About thebellyofthebeast

Adjunct professor at Northwestern University's School of Law and its Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, contributing editor to ABA "Litigation" and "The American Lawyer," and author of "The Lawyer Bubble - A Profession in Crisis (2013), "The Partnership - A Novel" (2010), "Crossing Hoffa - A Teamster's Story" (2007) (A "Chicago Tribune" Best Book of the Year), and "Straddling Worlds: The Jewish-American Journey of Professor Richard W. Leopold" (2008). Recently retired after 30 years at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Graduated from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) and Northwestern University (combined B.A./M.A. in economics, with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa).


[This post first appeared on June 2, 2019, at Dan Rather’s News & Guts.]

On May 29, special counsel Robert Mueller made his first and, he hopes, last comments on the investigation culminating in his report. “We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself,” he said.

Those words cover 448 pages. They may speak to fellow lawyers, including me. But they’re not reaching a general public suffering from Trump fatigue, bombarded with disinformation, and accustomed to processing what they see and hear in tweets and sound bites. If Mueller had stated his views in lay terms, he could have led with this headline: There’s plenty of evidence that Trump is a criminal. But I can’t indict him, so the House of Representatives must decide what to do next.

Translated into readily understandable English, here’s the rest of Mueller’s message:

  1. Forget what my boss, William Barr, told you about my report. I wanted Barr to use summaries that I’d prepared. Instead, he wrote his own misleading one, released it to the public, and sat on my report for a month.
  2. Anyone saying that I found “No Collusion” is lying. (Vol. I, p. 2, Vol. II, p. 2)
  3. Russia attacked the US presidential election to help Trump win. (Vol. I, p. 1)
  4. Trump’s campaign embraced Russia’s effort and publicly denied the truth — that it had multiple contacts with Russia. (Vol. I, pp. 5-7, 66-173; Vol. II, pp. 15-23)
  5. Anyone saying that I found “No Obstruction” is lying. (Vol. II, p. 2)
  6. Trump made it more difficult to discover the truth. As a result, I don’t know the whole story about Trump and Russia. Neither does Congress or the public. (Vol. I, p. 10)
  7. Because of existing Justice Department policy, I couldn’t even consider charging Trump with a crime. The Constitution specifies the process for dealing with presidential wrongdoing: impeachment — not me or Barr. (Vol. II, pp. 1-2)
  8. I haven’t written or said anything publicly about the counterintelligence aspect of my investigation. Congress and the public still don’t know if Putin has compromising information on Trump or others close to him. (Vol. I, p. 13)
  9. My investigation was never a “Witch Hunt” or a “Hoax.” Many former Trump campaign officials are now behind bars; others face pending cases. (Vol. II, App. D)
  10. Despite Trump’s persistent assertions to the contrary, Russian election interference was and is real; it should trouble every American patriot. (Mueller’s 5/29/2019 Statement, final sentence)

Mueller’s parting message to the House of Representatives: I’ve done my job. In accordance with the nation’s founding document, it’s time for you to do yours.


[This post first appeared on May 27, 2019, at Dan Rather’s News & Guts]

The most dangerous person in America may not be Donald Trump. Attorney General William Barr has used his formidable legal skills to promote and weaponize Trump’s lies. Last week, Trump vested Barr with unprecedented power to wreak even more havoc on the truth. And it may make Barr the most dangerous person in the country, as recent additions to the Trump-Russia Timeline demonstrate.

Barr Now Controls Public Access to Key Facts

Mar. 24, 2019: Barr’s letter to Congress (and the public) uses misleading excerpts of sentence fragments from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to declare Trump “not guilty” of obstructing justice. Barr’s deception fuels Trump’s “no collusion/no obstruction” lies about Mueller’s conclusions.

Apr. 9: Mueller’s report is still unavailable to Congress and the public. Testifying before a House committee, Barr says he doesn’t know the basis for news reports that members of Mueller’s team are unhappy with his Mar. 24 summary. He doesn’t disclose Mueller’s Mar. 27 letter complaining to Barr about the summary; Congress and the public are unaware of it.

Apr. 18: The release of a redacted version of Mueller’s report reveals that Barr misled Congress and the public about its findings and conclusions. Within a month, more than 900 former federal prosecutors who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations sign an open letter saying that, but for the fact that Trump is president, he would be facing “multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice” based on the facts in Mueller’s report.

Apr. 30: The Washington Post publishes Mueller’s Mar. 27 letter to Barr, which memorializes Mueller’s concern that Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.” The result, Mueller wrote, “is public confusion about critical aspects of the investigation.” ThePost awards Barr “Three Pinocchios” for misleading Congress in early April.

