot of talk.


RUSH: That’s why I asked you who was chairing the committee.


CALLER: Well, okay. Yeah, it was Grassley; now it’s Lindsey. But Lindsey is —


RUSH: Have you heard what McConnell said today? McConnell wants a quick Senate trial. “Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.”


CALLER: Of course.


RUSH: Trump says, “No. I want a big, dramatic trial! I want you to draw this out. I want you to expose these people.” The Turtle is saying, “We’re gonna get it done. We’re gonna be in and out of it and it’s done with,” and Trump doesn’t want to go by fast. He wants to spend a lot of time, call people. He wants to expose these people. McConnell says, “I want it to go by quickly.”


CALLER: Trump is exactly right. I think McConnell’s making a big mistake. Secretly, I think they’re worried about getting themselves exposed, ’cause I think a lot of these people have dirty hands in Ukraine and all these other things.


RUSH: Yeah.


CALLER: It would be a big mistake. Trump is exactly right. We need the trial. We need to call Adam Schiff, call the whistleblower.


RUSH: K. Now, this takes me back to the answer to the question that I, in deference to you, did not answer, and yet let you object to it even though I had not answered it. Why do I think this is taking so long? What’s really going on here? I understand that your desire mirrors that of practically everybody in this audience. You want to see somebody go over to James Comey’s mansion and knock down that front door and run in there and turn over every bit of furniture looking for evidence and frog march his ass out of there to jail just like they did with Flynn and just like they did with Roger Stone and just like they do with Manafort.


And until that happens, none of this is fair and none of this is just. I know that’s what you want. And then you want to see the same thing happen to that creep Brennan. The next thing you want to see is Clapper caught wearing a wig at JFK trying to get to the Maldives where there’s no extradition treaty. Yes, I know you want to see all of this. And I would love to see it, too, but it ain’t going to happen because none of that that happened was just. All of that was manufactured.


These guys did not deserve any of that happening to ’em, and reciprocity I fear is not on the table. I think the reason that they’re taking their time with this is because what they have undertaken to do is so big and so monumental and is so risky that if they don’t get this done all buttoned up down tight, every dot and every T dotted and crossed, if they don’t do that, these guys are dead.


Who are they taking on? They are taking on a largely invisible establishment deep state what-have-you. It has never been done before. They see what has happened to Trump with his efforts. These guys are serious. Barr and Durham are trying to dismantle a way of life for people. They are trying to dismantle decades of establishment consistency, patterns, lifestyles that are set in gold, futures that are guaranteed for themselves and their kids.


You can’t do this with PR. You can’t do it one indictment at a time. If you’re gonna do this like they’re doing it, when it’s time to present it, it better be absolutely indisputable. Because if there’s anything in it that’s not battened down, if there’s anything in it that isn’t true, these guys are dead.


It’s one thing to say we’re gonna drain the swamp. It’s one thing to say we’re gonna get rid of the deep state. It’s one thing to say that we are going to take our country back. It’s another thing to actually do it. The people who are the targets of this are not just the Comeys and the McCabes.


Those people are the foot soldiers of the movement. They are not the brains. They are not the money. They are not the organizers. They’re not the power brokers. They are not the people that assign the jobs in the deep state. These are not the people that determine who gets membership in the deep state and who doesn’t.


But if you go after those guys, you’re gonna find their bosses and you’re gonna have to take them out as well, and this is a deeply serious, big time undertaking that is unprecedented. For all this talk about Trump wanting to be a monarch and a king, this actually is the equivalent of taking down the invisible apparatus that actually has been running this country for take your pick of how many decades, but at least since post-World War II.


And it has people in it everywhere. It has people in all the major universities. It has people internationally entrenched, in the European Union, George Soros, all of these Western European diplomats and so forth, the State Department, they’re gonna be taking on a tremendous number of people here.


