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The Report then addresses whether Trump Campaign associates knowingly entered an agreement with the Russian government to assist those conspiracies.
As many experts have noted, what’s missing from the Mueller Report is the Special Counsel’s counterintelligence findings.
That’s one feature of the Report’s being constrained by the burdens of proof in a criminal context.
It is highly likely that Papadopoulos did inform the Campaign.
We don’t know what the Special Counsel’s Office or the FBI have assessed, for example, with respect to whether Trump associates engaged in reciprocal efforts with Russian agents without entering a criminal agreement to do so, whether Americans have been witting or unwitting Russian assets, and what leverage or influence Moscow may have over particular individuals.
As a shorthand, we may use the term “collusion” to refer to these kinds of activities, which would be implicated in a counterintelligence analysis—though, as Asha Rangappa and I have written, the more analytically precise issues to consider are whether Trump Campaign associates “ to the Russia/Wiki Leaks election interference activities.
The Mueller Report is silent on the Campaign’s/Papadopoulos’ response to the Russians informing them of the plan to disseminate the derogatory information.
It addresses two Russian conspiracies to interfere in the 2016 election—one involving a social media influence campaign and the other involving the hacking and dissemination of stolen emails.
When there is “evidence of absence,” the Special Counsel was willing to say the investigation “established” effectively that something did not occur.
For example, the Report states that the investigation “established” that interactions between the Russian Ambassador and Campaign officials at certain locations were “brief, public, and non-substantive.” That finding excludes the possibility that something more nefarious occurred in those particular interactions. : At a March 31, 2016 meeting of the campaign’s foreign policy advisory group, one of the advisers George Papadopoulos “brought up a potential meeting with Russian Officials,” and told the group that he learned from his contacts in London that Putin wanted to meet Trump.
The Report states, “Even when individuals testified or agreed to be interviewed, they sometimes provided information that was false or incomplete.” Finally, some tips for reading the Mueller Report.
It is important to keep in mind that the Report’s analysis is about whether or not to prosecute someone for a crime.