May 23: At Barr’s urging, Trump gives him unprecedented power over the entire US intelligence community’s most closely guarded secrets and orders all agencies to cooperate with him. In connection with the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, Barr gains the unprecedented power to pick and choose which secret documents to declassify. But he can also select which documents not to declassify. That means he has complete control over what the public sees, hears, and believes about how the probe began. The discredited suggestion that the FBI was “spying” on his campaign began as a baseless Trump distraction from the investigation itself. In Barr’s hands, it’s now a potent weapon against Trump’s enemies.

Will Truth Survive? 

Mueller’s report already answers the question Barr now revisits: How did the Trump-Russia investigation begin?

“On May 6, 2016, 10 days after…meeting with [Joseph] Mifsud, [Trump campaign adviser George] Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. fn 465.”

“fn 465: This information is contained in the FBI case-opening document and related materials… The foreign government conveyed this information to the US government on July 26, 2016, a few days after WikiLeaks’s release of Clinton-related emails. The FBI opened its investigation of potential coordination between Russia and the Trump Campaign a few days later based on that information.” (Vol. I. p. 89)

None of that matters now. Barr is already reinforcing Trump’s lie that the investigation began as an effort to “spy” on his campaign. Although Trump’s chosen FBI director, Christopher Wray, has rejected that Trump talking point, Barr has embraced the word “spy” and Trump loves it. Barr’s willingness to perpetuate this and other false narratives — including the incorrect claim that Mueller found “no collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign — makes Barr’s power over information all the more dangerous.

End Game?

On the day of Trump’s unprecedented delegation of power to Barr, Trump made comments that too many have dismissed as his typical bombastic rhetoric. But often that rhetoric is merely testing public reaction and morphs into troubling reality.

During a press conference at which he asked staffers to deny press reports that he’d become unhinged the previous day at a meeting with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Trump said that some people were guilty of treason.

Asked to name them, Trump added, “I think a number of people. They have unsuccessfully tried to take down the wrong person. If you look at [James] Comey, if you look at [Andrew] McCabe, if you look at probably people higher than that, if you look at [Peter] Strzok, if you look at his lover, Lisa Page, his wonderful lover.”

Later that evening, Corey Lewandowski — who remains a close Trump confidant— appeared on Fox News. He said that former Vice President Joe Biden was behind the Steele Dossier and that Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and Page will all be on trial by March or April of 2020.

Treason is a capital offense. Trump wants more than just to investigate career law enforcement officers who were simply doing their jobs in 2016. He wants to execute them. And he has William Barr shaping the public’s view of his prosecutions.

This is the seventh in a series of posts by Steven J. Harperon the Mueller report. The first six installments are available here, here, here, here, here, and here. Steve is the creator and curator of the Trump-Russia Timeline appearing at Dan Rather’s News & Guts and at Just Security. He’s an attorney, adjunct professor at Northwestern University Law School, and author of four books, including Crossing Hoffa — A Teamster’s Story (Chicago Tribune “Best Book of the Year”) and The Lawyer Bubble — A Profession in Crisis.He blogs at The Belly of the Beast. Follow him on Twitter (@StevenJHarper1).


Trump talks “treason” in describing career Justice Department officials involved in the Trump-Russia investigation. As Trump’s crusade against the truth continues, Attorney General William Barr is poised to lead the charge. My latest post at Dan Rather’s News & Guts takes a closer look at disturbing developments.

Here’s a complete list of the latest updates to the Trump-Russia Timeline at Dan Rather’s News & Guts and at Just Security:

SOMETIME DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 20, 2019: Giuliani Seeks Information on Democrats From Ukrainian

MAY 20, 2019: White House Tells McGahn Not to Honor Congressional Subpoena 

MAY 20, 2019: House Intelligence Committee Releases Cohen Transcripts

MAY 20, 2019: GOP ‘Freedom Caucus’ Condemns Amash

MAY 20-21, 2019: Judge Rejects Trump’s Effort to Block Accountants From Producing His Tax Returns; Trump Appeals

MAY 21, 2019: McGahn Refuses to Appear Before House Judiciary Committee

MAY 21, 2019: House Judiciary Committee Subpoenas Hicks, McDonald

MAY 21, 2019: Trump Attacks ’18 Angry Trump-Hating Democrats’; Tweets ‘NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION!’, Democrats Want ‘DO OVER’, ‘Fishing Expedition’

