Why Mueller report doesn’t signify end of Russia probe

On Friday, the special counsel Robert Mueller turned in his highly anticipated final report in the Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr.

Mueller was tasked with investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, whether members of President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow, and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice after the public learned of the investigation’s existence.

Barr is now expected to prepare his own summary of Mueller’s findings for Congress, which will in turn release Barr’s summary to the public.

But Justice Department veterans cautioned to INSIDER that the release of Barr’s summary of Mueller’s findings does not necessarily signify the end of the Russia investigation. They pointed to, in particular, a plethora of court cases, cooperation agreements, and potential future indictments that could drop well after Barr submits his report to Congress.

Read more: Mueller’s findings in the Russia probe could reportedly be delivered as soon as next week

President Donald Trump.
Associated Press/Evan Vucci

Here are some of the major threads that experts say will continue past the release of the Mueller report:

  • The longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone was indicted on seven felony counts of obstruction, false statements, and witness tampering last month. He pleaded not guilty to all counts and intends to go to trial. He has also not ruled out cooperating with prosecutors against other individuals — but not Trump — ensnared in the Russia probe.
  • Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign deputy chairman, is still cooperating with multiple investigations.
  • Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is still cooperating with multiple investigations.
  • The Manhattan US attorney’s office is probing Trump’s involvement in several hush-money payments during the election to women who said they had affairs with him. Cohen, Trump’s former bookkeeper, and several Trump Organization executives are cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
  • New York federal prosecutors subpoenaed Trump’s inaugural committee for documents related to its finances. The committee has long been under scrutiny from investigators examining whether foreign governments — such as Russia and the United Arab Emirates — illegally funneled money into the operation to influence White House policy.
  • Paul Erickson, a GOP strategist and the boyfriend of the Russian spy Maria Butina, was charged by the Justice Department in an unrelated fraud scheme, and if he strikes a plea deal, it could open up new investigative threads for prosecutors.
  • The House Intelligence Committee recently sent over the transcripts of testimony from several individuals that lawmakers believe may have lied to Congress, including Donald Trump Jr. and the Trump associate Erik Prince.
  • Mueller was locked in a legal battle with an unknown foreign corporation that’s fighting a grand-jury subpoena for documents and testimony.
  • Prosecutors are also in a court fight with Andrew Miller, a Stone associate who’s fighting a separate grand-jury subpoena to provide witness testimony.
  • In January, Mueller’s federal grand jury was extended for six months, so it could continue to meet and vote on criminal indictments brought by other parts of the Justice Department.
  • The US attorney’s office in Washington, DC, has stepped up on assisting Mueller’s team with case work that will continue even after the release of a report. Some of those cases reportedly include Stone’s, one involving a Russian social-media conspiracy, and the court battle with the unidentified foreign corporation.

Source

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