Justice Department turns over a minimally redacted memo outlining the scope of the Mueller probe to Senate Republicans

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Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller

Leah Millis/Reuters

  • The DOJ has turned over a nearly unredacted memo outlining the scope of the former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference to two Republican senators, Politico reported.

  • The unredacted portions of the memo reveal that Mueller was specifically authorized to investigate former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and former Trump campaign foreign policy aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

  • Mueller uncovered criminal activity related to the majority of investigative threads he was tasked with examining.

  • The last portion of the memo is still redacted, indicating the individual mentioned is currently involved in an ongoing criminal matter or was not charged with a crime.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Justice Department has turned over a less redacted memo outlining the scope of the former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Senate Republicans, Politico reported.

The memo was the second of three documents then deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein sent to Mueller.

The first was sent in May 2017 and laid out a general outline of what he would investigate: Russia's interference in the election, whether members of Donald Trump's campaign conspired with the Russian government; and any other matters that arose out of the investigation.

The second was sent in August 2017 and included additional details of specific individuals and investigative threads Mueller was authorized to examine. A version of that memo was made available to the public in 2018 but had large portions blacked out because Mueller's probe was still ongoing at the time.

The less redacted version, which the DOJ turned over to Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley after they requested it, reveals that Mueller was specifically authorized to investigate the following individuals:

  • Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. Mueller was tasked with investigating whether Page

  • "Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law."

  • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Mueller was authorized to investigate whether Manafort

    • "Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law."

    • "Committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych."

    • "Committed a crime or crimes arising out of his receipt of loans from a bank whose Chief Executive Officer was then seeking a position in the Trump Administration."

  • Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos. Mueller was authorized to investigate if Papadopoulos:

    • "Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law."

    • "Committed a crime or crimes by acting as an unregistered agent of the government of Israel."

  • Former national security adviser Michael Flynn and whether Flynn:

    • "Committed a crime or crimes by engaging in conversations with Russian government officials during the period of the Trump transition."

    • "Committed a crime or crimes by making false statements to the FBI when interviewed about his contacts with the Russian government."

    • "Committed a crime or crimes by failing to report foreign contacts and income on a Form SF-86 that he completed in anticipation of his being selected to serve as the National Security Adviser to President Trump."

    • "Committed a crime or crimes by acting as an unregistered agent for the government of Turkey."

Manafort was convicted of eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts in the first of two cases Mueller brought against him. Manafort struck a plea deal in the second case, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction. But the judge overseeing his case voided the deal after prosecutors accused Manafort of lying to them about multiple events in the Russia probe.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian officials. Flynn also pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, though the former national security adviser is now trying to withdraw his plea deal, accusing the government of prosecutorial misconduct.

Page was not indicted as part of the Russia probe, and the DOJ's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, determined that the FBI made several bureaucratic errors while applying for warrants to surveil Page. Horowitz also concluded, however, that contrary to Trump's and his allies' claims, the FBI was not motivated by political bias when it launched the Russia probe.

The last section of who and what Mueller was authorized to investigate is still redacted in the memo the DOJ turned over to Grassley and Graham, likely because it involves an ongoing criminal matter or the individual was not charged with a crime.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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