It’s not just Schiff and Nadler and Pelosi trying to impeach Trump and get rid of him. It’s people whose names we don’t even know. It’s people who live in places we don’t know. And if you’re gonna take those people on, when it’s time to actually make your move, you better have everything you need because these people are gonna be launching back at you with efforts to destroy you and everything you’re trying to do to them. Because this is taking on, this is actually attacking and trying to bust up a way of life that has been entrenched.


I mean. this is the ruling class. Let’s look at it in terms of Angelo Codevilla. This is the ruling class. And Mr. Codevilla thinks they’ve already won, that we can never, ever go back to the founding principles of this country as a majority belief by the American people. He believes common citizenship is no longer possible. That’s how deeply they have infected the fabric of our culture. He believes that their objective is to eliminate us.


What do you think this all is, overturning the results of an election? What is that, really? It’s negating and nullifying us. Yeah, we’re deplorables or whatever, but what we are is noncitizens, what we are is nonfactors to them. This effort to get rid of Donald Trump is an effort in truth to rid themselves of us as a competing political force.


And we got two guys that have decided to take this on, Bill Barr — well, three — Trump, Bill Barr, and John Durham. And I don’t think they want to telegraph how far along they are to these people. I don’t think they want to give ’em any heads up at all, what they have found. And it could well be that at the end of all this we’re not gonna get anything. I don’t have any idea.


I don’t think that’s true based on Durham’s statement yesterday, reaction to the IG report. Durham wouldn’t have said what he said yesterday if they already didn’t have evidence and witnesses to contradict what Horowitz said.


I think it is such a profoundly major thing that’s being attempted here. Look at it as trying to defeat the Soviet Union without firing a shot. It’s a much bigger undertaking than people think. It’s not just draining the swamp. It’s not just getting rid of the people you know and having the people you know in this thing be punished. That would be great. And I share the emotion that you expressed with that.


But these are just the foot soldiers. These are just the little order takers. These are just the people appointed to these positions to do the advance dirty work for the people we don’t know, to protect the people we don’t know. And I’m not even talking about Obama. I’m talking about people way above and beyond Obama or any president.


BREAK TRANSCRIPT


RUSH: The Attorney General William Barr is speaking at a Wall Street Journal CEO conference right now. I got some audio sound bites here. One of the things that he also said, he gave an exclusive interview to NBC News. He thinks the FBI may have acted in bad faith in the Trump investigation.


He said: “I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative.” This was in an interview he did with Pete Williams of NBC. In the interview, Barr essentially dismissed the findings of the inspector general that there was no evidence of bias, and he said that his handpicked prosecutor, John Durham, will have the last word on the matter.


“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press.” This guy knows exactly what happened, and he is showing guts and courage I can’t — folks, I cannot tell you. It’s based on my answer to our caller in the last 15 minutes how serious and big an attempt at upsetting the power structure of Washington, D.C., and New York and Brussels and London and all of these European capitals where much of the deep state is also headquartered, where the globalist movement is, to eventually disintegrate the U.S. Constitution, Bill Barr is taking it on with Durham courageously and bravely.


It is true patriotism, and it’s true guts and courage ’cause it is a bigger undertaking than you can possibly imagine. It’s not just indicting James Comey or Clapper or Brennan and putting them on trial. It’s much bigger because they are just foot soldiers in all of this. So for Barr to be saying this on the day of and the day after this report comes out, he’s basically saying that Horowitz doesn’t get it, everything in this thing in terms of motivation is dead wrong. He says, “I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press.”


They were not irresponsible, they were complicit. Now, that may mean irresponsible. They were complicit. The media is part of the administrative state, deep state, whatever you want to call it. The media is also among the targets here.


“The blistering criticism of the FBI’s conduct in the Russia investigation … is bound to stoke further controversy about whether the attorney general is acting in good faith, or as a political hatchet man for Trump.” He’s acting in good faith but he’s not a hatchet man at all. The man is a patriot, and he is representing all of us. He’s out there showing guts and courage and trying to inspire others to get on board and follow him.

