Mueller Report Page 16 of 448

Text Translation

National Security Agency—that concluded with high confidence that Russia had intervened in the
election through a variety of means to assist Trump’s candidacy and harm Clinton’s. A
declassified version of the assessment was publicly released that same day.

Between mid-January 2017 and early February 2017, three congressional committeesmthe
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (H'PSCI), the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence (SSCI), and the Senate Judiciary Committee (SIG-announced that they would
conduct inquiries, or had already been conducting inquiries, into Russian interference in the
election. Then-FBI Director James Comey later confirmed to Congress the existence of the FBI’s
investigation into Russian interference that had begun before the election. On March 20, 2017, in
open-session testimony before HPSCI, Comey stated:

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part
of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts
to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the
nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and
the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the
campaign and Russia’s efforts. . . . As with any counterintelligence investigation,
this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.

The investigation continued under then-Director Comey for‘the next seven weeks until May 9,
2017, when President Trump fired Comey as FBI Director—an action which is analyzed in
Volume II of the report.

On May 17, 2017, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed the Special Counsel
and authorized him to conduct the investigation that Comey had confirmed in his congressional
testimony, as well as matters arising directly from the investigation, and any other matters within

the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a), which generally covers efforts to interfere with or obstruct the
investigation.

President Trump reacted negatively to the Special Counsel’s appointment. He told advisors
that it was the end of his presidency, sought to have Attorney General Jefferson (Jeff) Sessions
unrecuse from the Russia investigation and to have the Special Counsel removed, and engaged in
efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation and prevent the disclosure of evidence to it,
including through public and private contacts with potential witnesses. Those and related actions
are described and analyzed in Volume II of the report.

***

THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S CHARGING DECISIONS

In reaching the charging decisions described in Volume I of the report, the Office
determined whether the conduct it found amounted to a violation of federal criminal law
chargeable under the Principles of Federal Prosecution. See Justice Manual § 9-27.000 et seq.
(2018). The standard set forth in the Justice Manual is whether the conduct constitutes a crime; if
so, whether admissible evidence would probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction;

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