The Mueller Report – Did Russia Interfere in the 2016 Election?

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The Mueller Report – Did Russia Interfere in the 2016 Election?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III recently submitted his long-awaited report on Russian interference.  File photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III recently submitted his long-awaited report on Russian interference. File photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III recently submitted his long-awaited report on Russian interference. File photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III recently submitted his long-awaited report on Russian interference. File photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The nearly two-year investigation, headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, into President Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia and possible obstruction finally came to a close on March 22nd, though the report has not yet been made public. The only information known about it comes from a four-page summary written by Attorney General William Barr, in which he states that, contrary to the speculation of many critics, that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

The headquarters of the Internet Research Agency. Charles Maynes, Voice of America

However, it did find that Russia did indeed attempt to influence the 2016 Presidential election. The investigation concluded that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian-based organization, intentionally spread misinformation and ‘fake news’ in order to ¨…sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election.¨ The Internet Research Agency has been notorious for spreading ‘fake news’ across social media since 2013, so this does not come as much of a surprise. The Barr summary also states that the Special Counsel ¨…did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts.¨

This anticlimactic conclusion has led to a great deal of division and speculation, as many vocal anti-Trump advocates believe that the full report may contain more damaging information. Trump supporters, however, argue that the Barr summary exonerates President Trump and his administration, clearly proving that there was no Russian collusion and that the investigation was truly a ‘witch hunt’. However, as no one but Mueller knows what is in the full report, to make such claims would be premature at this point. Additionally, at this point it is difficult to say whether President Trump or his administration engaged in obstruction of the Special Counsel’s investigation.

Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta, The Associated Press

With Mueller´s full report set to be publicly released as soon as mid-April, it is likely that a great deal of sensitive information will have to be redacted first. Even so, anticipation is already building for the release of the full document, so much so that it is already available for preorder on Amazon.

No matter what conclusion the full report presents, one thing remains certain – the Trump presidency will remain the center of countless controversies, and this may increase through the 2020 election.

 

Chen, Adrian. “The Agency.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 June 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html.

Naylor, Brian. “Trump Backs Public Release Of Mueller Report.” NPR, NPR, 20 Mar. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/03/20/705162788/trump-backs-public-release-of-mueller-report.

Parks, Miles. “What Will Mueller’s Russia Report Mean For Election Security In 2020?” NPR, NPR, 27 Mar. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/03/27/706557102/what-will-muellers-russia-report-mean-for-election-security-in-2020.

Ruhle, Stephanie. “The Mueller Report to Be Released in ‘Weeks Not Months’.” MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group, 27 Mar. 2019, www.msnbc.com/stephanie-ruhle/watch/the-mueller-report-to-be-released-in-weeks-not-months-1465654851771.

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