Skip to content

Get Judicial Watch Updates!

DONATE

Judicial Watch • The Mueller Report

The Mueller Report

The Mueller Report

Page 1: The Mueller Report

Donate now to keep these documents public!


See Generated Text   ∨

Autogenerated text from PDF

U.S. Department Justice
Attot1He~ Work Preettet Ma:y Coftta:it~ Matet1ia:l Pt1oteetee UHeer Fee. Crin~. 6(e)
Report The Investigation Into
Russian Interference The
2016 Presidential Election
Volume ofll
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, III
Submitted Pursuant C.F.R. 600.B(c)
Washington, D.C.
March 2019
U.S. Department Justice
A1:t:arHey Waflt Praattet May Cafl:taifl: Material Prateeted Uttaer Fee. Crim. 6(e)
U.S Department Justice
i1,MerHey Werk Pretittet May CelltailI Material Preteetecl UAcler Feti. Crim. 6(e)
TABLE CONTENTS- VOLUME
INTRODUCTION VOLUME ................ ..................................................................... .................
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY VOLUME ....... ................................................ .... ................................... THE SPECIAL COUNSELS INVESTIGATION .................... ....... ...................... ....... ... .... ...... ............
II. RUSSIAN ACTIVE MEASURES SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN ......................... ...... .... ............ Structure the Internet Research Agency ................................................................. Funding and Oversight from Concord and Prigozhin ..... ..................... ....................... The IRA Targets U.S. Elections ..................................................................... ............. The IRA Ramps U.S Operations Early 2014 ...................................... U.S. Operations Through IRA-Controlled Social Media Accounts ......... ............ U.S. Operations Through Facebook...................................................................... .S. Operations Through Twitter ......................................................................... Individualized Accounts ........................................................... .... .................... IRA Botnet Activities ............................................... ...... ......... ... ....... .............. U.S Operations Involving Political Rallies ................ ...... ........ .... ... ..................... Targeting and Recruitment U.S. Persons ................................ .......... ... ............. Interactions and Contacts with the Trump Campaign .... ....................................... Trump Campaign Promotion ofIRA Political Materials ................................. Contact with Trump Campaign Officials Connection Rallies ... ..............
Ill.
RUSSIAN HACKING AND DUMPING OPERATIONS ............ ........ .... ... ..... .............. ......... ...... GRU Hacking Directed the Clinton Campaign ....................................................... GRU Units Target the Clinton Campaign ........................... .................................. Intrusions into the DCCC and DNC Networks .............. ... ... ................................. Initial Access ................................................... .................. ........................... Implantation Malware DCCC and DNC Networks .............................. Theft Documents from DNC and DCCC Networks .................................... Dissemination the Hacked Materials ......................... .......... .... ............................... DCLeaks ................ ............................................ ... ..... ... .... ................................ Guccifer 2.0 .......... ............................................................................................... Use WikiLeaks ................................................. ................................................ WikiLeakss Expressed Opposition Toward the Clinton Campaign ............... WikiLeaks First Contact with Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks ..................... ....
U.S. Department Justice
.A:M6rHey W6rk Pr6tittet Mtlj C6AtaiA Mftferial Pr6teeteti UHtier Feti. Crim. 6(e) The GRUs Transfer Stolen Materials WikiLeaks ................ .................. WikiLeaks Statements Dissembling About the Source Stolen
Materials .................................................................. ...................................... Additional GRU Cyber Operations ............................................................................. Summer and Fall 2016 Operations Targeting Democrat-Linked Victims ............ Intrusions Targeting the Administration U.S. Elections ................................... Trump Campaign and the Dissemination Hacked Materials ..................................
................... ... ........................................................................ Background ................................... ............................................................... Contacts with the Campaign about WikiLeaks ................................................
Harm Ongoing Matter
.......... .......... WikiLeaks October 2016 Release Stolen Podesta Emails ........... ......... Donald Trump Jr. Interaction with WikiLeaks ................................................ Other Potential Campaign Interest Russian Hacked Materials ............... .......... Henry Oknyansky (a/k/a Henry Greenberg) .................................................... Campaign Efforts Obtain Deleted Clinton Emails ......................................
