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Robert Mueller Investigation Filings Show the Facts

When Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel in 2017, he was given several subjects to investigate: Russian meddling in the election, any coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign and any other crimes arising from the investigation.

So far, he has delivered a lot of detail about the first and the last, but has not said much about any Trump coordination.

To Trump and his supporters, that has provided a vindication of sorts. Trump has repeatedly argued that guilty pleas and successful prosecutions from Mueller’s team actually show that there was “no collusion.” The special counsel’s office has regularly declined to comment on its findings, but some of the details provided so far provide hints that there may be more to the story.

Still, understanding all of the findings in light of the dizzying array of charges and countercharges can be difficult. So we’ve pulled all of the most relevant legal findings together in one place.

Overall, they sketch a suggestive picture. According to the legal documents, Russia began a massive project to sow political discord in the United States, eventually deciding to support Trump and disparage Clinton in the 2016 election. As part of that project, the documents show, Russian nationals made repeated efforts to reach out to members of the Trump campaign which were met with interest, in part because Trump was pursuing a real estate deal in Moscow until the eve of the Republican convention.

On more minor notes, the court filings also show that Trump’s longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, worked with the National Enquirer to keep two sex scandals out of the news; National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had an interesting discussion with the then-Russian ambassador about sanctions related to election meddling; and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort kept in touch with the Trump Administration even as he was being investigated.

The legal filings have also revealed a lot of other damning information, including unlawful personal dealings by Cohen, Flynn and Manafort and times in which various individuals under investigation lied to FBI agents or Congress. We have left these out of the story in order to make it easier to follow and focus on what appear to be the more central questions. At this point, who knows where Mueller is ultimately headed.

We have replaced some legal terms from the filings, such as “defendants,” by people’s actual names in brackets for clarity’s sake. Several of the filings refer to “Individual-1,” who is widely understood to be Trump, so we have replaced it with his name there too.

Russia’s project to sow discord

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an awards ceremony for Russian team members at the Winter Paralympic games in Sochi, Russia on March 17, 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an awards ceremony for Russian team members at the Winter Paralympic games in Sochi, Russia on March 17, 2014.

Sasha Mordovets—Getty Images

The Internet Research Agency started in Russia in 2013

Source: Charging documents against Internet Research Agency et al, Feb. 16, 2018

The agency used social media to influence U.S. politics

Source: Charging documents against Internet Research Agency et al, Feb. 16, 2018

The goal was to make U.S. politics more divisive

Source: Charging documents against Internet Research Agency et al, Feb. 16, 2018

Staffers attacked Rubio, Cruz and Clinton, but supported Sanders and Trump

Source: Charging documents against Internet Research Agency et al, Feb. 16, 2018

They reached out to Trump campaign officials as ‘Matt Skiber’ and ‘Josh Milton’

Source: Charging documents against Internet Research Agency et al, Feb. 16, 2018

George Papadopoulos’ Russian connections

George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents

George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents

@realdonaldtrump/twitter/reuters

George Papadopoulos was a Trump foreign policy advisor

Charging documents against George Papadopoulos, Oct. 5, 2017

Papadopoulos met with a professor with Russian connections

Charging documents against George Papadopoulos, Oct. 5, 2017

The professor introduced Papadopoulos to a supposed Putin niece

Charging documents against George Papadopoulos, Oct. 5, 2017

Papadopoulos tried to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting

Charging documents against George Papadopoulos, Oct. 5, 2017

The professor told Papadopoulos the Russians had ‘dirt’ on Clinton

Charging documents against George Papadopoulos, Oct. 5, 2017

Donald Trump’s Moscow tower development

Michael Cohen, personal lawyer for President-elect Donald Trump, gets into an elevator at Trump Tower, Dec. 12, 2016 in New York City.

Michael Cohen, personal lawyer for President-elect Donald Trump, gets into an elevator at Trump Tower, Dec. 12, 2016 in New York City.

Drew Angerer—Getty Images

Michael Cohen became Trump’s lawyer in 2007

Source: Southern District of New York sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

The Trump Organization pursued a real estate project in Moscow in 2015 and 2016

Source: Mueller sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

A Russian reached out about setting up a meeting with Putin

Source: Mueller sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

But Cohen already had a Russian contact

Source: Mueller sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

Cohen talked with top Russian officials about the project

Source: Southern District of New York sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

The Moscow project continued through June of 2016

Source: Southern District of New York sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

Cohen looked into having Trump travel to Russia

Source: Southern District of New York sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

Michael Cohen’s work on sex scandals

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, on Apr. 13, 2018 in New York City

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, on Apr. 13, 2018 in New York City

Yana Paskova—Getty Images

Cohen began working for the Trump campaign in 2015

Source: Southern District of New York sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018.

He met with the National Enquirer about keeping sex scandals quiet

Source: Southern District of New York cooperation agreement, Sept. 20, 2018

Cohen kept Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal stories out of the news

Source: Southern District of New York sentencing memo for Michael Cohen, Dec. 7, 2018

He promised to reimburse the Enquirer on the McDougal story

Source: Southern District of New York cooperation agreement, Sept. 20, 2018

Michael Flynn’s Russian contacts

Michael Flynn in Feb. 2017.

Michael Flynn in Feb. 2017.

Carolyn Kaster—AP

After the election, President Obama sanctioned Russia over meddling

Source: Mueller charging document for Michael Flynn, Dec. 1, 2017

Flynn talked with the Russian ambassador about sanctions

Source: Mueller charging document for Michael Flynn, Dec. 1, 2017

Paul Manafort’s contacts with the Trump Administration

In this July 19, 2016 file photo, Paul Manafort is seen at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

In this July 19, 2016 file photo, Paul Manafort is seen at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tom Williams—CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Manafort kept in touch with the Trump Administration

Source: Mueller request to find Manafort in breach of plea agreement, Dec. 7, 2018

Contact us at editors@time.com.

ViaTimes

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