In the ongoing 2017 Special Counsel investigation, Robert Mueller and his team are exploring any and all coordination between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian involvement to determine if illegal intervention was involved. Mueller and his team have been accused of bias because Mueller worked in the Bush administration. These accusations are hard to prove definitively. The stakes are high, considering the investigations of Michael Flynn, who communicated with Russian contacts, were absorbed into Mueller’s investigation.
The investigation has found that Russia hacked Democratic National Convention (DNC) servers and hacked Hillary Clinton’s email and leaked information from it. There is still an investigation to whether they attempted or succeeded in penetrating election databases in 2016. Russia’s influence on United States voters through social media is a main focus of these investigations.
Many Facebook advertisements were financed and made by Russia, and this could be in violation of laws on foreign donations in internal elections. United States law is incredibly concerned with how money flows in regards to campaign advertising.
Mueller is also investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Republican activist Peter W. Smith. It is difficult to determine whether these ties were illegal. However, the court of public opinion is often more important in this stage. As of three days ago, Mueller and his team announced they have sufficient evidence to charge Flynn for his crimes.
Major ethical issues have been uncovered by Mueller’s investigation. Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pled guilty on Oct. 5 by admitting he made false statements to FBI agents regarding his Russian contacts. United States intelligence discovered a conversation in which Russian officials themselves said they had established a strong relationship with Michael Flynn and that he could be used to influence Trump. Paul Manafort, Trump’s previous campaign manager, colluded with executives in the Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank. Both failed to report these meetings. Previously, Trump’s administration collectively denied these now proven relations.
The Russian hacking unveiled significant corruption within the DNC. The DNC has been involved with draft sharing and other malpractice with mainstream media as well as other examples of corruption. The party’s leadership had worked to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. The DNC disguised LGBT+ pride celebrations as tools to acquire donor money by paying for proximity to the leaders of said movements.
Mueller’s investigation has revealed corruption on both sides. More depositions and subpoenas are likely to come, so more information about the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia and corruption within the DNC will be released.