IV. RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT LINKS AND CONTACTS WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN ................ Campaign Period (September 2015 -November 2016) ......................................... Trump Tower Moscow Project ............................................................................. Trump Tower Moscow Venture with the Crocus Group (2013-2014) ...... ...... Communications with LC. Expert Investment Company and Giorgi
Rtskhiladze (Summer and Fall 2015) ............................................................ Letter Intent and Contacts Russian Government (October 2015January 2016) ..... ........................................................................................... Trump Signs the Letter oflntent behalf the Trump Organization ....
ii. Post-LOI Contacts with Individuals Russia ......................................... Discussions about Russia Travel Michael Cohen Candidate Trump
(December 2015-June 2016) ......................................................................... Sater Overtures Cohen Travel Russia ........................................
ii. Candidate Trumps Opportunities Travel Russia ............................ George Papadopoulos ..................................................................................... .... Origins Campaign Work .............................................................................. Initial Russia-Related Contacts ................. ....................................................... March Foreign Policy Team Meeting .........................................................
U.S. Department Justice
At-t6rHey Werk Precl1:1et May CeHtttiH Material Pr6teetecl UHcler Pecl. Crim. 6(e) George Papadopoulos Learns That Russia Has Dirt the Form
Clinton Emails .............................................. ... ..................................... .... ..... Russia-Related Communications With The Campaign .................................... Trump Campaign Knowledge Dirt ........................................................... Additional George Papadopoulos Contact.. ..................................................... Carter Page ............................................................................................................ Background ..................... ............................................... .................................. Origins and Early Campaign Work ............................................................. Carter Pages July 2016 Trip Moscow ........................................................ Later Campaign Work and Removal from the Campaign ............................. 102 Dimitri Simes and the Center for the National Interest ...................................... 103 CNI and Dimitri Simes Connect with the Trump Campaign ......................... 103 National Interest Hosts Foreign Policy Speech the Mayflower Hotel
.......................................................................................................... ........... 105 Jeff Sessionss Post-Speech Interactions with CNI ............................. .......... 107 Jared Kushners Continuing Contacts with Simes ......................................... 108 June 2016 Meeting Trump Tower ..................................... ,..................... .... 110 Setting the June Meeting .................................................................... ... 110 Outreach Donald Trump .................................................................. 110
ii. Awareness the Meeting Within the Campaign ................................... 114 The Events June 2016 ............................................................................ 116 Arrangements for the Meeting ................................................................ 116
ii. Conduct the Meeting ........................................ .................................. 117 Post-June Events ......................................................................................... 120 Events the Republican National Convention .................................................. 123
Ambassador Kislyaks Encounters with Senator Sessions and J.D.
Gordon the Week the RNC ............................................... ...................... 123 Change Republican Party Platform ................................. ...... ..................... 124 Post-Convention Contacts with Kislyak ................................ :............................ 127
Ambassador Kislyak Invites J.D. Gordon Breakfast the
Ambassadors Residence ................. ............................................. ............... 127 Senator Sessionss September 2016 Meeting with Ambassador Kislyak ...... 127 Paul Manafo1t ...................................................................................................... 129 Paul Manaforts Ties Russia and Ukraine ................................................ 131
111
U.S. Department Justice
Atteni.e, Werk Pretittet Mlt) CeHtaiH Material Preteetee UHeef Fee. Criffi. 6(e)
Oleg Deripaska Consulting Work ......................................................... 131
11.
Political Consulting Work ............................................................. ........ 132
iii. Konstantin Kilimnik .............................................................................. 132 Contacts during Paul Manafort Time with the Trump Campaign .............. 134 Paul Manafort Joins the Campaign ....................................................... 134
ii. Paul Manaforts Campaign-Period Contacts .......................................... 135
iii. Paul Manaforts Two Campaign-Period Meetings with Konstantin
Kilimnik the United States ................................................................ 138 Post-Resignation Activities ............. ................. ............................................ 141 Post-Election and Transition-Period Contacts .......................................................... 144 Immediate Post-Election Activity ....................................................................... 144 Outreach from the Russian Government.. ................. ..................................... 145 High-Level Encouragement Contacts through Alternative Channels ....... 146 Kirill Dmitrievs Transition-Era Outreach the Incoming Administration ...... 147 Background ...................... .............................................................................. 147
Kirill Dmitrievs Post-Election Contacts With the Incoming
Administration ............................................................................................. 149 Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev Meet the Seychelles ........... .... ........... ...... 151
George Nader and Erik Prince Arrange Seychelles Meeting with
Dmitriev .................... ............................................................................. 151
11.