MAY 22, 2019: Trump Tweets ‘Illegally Started Investigation’, ‘NO COLLUSION’, ‘DO OVER’ – ‘Witch Hunt’, ‘PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT’, ‘ILLEGAL Witch Hunt’, Democrats’ ‘Wild Goose Chases’; Retweets Numerous Others

MAY 22, 2019: Justice Department Agrees to Produce Unredacted Mueller Materials to House

MAY 22, 2019: Trump Demands End of Investigation Before He’ll Legislate With Congress, Then Tweets About It

MAY 22, 2019: Another Judge Rejects Trump Attempt to Block Subpoena Seeking His Financial Records; NY Legislature Approves Bill to Allow Congress to Obtain Trump’s Financial Records

MAY 22, 2019: Deutsche Bank Blames ‘Software Glitch’ for Failure to Report Suspicious Transactions

MAY 23, 2019: Trump Continues Twitter Attack on Democrats: Doctored Video of Pelosi, ‘Re-Do of Mueller Report’, ‘Fishing Expedition’, Intelligence Agencies Used Against Him, ‘NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION’

MAY 23, 2019: New Federal Charges Against Assange 

MAY 23, 2019: Trump Calls ‘Treason’ on Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Lisa Page, and ‘A Number of People’; Lewandowski Says They’ll Be On Trial in 2020

MAY 23, 2019: Trump Authorizes Barr to Declassify Documents As He Investigates Origins of Russia Probe

MAY 24, 2019: Trump Tweets About Impeachment, ‘No Collusion and No Obstruction’, ‘Dems Are Just Looking for Trouble and a Do-Over’; Retweets Attacks on Democrats 

MAY 25, 2019: Trump Attacks Warner on Twitter

MAY 26, 2019: Trump Wants Apology

MAY 27, 2019: Trump Tweets: ‘Impeach For What’, Dems “Only Want A Do-Over’


Trump continues to stonewall Congress, confuse the public, and undermine the rule of law. Unfortunately, in Attorney General William Barr, Trump has now found his Roy Cohn to help. Along with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Barr is writing one of the legal profession’s saddest chapters.

The media are starting to take note. From The Guardian on May 20, 2019:

“Each new controversial memo or opinion feeds a running debate about where, exactly, assertive lawyering ends and malpractice begins. But while those debates spin on, entire ethical continents below are shifting, the critics warn, in an ominous drift away from previous legal norms. The question in play is whether there is a line past which lawyering for Trump means joining a historic assault on the justice system itself.

“Trump administration lawyers are at risk of neglecting a higher, sworn duty, said Steven J Harper, a professor and lawyer who has written on the topic for the American Bar Association.

“‘It goes beyond, I think, particular rules of professional responsibility,’ Harper said. ‘I think it goes to far more important things, like respect for the rule of law, respect for the constitution and the duty that all lawyers have to prevent a president from making the justice system a host species for his personal agenda.

“‘I think people really don’t realize the role lawyers can play,’ Harper continued. ‘Because ultimately, in order to co-opt the legal system, you need to have the help of insiders from within the legal system to do it. And so far Trump has put together a team that has, I think, in very large measure enabled him to do that.’”

“The president has tried to use the justice department to go after his political rivals before, as when he said in the spring of 2018 that he wanted prosecutions of Hillary Clinton and the former FBI director James Comey, only to be reportedly rebuffed by McGahn, then White House counsel.

“But Trump appears to have found his man in Barr, said Walter Shaub, a former director of the Office of Government Ethics and a senior adviser to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew).

“’I think it’s extremely troubling that Barr has now assigned a handpicked investigator to look into the investigation run by his own agency,’ Shaub said. ‘They have an inspector general for a reason, and the inspector general for the Department of Justice is one of the most respected inspectors general that there is, or ever has been. There’s no reason not to rely on him if you’re looking for the truth.’


“What motivates the lawyers who prop up Trump’s project? ‘Maybe it’s just the intoxication of power,’ said Harper. ‘Or maybe it’s something as simple as human nature, and how it relates to ambition and greed. I don’t know, but it’s really dangerous stuff.’”


Here’s a complete list of the latest updates to the Trump-Russia Timeline at Dan Rather’s News & Guts and at Just Security:

NOV. 8, 2016: Election Day Troubles (revision of previous entry)

BEFORE AND AFTER DEC. 1, 2017: Person ‘Connected to’ Congress Tries to Influence Flynn’s Cooperation with Mueller

APR. 3, 2018: Flynn Sends Gaetz a Message: ‘Keep the Pressure On’

MAR. 5, 2019: Mueller Tells Barr That His Report Will Include Executive Summaries

MAR. 14 – MAY 3, 2019: Trump’s Lawyers Receive Letters From Schiff, Trump’s Lawyers Resist Schiff’s Document Requests

APR. 8, 2019: Senate Intelligence Committee Subpoenas Don Jr.

