Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation made ample use of a platoon of 19 lawyers during its nearly two-year run – firing off 2,800 subpoenas in order to investigate Russian election interference and assess whether President Trump obstructed justice.
New Attorney General William Barr included several statistics about the probe in his four-page letter that he gave to Congress Sunday.
Barr provides the information in the first substantive paragraph in his letter – the opening of which gives the full title of the probe: ‘Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.’
Attorney General William Barr shared information from Special Counsel Robert Mueller that his office issued 2,800 subpoenas and obtained 500 warrants in its investigation
Although he doesn’t spell out the costs, the 674 day probe spent $25 million through the end of September, using a metric that also includes some Justice Department expenditures that would have happened even without the probe.
Barr cites Mueller as reporting that he employed 19 lawyers who were aided by approximately 40 ‘FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff.’
In total, Mueller’s office issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, collecting a trove of information that contributed to the eight convictions Mueller has obtained so far, as well as prosecutions farmed out to various U.S. attorneys’ offices.
FBI agents executed a total of 500 search warrants – including when a team of agents raided longtime Trump advisors Roger Stone’s Florida home in the early morning following his arrest.
HIGH AUTHORITY: Special Counsel Robert Mueller walks after attending church on March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC
Barr included some statistical information about the Mueller probe in the top of his 3 1/2 page summary letter
Mueller’s probe obtained eight convictions
President Donald Trump talks to the media before boarding Air Force One after the release of Barr’s letter
Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Washington. Stone was arrested in the special counsel’s Russia investigation and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe. Barr noted that Mueller’s team had at least 40 FBI agents and other investigators on staff
Agents following up on the special counsel’s work also swooped in on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s home, office, and apartment – having conducted thorough assessments in advance about such details as his office set-up, computer network, and filing system.
They even used electronic tracking to figure out which hotel room Cohen was staying in, after getting an earlier warrant to read his emails, which tipped them off that Cohen had moved to a hotel after sustaining water damage to his home.
All told, the special counsel ‘obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses,’ according to Barr.
The probe’s costs may ultimately be exceeded by what it brought in. Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort agreed to forfeit assets worth $42 million during his guilty plea to some of the charged against him following a conviction.
Barr included the information in his report to establish that Mueller indeed conducted a ‘thorough’ investigation – which bolstered the finding that Mueller’s team ‘did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.’
Mueller probe by the numbers:
Cost $25 million through the end of September
Issued 2,800 subpoenas to get information
500 witnesses interviewed
Agents got 500 search warrants
230 orders for records
Probe lasted for 674 days
AG Bill Barr lade out some of the information in a 3 1/2 page letter
Paul Manafort agreed to pay the government $42 million during guilty plea to charges
President Trump has spent months ripping the Mueller probe as a partisan ‘witch hunt’ combined of what he called ’12 angry Democrats.’
‘Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations,’ Barr wrote.
Nevertheless, all the numerical information laying out the extent of Mueller’s work provided Democrats with an idea of just how much information was still beyond their reach for the moment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer made clear in a statement Sunday they would not be content with Barr’s brief summary.
‘Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise. The American people have a right to know,’ they wrote.
Despite all the resources and effort, Mueller decided not to make a determination on whether the president obstructed justice.
‘The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr wrote.
Mueller – the final tally: Eight convictions, a jailed attorney and 25 Russians accused
GUILTY: MICHAEL FLYNN
Pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2017. Awaiting sentence
Flynn was President Trump’s former National Security Advisor and Robert Mueller’s most senior scalp to date. He previously served when he was a three star general as President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but was fired.
He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his conversations with a Russian ambassador in December 2016. He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.
GUILTY: MICHAEL COHEN
Pleaded guilty to eight counts including fraud and two campaign finance violations in August 2018. Pleaded guilty to further count of lying to Congress in November 2018. Sentenced to three years in prison and $2 million in fines and forfeitures in December 2018
Cohen was Trump’s longtime personal attorney, starting working for him and the Trump Organization in 2007. He is the longest-serving member of Trump’s inner circle to be implicated by Mueller. Cohen professed unswerving devotion to Trump – and organized payments to silence two women who alleged they had sex with the-then candidate: porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. He admitted that payments to both women were felony campaign finance violations – and admitted that he acted at the ‘direction’ of ‘Candidate-1’: Donald Trump.
He also admitted tax fraud by lying about his income from loans he made, money from taxi medallions he owned, and other sources of income, at a cost to the Treasury of $1.3 million.
And he admitted lying to Congress in a rare use of the offense. The judge in his case let him report for prison on March 6 and recommended he serve it in a medium-security facility close to New York City.
GUILTY AND JAILED: PAUL MANAFORT
Found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud in August 2018. Sentenced to 47 months in March 2019. Pleaded guilty to two further charges – witness tampering and conspiracy against the United States. Jailed for total of seven and a half years in two separate sentences. Additionally indicted for mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney, using evidence previously presented by Mueller
Manafort worked for Trump’s campaign from March 2016 and chaired it from June to August 2016, overseeing Trump being adopted as Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He is the most senior campaign official to be implicated by Mueller. Manafort was one of Washington D.C.’s longest-term and most influential lobbyists but in 2015, his money dried up and the next year he turned to Trump for help, offering to be his campaign chairman for free – in the hope of making more money afterwards. But Mueller unwound his previous finances and discovered years of tax and bank fraud as he coined in cash from pro-Russia political parties and oligarchs in Ukraine.
Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of tax and bank fraud but was convicted of eight counts in August 2018. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10 charges. A second trial on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent due in September did not happen when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and witness tampering in a plea bargain. He was supposed to co-operate with Mueller but failed to.
Minutes after his second sentencing hearing in March 2019, he was indicted on 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy by the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., using evidence which included documents previously presented at his first federal trial. The president has no pardon power over charges by district and state attorneys.
GUILTY: RICK GATES
Pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in February 2018. Awaiting sentence
Gates was Manafort’s former deputy at political consulting firm DMP International. He admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government on financial activity, and to lying to investigators about a meeting Manafort had with a member of congress in 2013. As a result of his guilty plea and promise of cooperation, prosecutors vacated charges against Gates on bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, filing false tax returns, helping prepare false tax filings, and falsely amending tax returns.
GUILTY AND JAILED: GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS
Pleaded guilty to making false statements in October 2017. Sentenced to 14 days in September 2018, and reported to prison in November. Served 12 days and released on December 7, 2018
Papadopoulos was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisory committee. He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his contacts with London professor Josef Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev, the director of a Russian government-funded think tank.
He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.
GUILTY AND JAILED: RICHARD PINEDO
Pleaded guilty to identity fraud in February 2018. Sentenced to a year in prison
Pinedo is a 28-year-old computer specialist from Santa Paula, California. He admitted to selling bank account numbers to Russian nationals over the internet that he had obtained using stolen identities.
He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.
GUILTY AND JAILED: ALEX VAN DER ZWAAN
Pleaded guilty to making false statements in February 2018. He served a 30-day prison sentence and was deported to the Netherlands on his release
Van der Zwaan was a Dutch attorney for Skadden Arps who worked on a Ukrainian political analysis report for Paul Manafort in 2012.
He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about when he last spoke with Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik. His law firm say he was fired.
GUILTY: W. SAMUEL PATTEN
Pleaded guilty in August 2018 to failing to register as a lobbyist while doing work for a Ukrainian political party. Awaiting sentence
Patten, a long-time D.C. lobbyist was a business partner of Paul Manafort. He pleaded guilty to admitting to arranging an illegal $50,000 donation to Trump’s inauguration.
He arranged for an American ‘straw donor’ to pay $50,000 to the inaugural committee, knowing that it was actually for a Ukrainian businessman.
Neither the American or the Ukrainian have been named.
CHARGED: KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK
Indicted for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. At large, probably in Russia
Kilimnik is a former employee of Manafort’s political consulting firm and helped him with lobbying work in Ukraine. He is accused of witness tampering, after he allegedly contacted individuals who had worked with Manafort to remind them that Manafort only performed lobbying work for them outside of the U.S.
He has been linked to Russian intelligence and is currently thought to be in Russia – effectively beyond the reach of extradition by Mueller’s team.
INDICTED: THE RUSSIANS
Twenty-five Russian nationals and three Russian entities have been indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States. They remain at large in Russia
Two of these Russian nationals were also indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 11 were indicted for conspiracy to launder money. Fifteen of them were also indicted for identity fraud.
Vladimir Putin has ridiculed the charges. Russia effectively bars extradition of its nationals. The only prospect Mueller has of bringing any in front of a U.S. jury is if Interpol has their names on an international stop list – which is not made public – and they set foot in a territory which extradites to the U.S.
INDICTED: MICHAEL FLYNN’S BUSINESS PARTNERS
Bijan Kian (left), number two in now disgraced former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s lobbying company, and the two’s business partner Ekim Alptekin (right) were indicted for conspiracy to lobby illegally. Kian is awaiting trial, Alptekin is still to appear in court
Kian, an Iranian-American was arrested and appeared in court charged with a conspiracy to illegally lobby the U.S government without registering as a foreign agent. Their co-conspirator was Flynn, who is called ‘Person A’ in the indictment and is not charged, offering some insight into what charges he escaped with his plea deal.
Kian, vice-president of Flynn’s former lobbying firm, is alleged to have plotted with Alptekin to try to change U.S. policy on an exiled Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania and who is accused by Turkey’s strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of trying to depose him.
Erdogan’s government wanted him extradited from the U.S. and paid Flynn’s firm through Alptekin for lobbying, including an op-ed in The Hill calling for Gulen to be ejected. Flynn and Kian both lied that the op-ed was not paid for by the Turkish government.
The indictment is a sign of how Mueller is taking an interest in more than just Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
INDICTED: ROGER STONE
Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign official and longtime informal advisor to Trump, was indited on seven counts including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks in January 2019. Awaiting trial
Stone was a person of interest to Mueller’s investigators long before his January indictment, thanks in part due to his public pronouncements as well as internal emails about his contacts with WikiLeks.
In campaign texts and emails, many of which had already been publicly revealed before showing up in Mueller’s indictment, Stone communicated with associates about WikiLeaks following reports the organization had obtained a cache of Clinton-related emails.
Stone, a former Nixon campaign adviser who has the disgraced former president’s face permanently tattooed on his back, has long been portrayed as a central figure in the election interference scandal, but as recently as January 4 told Dailymail.com that he doesn’t expect to be indicted.
‘They got nothing,’ he said of the special counsel’s investigation.
According to the federal indictment, Stone gave ‘false and misleading’ testimony about his requests for information from WikiLeaks. He then pressured a witness, comedian Randy Credico, to take the Fifth Amendment rather than testify, and pressured him in a series of emails. Following a prolonged dispute over testimony, he called him a ‘rat’ and threatened to ‘take that dog away from you’, in reference to Credico’s pet, Bianca. Stone warned him: ‘Let’s get it on. Prepare to die.’