The Seychelles Meetings ........................................................................ 153
iii. Erik Prince Meeting with Steve Bannon after the Seychelles Trip .... 155 Kirill Dmitriev Post-Election Contact with Rick Gerson Regarding .S.-Russia Relations ................................................................................ 156 Ambassador Kislyak Meeting with Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn
Trump Tower Following the Election ................................................................. 159 Jared Kushner Meeting with Sergey Gorkov ................................................... 161 Petr Avens Outreach Efforts the Transition Team ........................................ 163 Carter Page Contact with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich ............. 166 Contacts With and Through Michael Flynn ................. .... .............................. 167 United Nations Vote Israeli Settlements ............ ....................................... 167 U.S. Sanctions Against Russia ....................................................................... 168 PROSECUTION AND DECLINATION DECISIONS ............................................. ... ...... .............. 174 Russian Active Measures Social Media Campaign ............................................... 174
U.S. Department Justice
Attoni:ey Work Protittet May Cotttaitt Material Prateeteti Utttier Fee. Crim. 6(e) Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations .............................................. ................ 175 Section 1030 Computer-Intrusion Conspiracy.................................................... 175 Background .................................................................................................... 175 Charging Decision
....... 176 Potential Section 1030 Violation
.............................. 179 Russian Government Outreach and Contacts ............................................................. 180 Potential Coordination: Conspiracy and Collusion ............................................. 180 Potential Coordination: Foreign Agent Statutes (FARA and U.S.C. 951). 181 GoverningLaw .............................. ................................................................. 181 Application ..................................................................................................... 182 Campaign Finance .................................................................. ........... ................. 183 Overview Governing Law ......................................................................... 184 Application June Trump Tower Meeting ................................................ 185 Thing-of-Value Element ........................................................ ................. 186
ii. Willfulness ............................................. ................................................ 187
iii. Difficulties Valuing Promised Information ...................................... 188 Application WikiLeaks
ii. Willfulness ......................................... .................................................... 190
iii. Constitutional Considerations ................................................................ 190
.................................................................... 190
iv. Analysis False Statements and Obstruction the Investigation ....................................... 191 Overview Governing Law ......................................................................... 191 Application Certain Individuals ................................................................. 192 George Papadopoulos .............................................................................. 192
11.
111.
........ ..................... .............. ........................... ....
194
Michael Flynn ....................................................................................... 194
iv. Michael Cohen ........................... ......................................................... 195
.............................................................................. 196
vi. Jeff Sessions .................................. ......................................................... 197
vii. Others Interviewed During the Investigation ....................................... 198
U.S. Department Justice
AttefHey Werk Preattet May CeHtaill Material Preteetea UHaef Pea. Criffl. 6Ee)
U.S. Department Justice
Atteniey Nork Preattet May CoH:taiH: Material Preteeteti Ullaer Fee. Criffi. 6(e)
INTRODUCTION VOLUME
This report submitted the Attorney General pursuant C.F.R. 600.8(c), which
states that, [a]t the conclusion the Special Counsel work, ... shall provide the Attorney
General confidential report explaining the prosecution declination decisions [the Special
Counsel] reached.
The Russian government interfered the 2016 presidential election sweeping and
systematic fashion. Evidence Russian government operations began surface mid-2016.
June, the Democratic National Committee and its cyber response team publicly announced that
Russian hackers had compromised its computer network. Releases hacked materials-hacks
that public reporting soon attributed the Russian government-began that same month.
Additional releases followed July through the organization WikiLeaks, with further releases
October and November. late July 2016, soon after WikiLeaks first release stolen documents, foreign
government contacted the FBI about May 2016 encounter with Trump Campaign foreign policy
advisor George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had suggested representative that foreign
government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release information damaging
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That information prompted the FBI July
31, 2016, open investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign
were coordinating with the Russian government its interference activities.
That fall two federal agencies jointly announced that the Russian government directed
recent compromises e-mails from persons and institutions, including political
organizations, and, [t]hese thefts and disclosures are intended interfere with the election
process. After the election, late December 2016, the United States imposed sanctions Russia
for having interfered the election. early 2017, several congressional committees were
examining Russias interference the election.