APR. 18, 2019: Barr Says ‘No Collusion’, Not Bothered By ‘Spinning’ Mueller Report Before Its Release (revision of previous entry)

MAY 12, 2019: Trump Tweets Attack FBI, ‘Russian Hoax’, Burr; Says Barr is ‘Willing to Lead the Battle’; Condemns ‘Treasonous Hoax’, Democrats Requests for Documents and Witnesses; Wants Wray to Admit to ‘Spying’ on Trump Campaign (revision of previous entry)

MAY 12, 2019: Trump Attacks FBI Director Wray: ‘The FBI Has No Leadership’; Claims Attempted ‘Illegal Coup’

MAY 13, 2019: Trump Blasts ‘Attack Strategy of Harass’ Against Barr

MAY 13, 2019: Sweden Reopens Assange’s Rape Case

MAY 13, 2019: Barr Orders Another Review of Trump-Russia Investigation’s Origins

MAY 13, 2019: Gates Still Cooperating

MAY 13, 2019: Court Receives Certain Unredacted Pages of Mueller’s Report

MAY 12-14, 2019: Graham’s Advice to Don Jr.: ‘Ignore the Subpoena’, ‘Plead the Fifth’; Don Jr. Agrees to Testify

MAY 14, 2019: Florida Governor Says Russian Hackers Had Penetrated Two Florida County Voter Databases in 2016


[This post first appeared on May 19, 2019, at Dan Rather’s News & Guts]

In the final passages of his report, special counsel Robert Mueller cited the Supreme Court case of US v. Nixon for the “fundamental principle of our government” that no person — including the president — “is so high that he is above the law.” (Vol. II, pp. 180-181) Donald Trump is attacking that principle, and Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone are helping him. One — and so far only one — Republican in Congress, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), is pushing back.

Mueller Defers to Congress

Mueller found “substantial evidence” that Trump had obstructed justice. But he concluded that existing Department of Justice policy prevented the indictment of a sitting president. So when Mueller wrote that Trump was not above the law, what mechanism of accountability did he have in mind?

The answer is on the first page of his report’s second volume: “the constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct.” He was looking at you, House of Representatives — and he made that point repeatedly:

  • “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” (Vol. II, p. 8)
  • “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” (Vol. II, p. 8)
  • “Article II of the Constitution does not categorically and permanently immunize the President from potential liability for the conduct that we investigated. Rather, our analysis led us to conclude that the obstruction-of-justice statutes can validly prohibit a President’s corrupt efforts to use his official powers to curtail, end, or interfere with an investigation.” (Vol. II, pp. 159-160)
  • “[W]e concluded that Congress can validly regulate the President’s exercise of official duties to prohibit actions motivated by a corrupt intent to obstruct justice.“ (Vol. II, p. 169)

But on the way to Congress, Mueller’s report encountered William Barr. 

Barr Confuses the Public

Mueller realized that most Americans wouldn’t read his 448-page report. As the Trump-Russia Timeline reveals, he prepared summaries of his work and conclusions for public consumption. When Barr ignored those summaries, Mueller expressed his displeasure:

MAR. 5: Mueller tells Barr that the “introductions and executive summaries of our two-volume report accurately summarize this Office’s work and conclusions.”

MAR. 22: Mueller submits his 448-page report.

MAR. 24: In the early afternoon on Mar. 24, Mueller reminds Barr that his report includes introductions and summaries written specifically for public consumption. But Barr ignores them and sends Congress his own four-page summary that excerpts misleading sentence fragments from Mueller’s report.

MAR. 25: Mueller sends Barr a letter (not yet publicly available) complaining that Barr’s purported summary paints a misleading picture.

MAR. 27: Mueller sends Barr another letter: “The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the content, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions. We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25. There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigations.”

APR. 18: At a press conference two hours before releasing a redacted version of Mueller’s report, Barr says, “As [Trump] said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion.” He then repeats Trump’s “no collusion” catchphrase four more times. But Mueller made no such determination.

MAY 2: Barr’s initial spin endures because few people have read Mueller’s report. According to a CNN poll, three percent said they have read “all” of the report; ten percent have read “some”; eight percent have read “a little.” Three-quarters have read none of it.

