Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report has finally been released to the public — and we're beginning to get a sense of what's inside.
The Independent's Chris Riotta, Victoria Gagliardo-Silver and Lily Puckett reviewed the report, finding numerous examples of inappropriate contacts between Russian operatives and members of the Trump campaign throughout the 2016 presidential election, as well as extensive business discussions between Mr Trump and his associates to discuss a major real estate project in Moscow as he was running for the White House.
Mr Trump’s efforts to influence the Russia investigation “were mostly unsuccessful,” according to the report, but that was because the people surrounding the president “declined to carry out orders to accede to his requests.”
Mr Mueller’s report details instances by several officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, former White House counsel Don McGahn and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, ignoring or refusing the president's requests to interfere in the investigation.
The most heavily redacted portion of the report appears in its first section, which covers Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and examines contacts between Russian representatives and the Trump campaign. The report concludes there was no criminal culpability by Trump aides.
Several pages in that first section are almost entirely blacked out. The report’s second section, examining possible obstruction by Mr Trump, appeared more lightly redacted.
The Justice Department’s careful excisions begin as early as the fourth page of the report.
Mr Barr said he was withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to ongoing investigation and the privacy or reputation of uncharged “peripheral” people.
In referencing an oligarch who headed up a team of Russian tech experts who used US social media to exploit American political controversies, Justice officials blacked out details about the man’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Additional reporting by AP. Check out The Independent's initial live-read of the document below.
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