Within the Executive Branch, these investigatory efforts ultimately led the May 2017
appointment Special Counsel Robert Mueller, III. The order appointing the Special Counsel
authorized him investigate the Russian governments efforts interfere ~he 2016
presidential election, including any links coordination between the Russian government and
individuals associated with the Trump Campaign. set forth detail this report, the Special Counsels investigation established that
Russia interfereq the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations. First,
Russian entity carried out social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald
Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, Russian intelligence
service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers
working the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents. The investigation also
identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign. Although
the investigation established that the Russian government perceived would benefit from Trump
presidency and worked secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected would benefit
U.S. Department Justice
Atteniey Werk Preattet May CeH:tttifl Material Prnteetea UHaer.Feel. Crim. 6(e)
electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not
establish that members the Trump Campaign conspired coordinated with the Russian
government its election interference activities.
Below describe the evidentiary considerations underpinning statements about the
results our investigation and the Special Counsels charging decisions, and then provide
overview the two volumes our report.
The report describes actions and events that the Special Counsels Office found
supported the evidence collected our investigation. some instances, the report points out
the absence evidence conflicts the evidence about particular fact event. other
instances, when substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office reach conclusion with
confidence, the report states that the investigation established that certain actions events
occurred. statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there
was evidence those facts. evaluating whether evidence about collective action multiple individuals constituted crime, applied the framework conspiracy law, not the concept collusion. doing,
the Office recognized that the word collud[e] was used communications with the Acting
Attorney General confirming certain aspects the investigations scope and that the term has
frequently been invoked public reporting about the investigation. But collusion not specific
offense theory liability found the United States Code, nor term art federal
criminal law. For those reasons, the Offices focus analyzing questions joint criminal liability
was conspiracy defined federal law. connection with that analysis, addressed the
factual question whether members the Trump Campaign coordinat[ ed]-a term that appears the appointment order-with Russian election interference activities. Like collusion,
coordination does not have settled definition federal criminal law. understood
coordination require agreement-tacit express-between the Trump Campaign and the
Russian government election interference. That requires more than the two parties taking
actions that were informed responsive the others actions interests. applied the term
coordination that sense when stating the report that the investigation did not establish that the
Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government its election interference activities.
The report our investigation consists two volumes:
Volume describes the factual results the Special Counsels investigation Russias
interference the 2016 presidential election and its interactions with the Trump Campaign.
Section describes the scope the investigation. Sections and III describe the principal ways
Russia interfered the 2016 presidential election. Section describes links between the Russian
U.S. Department Justice
AttorHey Work Proelttet May CoH+aiH Material Pwteeteel UHaet Feel. Crtffl. 6(e)
government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign. Section sets forth the Special
Counsels charging decisions.
Volume addresses the Presidents actions towards the FBIs investigation into Russia
interference the 2016 presidential election and related matters, and his actions towards the
Special Counsel investigation. Volume separately states its framework and the considerations
that guided that investigation.
U.S. Department Justice
A*entey Vierk Predt1et May CeHta.iH Ma.tefia.l Preteeted Uttder Fed. Criffl. 6(e)
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY VOLUME
RUSSIAN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
The Internet Research Agency (IRA) carried out the earliest Russian interference
operations identified the investigation-a social media campaign designed provoke and
amplify political and social discord the United States. The IRA was based St. Petersburg,
Russia, and received funding from Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin and companies
controlled. Pri ozhin widel orted have ties Russian President Vladimir Putin
The IRA later used social media accounts and interest groups sow discord the U.S.
political system through what termed information warfare. The campaign evolved from
generalized program designed 2014 and 2015 undermine the U.S. electoral system,
targeted operation that early 2016 favored candidate Trump and disparaged candidate Clinton.
The IRAs operation also included the purchase political advertisements social media the
names U.S. persons and entities, well the staging political rallies inside the United
States. organize those rallies, IRA employees posed U.S. grassroots entities and persons and
made contact with Trump supporters and Trump Campaign officials the United States. The
investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired coordinated with the
IRA. Section this report details the Office investigation the Russian social media
campaign.