 

 

I cannot emphasize the bravery that Barr is engaging in here, the fearlessness in properly categorizing this lying, stinking summary of a report that came out yesterday. Let’s go to the audio. Barr this afternoon on the NBC News website, they’ve posted an interview between Pete Williams and Barr. He’s also now appearing at a Wall Street Journal CEO conference. First question from Pete Williams: “Do you stand by your statement that the campaign was spied on?”


BARR: Oh, it was clearly spied upon. I mean, that’s what electronic surveillance is. I think wiring people up to go in and talk to people and make recordings of their conversations is spying.


RUSH: Right. That’s Rosenstein offering to wear a wire to go try to entrap Trump and behaving in a way that could convince a cabinet that he’s unstable. Look, the whole meeting in Trump Tower on January 6th was a spy operation. Clapper, Comey, McCabe, meet with Obama on January 5th. They want the dossier entered into the public domain. They decide to include the pee tape story in the intelligence assessment to be presented to Trump thereby making it news. It was a spy operation. Barr is exactly right.


Pete Williams: “Well, regarding starting the investigation, on the one hand you could say it’s a presidential campaign, it’s very sensitive, you need better evidence. On the other hand, you could say it’s a presidential campaign we have to be very careful, there could be a threat to our political process.” He’s implying, what if the Russians were helping Trump? That’s the subtext of the question.


BARR: The greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government used the apparatus of the state both to spy on political opponents but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election. As far as I’m aware, this is the first time in history that this has been done to a presidential campaign, the use of these counterintelligence techniques against a presidential campaign.


In today’s world, presidential campaigns are frequently in contact with foreign persons. And indeed in most campaigns, there are signs of illegal foreign money coming in. And we don’t automatically assume that the campaigns are nefarious and traitors and acting in league with foreign powers. There has to be some basis before we use these very potent powers in our core First Amendment activity. And here I felt this was very flimsy.


RUSH: Who could he have been talking about when he says the use of foreign money, presidential campaigns, is very frequent. Who in the world contributed more foreign money — or who received more foreign money than Hillary and Bill Clinton over the course of his two terms and her wished-for term as a candidate? In fact, they lived on it. They survived on it. They thrived on foreign money. She was selling access to her presidency on the come through the Clinton Foundation.


BARR: I know there’s a lot of impatience. People want results immediately. But those are people who don’t understand our process. We have to be careful about the way we collect evidence, and we have to make sure that we have enough evidence to justify our actions — and we’re not gonna cut corners in that respect. You know, there’s some people who think this thing is gonna drop in a few weeks. That’s not the case. I see this perhaps reaching an important watershed perhaps in the late spring, early summer.


RUSH: You hear what he said here. “We have to be careful about the way we collect evidence. We have to makes sure we have enough evidence to justify what we’ve done. We’re not gonna cut corners.” He knows exactly what they have chewed off here. He knows exactly this humongous, overwhelming thing they have decided to do. They are taking on the most powerful people in the world not just in the United States. They’re taking on all the people who are trying to overturn the British vote in Brexit.


They’re taking on all of the people who want open borders in the United States and want uncontrolled illegal immigration. They’re taking on all the people who would be very happy if the United States got cut down to size, and just became one of many members in the massive global arrangement. They’re taking on powerful people who literally have a desire to end the whole concept of nations and borders, because they seek global dominance and leadership for themselves.


And to do that, you have to take out, you have to diminish the world’s biggest superpower. That is us, and once you start down this road… You know the old adage: If you’re going to take a shot at the king, you better kill him. That’s what’s guiding these people. So they’re not gonna be governed by emotion or satisfying emotional demands that are based on revenge and reciprocity and getting even, because this is much, much bigger than that.


BREAK TRANSCRIPT


RUSH: Bill Barr again, this afternoon at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting. The editor-in-chief, Jerry Baker, was interviewing Barr, and this is the comment on the Horowitz report, the events that led to the Russian investigation…


BARR: This was a comment made by a 28-year-old volunteer in a campaign in a bar offhand, which was described as a suggestion of a suggestion.