Trump Stonewalls and Worse

Witnesses testifying in televised hearings would undermine Barr’s spin and bring Mueller’s report to life, just as they contributed to the death of Richard Nixon’s presidency. So Trump is stonewalling — trying to block key witnesses, including former White House counsel Don McGahn, from congressional appearances — while simultaneously pushing a distracting counter-narrative: investigate the investigators.

APR. 24:Trump says, “We’re fighting all the subpoenas.”

MAY 2: After Barr refuses to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, Trump tells Fox News that no other current or former White House officials will appear either: “They’ve testified for many hours, all of them. I would say, it’s done.”

MAY 15: White House counsel Pat Cipollone — who is supposed to represent the office of the presidency, not Trump personally — calls for an end to the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation. He labels it an attempted “do-over” of Mueller’s work and refuses to produce any requested documents relating to 81 present and former White House staffers.

MAY 17: In an interview with Fox News, Barr discusses his new inquiry into the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of Trump (which Congress and the public still haven’t seen): “I’ve been trying to get answers to questions and I found that a lot of the answers have been inadequate,” he says. “And I’ve also found that some of the explanations I’ve gotten don’t hang together.” In an earlier interview with The Wall Street Journal published the same day, Barr uses Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, saying, “Government power was used to spy on American citizens.”

Amash Stands Up For Constitutional Democracy

MAY 18: Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-MI) Twitter thread on the implications of the Mueller report begins with these principal conclusions:

“1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.

“2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.

“3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.

“4. Few members of Congress have read the report.”

Trump, Barr, and Cipollone seek to put Trump above the law — rarified air reserved for British kings prior to the Magna Carta, dictators around the world, and strongmen throughout history. Like Mueller, Amash understands that only Congress stands in their way. He put country over party, so now he’s Trump’s target.

This is the sixth in a series of posts by Steven J. Harper on the Mueller report. The first five installments are available here,here, here, here, and here. He is the creator and curator of the Trump-Russia Timeline appearing at Dan Rather’s News & Guts and at Just Security.



[This post first appeared on May 13, 2019 at Dan Rather’s News & Guts]

From the Senate floor on May 7, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told his colleagues to pack up their Trump-Russia investigation bags and go home: “The special counsel’s finding is clear: case closed.”

Robert Mueller disagrees. For starters, he didn’t exonerate Trump. But he concluded that, under Justice Department policy, indicting Trump wasn’t an option either. Rather, Mueller deferred to Congress in dealing with the misconduct of a sitting president — and examples of such misconduct pervade the report.

Mueller also identified five obstacles that keep the case against Trump open because they hindered the investigation. Those obstacles may have prevented the development of criminal cases beyond the 37 Trump-Russia players he charged. In Mueller’s own words, here they are:

#1: Some witnesses, including Trump, refused to talk

“Some individuals invoked their Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination….” (Vol. I, p. 10)

“We also sought a voluntary interview with the President. After more than a year of discussion, the President declined to be interviewed.” (Vol. II, p. 13)

“[Donald] Trump Jr.…declined to be voluntarily interviewed by the Office….” (Vol. I, p. 117)

#2: Some evidence was beyond Mueller’s reach:

“[T]he Office [of Special Counsel] faced practical limits on its ability to access relevant evidence as well — numerous witnesses and subjects lived abroad, and documents were held outside the United States.” (Vol. I, p. 10)

#3: Some witnesses lied to investigators:

“[T]he investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. The Office charged some of those lies as violations of the federal false-statements statute.” (Vol. I, p. 9; emphasis supplied)

“Even when individuals testified or agreed to be interviewed, they sometimes provided information that was false or incomplete….” (Vol. I. p. 10; emphasis supplied)

#4: Some witnesses destroyed evidence:

“Further, the Office learned that some of the individuals we interviewed or whose conduct we investigated — including some associated with the Trump Campaign — deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records. In such cases, the Office was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with other known facts.” (Vol. I, p. 10; emphasis supplied)

#5: Some witnesses obstructed justice and got away with it:

Mueller applied a criminal standard —“proof beyond a reasonable doubt” — in deciding not to charge members of the Trump campaign with conspiracy or obstruction. But along the way, many of them frustrated his search for the truth:

“[A]lthough the evidence of contacts between Campaign officials and Russia-affiliated individuals may not have been sufficient to establish or sustain criminal charges, several US persons connected to the Campaign made false statements about those contacts and took other steps to obstruct the Office’s investigation and those of Congress.” (Vol. I, p. 180; emphasis supplied)