RUSSIAN HACKING OPERATIONS the same time that the IRA operation began focus supporting candidate Trump
early 2016, the Russian government employed second form interference: cyber intrusions
(hacking) and releases hacked materials damaging the Clinton Campaign. The Russian
intelligence service known the Main Intelligence Directorate the General Staff the Russian
Army (GRU) carried out these operations. March 2016, the GRU began hacking the email accounts Clinton Campaign
volunteers and employees, including campaign chairman John Podesta. April 2016, the GRU
hacked into the computer networks the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
(DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The GRU stole hundreds thousands documents from the compromised email accounts and networks. Around the time that the DNC
announced mid-June 2016 the Russian government role hacking its network, the GRU
began disseminating stolen materials through the fictitious online personas DCLeaks and
Guccifer 2.0. The GRU later released additional materials through the organization WikiLeaks
U.S. Department Justice
AtferHey Werlt Preattet May CetttttiH Material Preteetea UHaer Fea. Crin1. 6(e)
The presidential campaign Donald Trump (Trump Campaign Campaign)
showed interest WikiLeaks releases documents and welcomed their otential damage
candidate Clinton. Beginning June 2016,
forecast
senior Campaign officials that WikiLeaks would release information damaging candidate
Clinton. WikiLeakss first release came July 2016. Around the same time, candidate Trump
announced that hoped Russia would recover emails described missing from private server
used Clinton when she was Secreta State later said that was eakin sarcasticall
WikiLeaks began releasing
Podestas stolen emails October 2016, less than one hour after U.S. media outlet released
video considered damaging candidate Trump. Section III this Report details the Offices
investigation into the Russian hacking operations, well other efforts Trump Campaign
supporters obtain Clinton-related emails.
RUSSIAN CONTACTS WITH THE CAMPAIGN
The social media campaign and the GRU hacking operations coincided with series
contacts between Trump Campaign officials and individuals with ties the Russian government.
The Office investigated whether those contacts reflected resulted the Campaign conspiring coordinating with Russia its election-interference activities. Although the investigation
established that the Russian government perceived would benefit from Trump presidency and
worked secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected would benefit electorally from
information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that
members the Trump Campaign conspired coordinated with the Russian government its
election interference activities.
The Russian contacts consisted business connections, offers assistance the
Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin meet person, invitations for Campaign
officials and representatives the Russian government meet, and policy positions seeking
improved U.S.-Russian relations. Section this Report details the contacts between Russia
and the Trump Campaign during the campaign and transition periods, the most salient which
are summarized below chronological order.
2015. Some the earliest contacts were made connection with Trump Organization
real-estate project Russia known Trump Tower Moscow. Candidate Trump signed Letter
oflntent for Trump Tower Moscow November 2015, and January 2016 Trump Organization
executive Michael Cohen emailed and spoke about the project with the office Russian
government press secretary Dmitry Peskov. The Trump Organization pursued the project through least June 2016, including considering travel Russia Cohen and candidate Trump.
Spring 2016. Campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos made early contact
with Joseph Mifsud, London-based professor who had connections Russia and traveled
Moscow April 2016. Immediately upon his return London from that trip, Mifsud told
Papadopoulos that the Russian government had dirt Hillary Clinton the form thousands
U.S. Department Justice
Atton1ey Nork Prodttet Ma-y CoHtttifl Material Proteetee UHeer Fed. Criffl. 6(e) emails. One week later, the first week May 2016, Papadopoulos suggested
representative foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from
the Russian government that could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release
information damaging candidate Clinton. Throughout that period time and for several months
thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals arrange meeting
between the Campaign and the Russian government. meeting took place.
Summer 2016. Russian outreach the Trump Campaign continued into the summer
2016, candidate Trump was becoming the presumptive Republican nominee for President.
June 2016, for example, Russian lawyer met with senior Trump Campaign officials Donald
Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort deliver what the email
proposing the meeting had described official documents and information that would
incriminate Hillary. The materials were offered Trump Jr. part Russia and its
governments support for Mr. Trump. The written communications setting the meeting
showed that the Campaign anticipated receiving information from Russia that could assist
candidate Trumps electoral prospects, but the Russian lawyers presentation did not provide such
information.