BAKER: Right.


BARR: At that time, in May 2016, there was rampant speculation going on in the media, on the blogosphere, and in political circles that Hillary Clinton’s email server had — in 2014 — been hacked, and therefore the Russians might have those emails. So addressing the conclusion that this kind of vague comment related to and showed pre-knowledge of the DNC hack and dump, I think, was a big stretch. But let me just finalize it, which is, from my experience the normal thing to do in this kind of situation — and I have had analogous experience here — is you go to the campaign, and here I don’t think there’s a legitimate explanation for why they didn’t, especially because they went to the Russians.


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RUSH: Now, his point here in this new interview… This is a key point. Brennan and Clapper and Comey did not go to Trump and warn him about potential Russian hackery or collusion in his campaign, but they did talk to the Russians about it. “At that time, in May 2016, there was rampant speculation going on in the media … that Hillary Clinton’s email server had — in 2014 — been hacked, and therefore the Russians might have those emails.


“So addressing the conclusion that this kind of vague comment related to and showed pre-knowledge of the DNC hack and dump, I think, was a big stretch.” This is 2014, and they’re trying to blame Trump meddling with Russia for this. He said, “[T]he normal thing to do in this kind of situation … is you go to the campaign, and here I don’t think there’s a legitimate explanation for why they didn’t…”


Now, why would Clapper and Brennan and Comey not go to Trump to warn him about the so-called evidence they had discovered about Russian meddling, and yet they would go talk to the Russians about it? What are they doing talking to the Russians, period! Didn’t Sessions have to recuse himself as attorney general because he had lunch with the Soviet ambassador? Why don’t these guys have to recuse themselves if they’re talking to the Russians? You know, Barr is saying none of this makes any sense, and he’s alluding to the fact here that Horowitz reports all this and doesn’t find any bias.


So he continues his conversation with, again, the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, Jerry Baker, and here’s what Barr said about the FBI’s Russia investigation…
BARR: The real interesting thing here — and, to me, the major take-away, actually — is after the election, because in January, they went to… Steele was dealing with one person. He only talked to one person, and that’s what we call the primary subsource. When they finally got around to talking to him, he said, “I don’t know what Steele’s talking about. I didn’t tell him this stuff.”


BAKER: Mmm.


BARR: “You know, it was mostly barroom talk and rumor,” and at that point, it was clear that the dossier was a sham. So what happens? What happens at that point? They don’t tell the court, and they continue to get FISA warrants based on that dossier — and more damning is that they actually filed with the court a statement saying, “We talked to the subsource, and we found him credible and cooperative.”


RUSH: This is Barr saying even after Trump was elected, they knew the dossier was garbage, but they kept going. They kept using it. Remember the two dates in January that are key: The January 5 meeting, Oval Office, Obama with McCabe… I think McCabe was there but definitely Comey, Clapper, and Brennan. They hatch a plan. They’re gonna brief the president-elect. Comey and these three guys are gonna brief the president-elect the next day with the latest intelligence community assessment.


Meaning what’s going on in the world that the future president needs to know about. Trump has said he doesn’t want to meet these guys every day, that he’s got a good memory, and they’re insulted. They want access every day. So they hatch a plan in Obama’s Oval Office to tell Trump about the dossier, but only one thing about it: The golden showers story — and they do. They go to Trump Tower, they tell Trump about it, and Trump’s initial reaction is he thinks he’s being set up for blackmail. He didn’t do that.


He doesn’t know a thing about hiring prostitutes to urinate on a bed in Moscow. He tells Comey (prarphrasing), “You know I didn’t do that, you gotta let people know this didn’t happen.” Comey, “I know, I know. But you gotta know that this is the kind of stuff going on out there about you. As president, you need to know these things.”


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Anyway, Comey leaves, calls Clapper, “Mission accomplished.” Comey’s own testimony before Congress. He left and said, “Mission accomplished,” meaning he’d been given an assignment, it was accomplished. Clapper calls CNN, as you now know, and the golden showers story hits the news media making the dossier news.


