Investigations by the Special Counsel
1. The Russian Government’s Election Attack: The special counsel moved aggressively to outline and charge the Russian government’s core attack on the 2016 election, which included both active cyber intrusions and data theftby the military intelligence unit GRU and the GRU’s attempted attacks on the US voting system, as well as online information influence operations by the Internet Research Agency, known by the moniker “Project Lakhta.” Numerous threads from this investigation remain unseen—including a possible cooperator inside the Internet Research Agency, Putin’s own involvement, whether any Americans contributed knowingly to the attack, the role of the FSB’s “Cozy Bear” hackers, and whether or how Russia’s expensive and multipronged attack coordinated with contacts between Russian nationals and the Trump campaign over the course of 2016, including the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Mueller has also reportedly been investigating the role of late GOP activist Peter Smith, who had apparently tried to locate stolen emails and make contact with Russian hackers. It’s also unclear what has sparked Mueller’s apparent continued interest in Trump’s campaign tech firm, Cambridge Analytica.
Status: 12 Russian military intelligence officers from the GRU indicted, 13 people indicted from the Internet Research Agency, alongside three Russian companies, and a guilty plea from one California man who unwittingly aided their identity theft. Manafort aide Sam Patten is cooperating with investigators.
2. WikiLeaks: Whether WikiLeaks’ publishing of the emails stolen by Russian hackers connects from Moscow to Trump Tower itself remains an open question. But a leaked aborted plea agreement from conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi makes clear that Trump associates had at least some advance knowledge of what WikiLeaks was planning to publish. How any of that may connect with looming charges facing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and another apparently abandoned deal for him to leave the Ecuador embassy in London is also unclear.
Status: Both Trump aide Roger Stone and Corsi have said they expect to be indicted. Unclear if looming charges against Assange relate to Mueller investigation. READ MORE