It has become very clear to me that no Republican, few Democrats, and most members of the media have not read the final Mueller Report. This is disgraceful. The Mueller Report is one of the most consequential pieces of investigation ever published, has an enormous impact on our future as a nation, and it is available to everyone (in its redacted form) to read.
And yet no one does.
I am now committing myself to reading the full report, and I hope you will join me. You can find the report here:
I will report my findings and reactions as I progress.
Part One: Pages 1 – 38
The following comes directly from the report. This is not conjecture or opinion.
The Russians interfered with our 2016 election through the use of a two-pronged attack.
First Prong of the Attack: the Internet Research Agency (IRA) carried out a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the U.S., utilizing funding from Russian oligarchs with ties to Putin. The IRA posed as U.S. entities and persons and made contact with Trump supporters and Trump Campaign officials in the U.S.
The IRA build a network of fake social media accounts across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, as well as operating a network of automated Twitter accounts – bots – to amplify their existing content.
The IRA also organized and promoted political rallies inside the U.S. while posing as grassroots activists, done in coordination with their social media accounts. This includes three Pro-Trump, IRA rallies in New York, a series in Florida, and a series in Pennsylvania. The Florida rallies drew the attention of the Trump Campaign who posted about them on Trump’s Facebook account.
The IRA also operated social media groups under such names as “Being Patriotic,” “Stop All Immigrants,” “Secured Borders,” “Tea Party News,” “Black Matters,” “Blacktivist,” “Don’t Shoot Us,” “LGBT United,” “United Muslims of America,” and “Stop All Invaders,” among others.
By the end of the 2016 election, the IRA had the ability to reach tens of millions of people through their social media accounts.
The structure and funding sources of the IRA is heavily redacted, but the source is the Russian government and Russian oligarchs.
On multiple occasions, members and surrogates of the Trump Campaign promoted – by linking, retweeting, or similar methods – Pro Trump or anti-Clinton content published by the IRA through IRA-controlled social media accounts, including Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Michael T. Flynn. Trump himself also responded to a tweet from an IRA-controlled account.
In coordinating with the Trump Campaign to organize pro-Trump, IRA rallies, the IRA contacted the Trump Campaign many times, including requests for signs and materials. While certain volunteers provided the requested support, “the investigation has not identified evidence that any Trump Campaign official understood the requests were coming from foreign nationals.” (pg 35)
The Special Counsel’s Office (SCO), despite identifying “numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, determined that the evidence was not sufficient enough to support criminal charges “of being an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principle, nor did they feel that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere with the election.”
The SCO did establish that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the SCO and to Congress about their interactions with Russian affiliated individuals and related matters. These lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. These parties would be primarily Flynn, Papadopoulos, Cohen, and Manafort.
The SCO also learned that some of the individuals interviewed or whose conduct we investigated – including some with Trump Campaign – deleted relevant communications or used encryption that does not provide for long term retention of data or records.
And that is why they had insufficient evidence to charge.
More to come.