Now they can talk about it in the media. Trump is inaugurated a couple of weeks later, and the dossier which has been used to get phony warrants despite everybody but the judge at the FISA court knowing that it’s bogus. So Barr is saying, even after everybody knew this thing was bogus they kept using it to try to undermine Trump.


Make no mistake that Barr knows what he’s doing here. He has this battened down, he knows exactly what these people did, and more importantly, they know that he knows what they did. And folks, it needs to be stated again here, the dossier, which how many times unverified, uncorroborated because it was all made up and it was paid for by Hillary Clinton, the dossier — do not doubt me — is all they ever had.


This was a bogus investigation from the day it began. The dossier is all they had to go to the FISA court to get warrants to spy. The dossier is all they had to try to convince people that Trump was in league with the Russians. The dossier. There was no evidence ever. There has never been any evidence of Trump colluding with Russia and there is no evidence that Trump blackmailed or bribed Ukraine.


There’s no evidence for any Democrat or media allegation or charge in the last three years. That’s how absurd all of this is. And it is why it’s all gonna blow up on ’em and is in the process of doing that now. You wait.

 


Rush is describing is The Big Ugly.


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1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, was arrested in July 2017 and pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. He got a 14-day sentence.

2) Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted on a total of 25 different counts by Mueller’s team, related mainly to his past work for Ukrainian politicians and his finances. He had two trials scheduled, and the first ended in a conviction on eight counts of financial crimes. To avert the second trial, Manafort struck a plea deal with Mueller in September 2018 (though Mueller’s team said in November that he breached that agreement by lying to them). He was sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison.

3) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February 2018 he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.

4) Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI.

5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months of home detention in October 2018.

22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and has completed his sentence.

23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who’s currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort’s pending case last year.

24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia’s military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails in 2016.

36) Michael Cohen: In August 2018, Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to 8 counts — tax and bank charges, related to his finances and taxi business, and campaign finance violations — related to hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Donald Trump, as part of a separate investigation in New York (that Mueller had handed off). But in November, he made a plea deal with Mueller too, for lying to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

37) Roger Stone: In January 2019, Mueller indicted longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone on 7 counts. He accused Stone of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to get in touch with WikiLeaks during the campaign, and tampering with a witness who could have debunked his story. He was convicted on all counts after a November 2019 trial.

Finally, there is one other person Mueller initially investigated, but handed over to others in the Justice Department to charge: Sam Patten. This Republican operative and lobbyist pleaded guilty to not registering as a foreign agent with his work for Ukrainian political bigwigs, and agreed to cooperate with the government.

That’s the full list, but we’ll delve into the charges in a bit more detail below.

The five ex-Trump aides who struck plea deals with Mueller

 

Paul ManafortMark Wilson/Getty Images

So far, no Trump associates have been specifically charged with any crimes relating to helping Russia interfere with the 2016 election.

Yet five have pleaded guilty to other crimes. Manafort and Gates were charged with a series of offenses related to their past work for Ukrainian politicians and their finances. Papadopoulos and Flynn both admitted making false statements to investigators to hide their contacts with Russians, and Cohen admitted making false statements to Congress.

Papadopoulos: Back in April 2016, Papadopoulos got a tip from a foreign professor he understood to have Russian government connections that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” He then proceeded to have extensive contacts with the professor and two Russian nationals, during which he tried to plan a Trump campaign trip to Russia.

But when the FBI interviewed Papadopoulos about all this in January 2017, he repeatedly lied about what happened, he now admits. So he was arrested in July 2017, and later agreed to plead guilty to a false statements charge, which was dramatically unsealed in October 2017.

Initially, it seemed as if Papadopoulos was cooperating with Mueller’s probe. But we later learned that the special counsel cut off contact with him in late 2017, after he talked to the press. In the end, he didn’t provide much information of note, Mueller’s team said in court filing. His involvement with the investigation now appears to be over, and in September 2018, he was sentenced to 14 days incarceration.

