Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos learned in April 2016 that Russia had stolen Clinton-related emails and that they planned to release them anonymously to help Trump. Papadopoulos has claimed that he did not inform the Trump campaign about this. Yet, Papadopoulos told at least two foreign officials with no connection to the Trump campaign about the hack. He also sent regular updates to campaign staff about contacts with Russian officials. Trump campaign officials all claim they could “not recall” having been informed by Papadopoulos that the Russians had hacked the Clinton campaign.
During the 2016 election and while serving as a Senate Judiciary Committee staffer, Barbara Ledeen was tasked by Michael Flynn, who was tasked by Trump, to try to obtain Hillary Clinton’s personal emails. She coordinated with longtime GOP operatives Peter Smith and Erik Prince. Ledeen’s activities included liaising with intelligence sources and obtaining materials from the “dark web”. Ledeen remains a staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over aspects of the Mueller investigation.
Russian military-intelligence hackers stole confidential political data from the Democratic National Committee that they did not release through WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks only released emails. It did not release the DNC analytics and campaign plans. Russian intelligence stole data from the DNC as late as September 20, 2016. What did they do with the valuable information they stole but did not release?
Erik Prince, an influential but informal member of Trump’s orbit, met with close Putin ally Kirill Dmitriev twice during the transition period in the Seychelles. These meetings, which were brokered by UAE advisor George Nader, were part of an effort to establish a secret backchannel between the Trump team and Russia. Meeting participants have conflicting accounts of who was involved and who knew. Prince and Nader have indicated Steve Bannon was involved – and there is some evidence in the report to support this – but he has denied this and refused to answer questions about it. Prince has been accused of lying to Congress about these meetings in a criminal referral from the House Intelligence Committee. His attorney claims the referral contains no new evidence.
According to the Mueller Report, the Trump campaign chairman and the deputy campaign chairman knowingly met with Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian agent, and shared confidential internal polling data. In addition to sensitive opinion data, they informed Kilimnik of the states the campaign was targeting, including Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump had surprise victories.
According to the Mueller Report, close Kushner friend Rick Gerson was in regular communication with Kirill Dmitriev, head of the sanctioned Russian Direct Investment Fund, during the transition period. Gerson and Dmitriev worked on a U.S.-Russia relations plan that was likely cleared by Putin and eventually passed to Kushner, Bannon, and Tillerson. Gerson was reportedly in the Seychelles at the time of the infamous meeting between Trump associate Erik Prince and Dmitriev but has denied attending.
Breaking Down the Mueller Report: Dmitry Peskov and Kirill Dmitriev’s Post Election Trip to New York
According to the Mueller report, two influential Kremlin figures were in New York immediately after the election. Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, was there explicitly to solicit meetings with Trump transition members. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary - who has been linked to the Russian interference campaign - was in town to attend the World Chess Championship. It does not appear that the FBI was closely monitoring these senior Kremlin figures while they were in New York, raising questions about the vigor of the FBI’s Russia investigation.
According to the Mueller Report, almost immediately after Trump’s election, Jared Kushner met with two high-ranking individuals: Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador at the time, and Russian banker Sergey Gorkov, who heads the sanctioned Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB). Why was Kushner meeting with high-ranking, Kremlin-connected Russians when the Trump transition team was well aware of Russian efforts to interfere in the elections? Why did Kushner later hide these meetings from the government?