The actual contents of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his Russia investigation findings are far more damaging to Donald Trump than was portrayed by Attorney General William Barr in his four-page letter to Congress on March 24, according to a flurry of media reports Wednesday night and Thursday morning. In fact, the Mueller Report reveals “detailed accounts” of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign’s contacts with Russia and shows that the Trump campaign was “manipulated” by a “sophisticated Russian intelligence operation,” according to a report Thursday by NBC News.
In his four-page letter, which was made available online by the House Judiciary Committee, Barr included no details about specific accounts appearing in the Mueller Report, simply quoting the report’s claim that Mueller’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
By “election interference activities,” according to Barr’s letter, Mueller referred solely to the social media campaign carried out by the Kremlin-linked “Internet Research Agency,” and the email hacking attacks and document dumps run by the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU, both of which were previously the targets of Mueller indictments, as The Inquisitr has earlier reported.
Remember right after Trump fired Comey, he met w/ Russians Lavrov & Kislyak in our Oval Office, only allowed in a Russian photog, passed classified intel, & never looked more relaxed or pleased. Is this a man not serving or colluding with the Russians? Do you believe your eyes? pic.twitter.com/rBJVcIadBf
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) March 29, 2019
But though Mueller, according to Barr, did not find a criminal conspiracy that he could charge in court between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians have been revealed in public reporting both during and since the 2016 campaign.
In one such instance, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. — along with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Campaign Chair Paul Manafort — met a group of Kremlin-connected Russians in Trump Tower. The purpose of the meeting was to obtain information supposedly held by the Russians that would “incriminate” Democrat Hillary Clinton. But Mueller did not indict Trump Jr., even though as The Inquisitr has reported, accepting opposition research from a foreign entity likely violates federal campaign finance laws.
Though none of the Russians in the Trump Tower meeting were members of the Russian “government,” the leader of the group, lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, had close links to the Kremlin, as CNN reported, and later admitted to serving as an “informant” for a top Russian government official.
The NBC News report followed reports by The New York Times and The Washington Post in which sources said that members of Mueller’s investigative team were “frustrated” by Barr’s narrow portrayal of their findings and limited characterization of the report.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, reported by MSNBC via Twitter, Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec said that Barr’s letter was intended to be only a statement of the report’s “bottom-line findings.”