Flynn: In December 2016, during the transition, Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that President Barack Obama had just placed on Russia, and about a planned United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements.

But when FBI agents interviewed him about all this in January 2017, Flynn lied to them about what his talks with Kislyak entailed, he now admits. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to a false statements charge and began cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. We haven’t seen the fruits of his cooperation yet, and he has not yet been sentenced.

Manafort and Gates: This pair worked for Ukrainian politicians (and, eventually, the Ukrainian government) for several years prior to the Trump campaign, and made an enormous amount of money for it. Mueller charged them with hiding their lobbying work and the money they made from it from the government, as well as other financial crimes and attempts to interfere with the investigation.

Gates was the first to strike a plea deal. In February, Mueller dropped most of the charges he had brought against him. In exchange, Gates pleaded guilty to two counts — one conspiracy to defraud the United States charge encompassing the overall Ukrainian lobbying and money allegations, and a false statements charge. (With the latter, Gates admitted lying to Mueller’s team during a meeting this February. A Dutch lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI related to his Ukrainian work with Gates.)

Manafort, meanwhile, fought the charges in two venues, Washington, DC, and Virginia. His first trial was in Virginia, and in August, it ended with his conviction on eight counts — five counts of subscribing to false income tax returns, one count of failing to report his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on another 10 counts, so for those, the judge declared a mistrial.

The conviction finally brought Manafort to the table, and on September 14, he and Mueller’s team struck a plea deal requiring his cooperation. Manafort pleaded guilty to just two more counts — conspiracy to defraud the United States, and an attempted obstruction of justice charge. But he admitted that the other allegations Mueller previously made against him were true as well. The cooperation element of his plea deal fell apart in November, though, as Mueller’s team accused Manafort of lying to them. Manafort ended up being sentenced to a combined seven and a half years in prison.

Cohen: Mueller’s team was investigating Trump’s former attorney in 2017, but at some point, they referred the Cohen probe to the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). It was SDNY that authorized the FBI raid of Cohen’s residence and office in April.

In August, Cohen cut a deal with SDNY. He agreed to plead guilty to 8 counts. Six of them involved his own finances — 5 tax counts involving hiding various income related to his taxi medallion business and other financial transactions from the US government, and a bank fraud count. Cohen also admitted participating in a scheme to violate campaign finance laws in connection with hush money payments to women alleging affairs with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Then, in November, Cohen made his deal with Mueller. Here, he agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress, to try and cover up his work on behalf of a Trump Tower Moscow project during the campaign.

Cohen had told Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow project ended early in the campaign, that he hadn’t discussed it much with others at Trump’s company, and that he hadn’t successfully gotten in touch with the Russian government about it.

In fact, he now admits, the project was still active months later, he’d talked about it with Trump more than he’d admitted (and with unnamed Trump family members), and he’d talked about it with an assistant for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary.

Roger Stone was the final Trump associate indicted in the investigation

Then, on January 25, another political operative with a decades-long history with Trump — Roger Stone — was indicted.

Various statements by Stone, including many public ones, raised questions about whether he had some sort of inside knowledge about WikiLeaks’s posting of Democrats’ hacked emails during the 2016 campaign.

Stone has long denied having any such knowledge — and claimed that anything he knew about WikiLeaks came through an intermediary, radio host Randy Credico. Mueller’s indictment alleges that this story was false — and that Stone’s telling it to the House Intelligence Committee was criminal.

Mueller’s indictment of Stone alleges that the GOP operative gave a false story to explain his knowledge about WikiLeaks.

Stone was accused of lying about this to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, and trying to tamper with a witness — Credico — so that he would stick to that false story. And, after a November 2019 trial, Stone was found guilty on all counts.

About two dozen overseas Russians have been charged with election interference

Mueller has also filed two major indictments of Russian nationals and a few Russian companies for crimes related to alleged interference with the 2016 election: the troll farm indictment, and the email hacking indictment.