Days after the June meeting, June 14, 2016, cybersecurity firm and the DNC
announced that Russian government hackers had infiltrated the DNC and obtained access
opposition research candidate Trump, among other documents. July 2016, Campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page traveled his personal capacity Moscow and gave the keynote address the New Economic School. Page had lived and worked Russia between 2003 and 2007 After returning the United States, Page became acquainted
with least two Russian intelligence officers, one whom was later charged 2015 with
conspiracy act unregistered agent Russia. Page July 2016 trip Moscow and his
advocacy for pro-Russian foreign policy drew media attention. The Campaign then distanced itself
from Page and, late September 2016, removed him from the Campaign.
July 2016 was also the month WikiLeaks first released emails stolen the GRU from the
DNC. July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks posted thousands internal DNC documents revealing
information about the Clinton Campaign. Within days, there was public reporting that U.S.
intelligence agencies had high confidence that the Russian government was behind the theft
emails and documents from the DNC. And within week the release, foreign government
informed the FBI about its May 2016 interaction with Papadopoulos and his statement that the
Russian government could assist the Trump Campaign. July 31, 2016, based the foreign
government rep011ing, the FBI opened investigation into potential coordination between the
Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.
Separately, August 2016, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met New York
City with his long-time business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI assesses have ties Russian intelligence. Kilimnik requested the meeting deliver person peace plan for
Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged the Special Counsels Office was backdoor way for
Russia control part eastern Ukraine; both men believed the plan would require candidate
Trumps assent succeed (were elected President). They also discussed the status the
U.S. Department Justice
Attomey Work Proattet Ma:y Cottta:iH: Ma:teria:l ProteeteEI Uttaer Feel. Criffl. 6(e)
Trump Campaign and Manafort strategy for winning Democratic votes Midwestern states.
Months before that meeting, Manafort had caused internal polling data shared with Kilimnik,
and the sharing continued for some period time after their August meeting.
Fall 2016. October 2016, the media released video candidate Trump speaking
graphic terms about women years earlier, which was considered damaging his candidacy. Less
than hour later, WikiLeaks made its second release: thousands John Podestas emails that
had been stolen the GRU late March 2016. The FBI and other U.S. government institutions
were the time continuing their investigation suspected Russian government efforts interfere the presidential election. That same day, October the Department Homeland Security and
the Office the Director National Intelligence issued joint public statement that the Russian
Government directed the recent compromises e-mails from persons and institutions,
including from political organizations. Those thefts and the disclosures the hacked
materials through online platforms such WikiLeaks, the statement continued, are intended
interfere with the election process.
Post-2016 Election. Immediately after the November election, Russian government
officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying make inroads into the new
administration. The most senior levels the Russian government encouraged these efforts. The
Russian Embassy made contact hours after the election congratulate the President-Elect and
arrange call with President Putin. Several Russian businessmen picked the effort from there.
Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive officer Russias sovereign wealth fund, was among
the Russians who tried make contact with the incoming administration. early December,
business associate steered Dmitriev Erik Prince, supporter the Trump Campaign and
associate senior Trump advisor Steve Bannon. Dmitriev and Prince later met face-to-face
January 2017 the Seychelles and discussed U.S.-Russia relations. During the same period,
another business associate introduced Dmitriev friend Jared Kushner who had not served the Campaign the Transition Team. Dmitriev and Kushners friend collaborated short
written reconciliation plan for the United States and Russia, which Dmitriev implied had been
cleared through Putin. The friend gave that proposal Kushner before the inauguration, and
Kushner later gave copies Bannon and incoming Secretary State Rex Tillerson. December 29, 2016, then-President Obama imposed sanctions Russia for having
interfered the election. Incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn called Russian
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and asked Russia not escalate the situation response the
sanctions. The following day, Putin announced that Russia would not take retaliatory measures
response the sanctions that time. Hours later, President-Elect Trump tweeted, Great move delay (by Putin). The next day, December 31, 2016, Kislyak called Flynn and told him
the request had been received the highest levels and Russia had chosen not retaliate result Flynns request.
*** January 2017, members the intelligence community briefed President-Elect Trump joint assessment-drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency, FBI, and
U.S Department Justice
AHertte~ Weri{ Prna1:1et May Cetttaitt Material Preteetea Uttaer Fee. Criffi. 6(e)
National Security Agency-that concluded with high confidence that Russia had intervened the
election through variety means assist Trump candidacy and harm Clinton
declassified version the assessment was publicly released that same day.