Why Lie and Obstruct? Mueller Suggested Answers

“As described in Volume I, the evidence uncovered in the investigation did notestablishthat the President or those close to him were involved in the charged Russian computer-hacking or active-measure conspiracies, or that the President otherwise had an unlawful relationship with any Russian official. But the evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns.” (Vol. II, p. 76; emphasis supplied)

The Counterintelligence Probe

The released report does not include the results of Mueller’s counterintelligence probe, which involves the nation’s security. This could include details of Trump’s financial dealings, as well as information about Putin’s potential leverage over Trump and his associates. As Mueller developed that evidence, it went to the FBI.

But that’s not all: “[T]he FBI also embedded personnel at the Office who did not work on the Special Counsel’s investigation, but whose purpose was to review the results of the investigation and to send — in writing — summaries of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information to FBIHQ and FBI Field Offices. Those communications and other correspondence between the Office and the FBI contain information derived from the investigation, not all of which is contained in this Volume.” (Vol. I, p. 13)

One More Thing

Mueller’s report also lists 12 redacted criminal matters that he referred to other federal prosecutors. Congress and the public don’t know anything about their subject matter or status.

The special counsel’s role in the investigation may be concluding, but the Trump-Russia case isn’t closed. Congress and the FBI have the task of completing the job that Mueller began. As Yogi Berra said: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

This is the fifth in a series of posts by Steven J. Harper, creator and curator of the Trump-Russia Timeline,  on the Mueller Report. The first four installments are available here, here, here, and here.


Trump wants the story to disappear. Even with an attorney general who acts as if he is Trump’s personal defense attorney, it won’t. There are too many holes in his ship of state. FBI Director Christopher Wray accounts for the latest ones.

Wray has been off-message for a while. He has warned repeatedly about Russian interference in US elections. He denied the Trump-Barr assertion that the FBI had “spied” on the 2016 Trump campaign. He rejected the notion that special counsel Robert Mueller was engaged in a “Witch Hunt” or participating in a “Russian Hoax.” And he now has at his disposal the results of Mueller’s counterintelligence probe — which Congress and the public haven’t seen. To Trump, all of that makes him dangerous.

Trump’s next move? It always starts with a tweet. Wray got his first one on May 12:

So how do you suppose this one ends? No differently from his predecessors James Comey and Andrew McCabe, I suspect.

Here’s the latest update to the Trump-Russia Timeline at Dan Rather’s News & Guts and at Just Security.

1985-1986: Trump Loses Millions 

1991: Trump Is Deep in Debt (revision of previous entry)

MID-APRIL 2019: Senate Intelligence Committee Subpoenas Don Jr.

APR. 19, 2019: Trump Asks McGahn to Deny Obstruction

APR. 19, 2019: Trump Twitter Rampage Continues as He Attacks McGahn’s ‘Notes’, Threatens to ‘Bring Justice to Some Very Sick and Dangerous People Who Have Committed Serious Crimes, Perhaps Even Spying or Treason’ (revision of previous entry)

MAY 6, 2019: Cohen Reports to Prison

MAY 6, 2019: Trump Late on Magnitsky Act Sanctions

MAY 6, 2019: Former Federal Prosecutors: If Trump Weren’t The President, He Would Have Been Charged With Obstruction of Justice

MAY 7, 2019: White House Instructs McGahn Not to Comply With Congressional Subpoena

MAY 7, 2019: Wray Tells Congress: No Evidence of Spying on Trump Campaign

MAY 7, 2019: McConnell: Trump-Russia ‘Case Closed’, Defends Barr

MAY 8, 2019: Trump Tweets: McConnell Says ‘Case Closed’; Attacks Democrats and Defends Barr; FBI ‘Tried to Sabotage’ Trump Campaign’; ‘Fake Dossier’; ‘TREASONOUS HOAX’

MAY 8, 2019: House Judiciary Committee Holds Barr in Contempt; House Intelligence Committee Subpoenas Unredacted Mueller Report

MAY 7-10, 2019: US Ambassador to Ukraine Recalled; Giuliani Seeks Ukrainian Help for Trump’s 2020 Election, Then Abandons Trip

MAY 9, 2019: Trump Attacks Comey

MAY 11, 2019: Trump Retweets Defend Barr, Attack Democrats, GOP Sen. Burr for Approving Don Jr. Subpoena, Clinton, Ohr, Comey; Tweets ‘No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Crime’, Attacks McGahn