The troll farm indictment: In February, Mueller brought charges related to the propaganda efforts of one Russian group in particular: the Internet Research Agency. That group’s operations — which included social media posts, online ads, and organization of rallies in the US — were, the indictment alleges, often (but not exclusively) aimed at denigrating Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and supporting Donald Trump’s.

Mueller indicted the Internet Research Agency, two other shell companies involved in financing the agency, its alleged financier (Yevgeny Prigozhin), and 12 other Russian nationals who allegedly worked for it.

The specific charges in the case include one broad “conspiracy to defraud the United States” count, but the rest are far narrower — one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and six counts of identity theft. It is highly unlikely that the indicted Russian individuals will ever come to the US to face trial, but one company involved, Concord Catering, is fighting back in court.

No Americans have been charged with being witting participants in this Russian election interference effort. However, one American, Richard Pinedo of California, pleaded guilty to an identity fraud charge, seemingly because he sold bank account numbers created with stolen identities to the Russians. Pinedo agreed to cooperate with the probe as part of his plea deal. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months home detention in October.

The email hacking indictment: Brought in July, here Mueller charged 12 officers of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, with crimes committed to the high-profile hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails during the 2016 campaign.

Specifically indicted were nine officers of the GRU’s “Unit 26165,” which Mueller alleges “had primary responsibility for hacking the DCCC and DNC, as well as the email accounts of individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign” like John Podesta. Three other GRU officers, Mueller alleges, “assisted in the release of stolen documents,” “the promotion of those releases,” “and the publication of anti-Clinton content on social media accounts operated by the GRU.”

A trial here is unlikely, since all of the people indicted live in Russia.

Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate, has been charged with obstruction of justice

Then, Konstantin Kilimnik — who worked with Manafort in Ukraine and is now based in Russia — was charged alongside Manafort with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, in June.

Mueller argued that, earlier in 2018, Manafort and Kilimnik worked together to contact potential witnesses against Manafort and encourage them to give false testimony. He argues that this is attempted witness tampering, and qualifies as obstruction of justice.

The alleged tampering relates to the “Hapsburg group”— a group of former senior European politicians Manafort paid to advocate for Ukraine’s interests.

Both Manafort and Kilimnik tried to contact witnesses to get them to claim the Hapsburg group only operated in Europe (where US foreign lobbying laws don’t apply). But Mueller says there’s ample evidence that the group did work in the US too, and the witnesses thought Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to commit perjury.

In Manafort’s September plea deal, he admitted to this. Kilimnik, however, is in Russia, and will likely remain there rather than face charges.

Sam Patten struck a plea deal after Mueller referred his investigation elsewhere

There’re another instance in which where Mueller surfaced incriminating information about someone, but handed off the investigation to elsewhere in the Justice Department.

Sam Patten: A GOP lobbyist who had worked in some of the same Ukrainian circles as Manafort and alongside Konstantin Kilimnik, Mueller’s team began investigating Patten, but at some point handed him off to the DC US attorney’s office. However, the plea deal Patten eventually struck obligated him to cooperate with Mueller.

According to a criminal information document filed by the DC US attorney’s office, Patten and Kilimnik (who is not named but referred to as “Foreigner A”) founded a lobbying and consulting company together. They did campaign work in Ukraine and lobbying work in the US, and were paid over $1 million between 2015 and 2017.

Specifically, the document claims that Patten contacted members of Congress and their staffers, State Department officials, and members of the press on behalf of his Ukrainian clients — all without registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as required by law.

Patten also admits to helping his Ukrainian oligarch client get around the prohibition on foreign donations to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee. The oligarch sent $50,000 to Patten’s company, and then he gave that money to a US citizen, who bought the four tickets. The tickets were given to the oligarch, Kilimnik, another Ukrainian, and Patten himself.

Finally, Patten also admits to misleading the Senate Intelligence Committee and withholding documents from them during testimony this January. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

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