Between mid-January 2017 and early February 2017, three congressional committees- the
House Permanent Select Committee Intelligence (HPSCI), the Senate Select Committee
Intelligence (SSCI), and the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC)- announced that they would
conduct inquiries, had already been conducting inquiries, into Russian interference the
election. Then-FBI Director James Corney later confirmed Congress the existence the FBI
investigation into Russian interference that had begun before the election. March 20, 2017,
open-session testimony before HPSCI, Corney stated: have been authorized the Department Justjce confirm that the FBI, part our counterintelligence mission, investigating the Russian governments efforts interfere the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the
nature any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and
the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the
campaign and Russias efforts .... with any counterintelligence investigation,
this will also include assessment whether any crimes were committed.
The investigation continued under then-Director Corney for the next seven weeks until May
2017, when President Trump fired Corney FBI Director-an action which analyzed
Volume the report. May 17, 201 Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed the Special Counsel
and authorized him conduct the investigation that Corney had confirmed his congressional
testimony, well matters arising directly from the investigation, and any other matters within
the scope C.F .R. 600.4(a), which generally covers efforts interfere with obstruct the
investigation.
President Trump reacted negatively the Special Counsels appointment. told advisors
that was the end his presidency, sought have Attorney General Jefferson (Jeff) Sessions
unrecuse from the Russia investigation and have the Special Counsel removed, and engaged
efforts curtail the Special Counsel investigation and prevent the disclosure evidence it,
including through public and private contacts with potential witnesses. Those and related actions
are described and analyzed Volume the report.
***
THE SPECIAL COUNSELS CHARGING DECISIONS reaching the charging decisions described Volume the report, the Office
determined whether the conduct found amounted violation federal criminal law
chargeable under the Principles Federal Prosecution. See Justice Manual 9-27.000 seq.
(2018). The standard set forth the Justice Manual whether the conduct constitutes crime;
so, whether admissible evidence would probably sufficient obtain and sustain conviction;
U.S. Department Justice
MterHey Werk Preattet Ma:) CeHta:iH Material Preteetea UHaer Fea. CriflI. 6(e)
and whether prosecution would serve substantial federal interest that could not adequately
served prosecution elsewhere through non-criminal alternatives. See Justice Manual 927 .220.
Section the report provides detailed explanations the Offices charging decisions,
which contain three main components.
First, the Office determined that Russia two principal interference operations the 2016
U.S. presidential election-the social media campaign and the hacking-and-dumping operationsviolated U.S. criminal law. Many the individuals and entities involved the social media
campaign have been charged with participating conspiracy defraud the United States
undermining through deceptive acts the work federal agencies charged with regulating foreign
influence U.S. elections, well related counts identity theft. See United States Internet
Research Agency, al., 18-cr-32 .D.C.). Separately, Russian intelligence officers who
carried out the hacking into Democratic Party computers and the personal email accounts
individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign conspired violate, among other federal laws,
the federal computer-intrusion statute, and the have been char ed. See United States ksho, al., No. 18-cr-215 D.D.C
Second, while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties
the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was
not sufficient support criminal charges Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient
charge any Campaign official unregistered agent the Russian government other Russian
principal. And our evidence about the June 2016 meeting and WikiLeakss releases hacked
materials was not sufficient charge criminal campaign-finance violation. Further, the evidence
was not sufficient charge that any member the Trump Campaign conspired with
representatives the Russian government interfere the 2016 election.
Third, the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump
Campaign lied the Office, and Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated
individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation Russian
election interference. The Office charged some those lies violations the federal falsestatements statute. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty lying about
his interactions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the transition period. George
Papadopoulos, foreign policy advisor during the campaign period, pleaded guilty lying
investigators about, inter alia, the nature and timing his interactions with Joseph Mifsud, the
professor who told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt candidate Clinton .in the form
thousands emails. Former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen leaded uil
makin false statements Con ress about the Trum Moscow ect.
And February 2019, the U.S District Court for the District Columbia found that
U.S. Department Justice
Attontey Work Prodttet Mtty Co11:taiH :Material Proteeted UHder Fed. Critli. 6(e)
Manafort lied the Office and the grand jury concerning his interactions and communications
with Konstantin Kilimnik about Trump Campaign polling data and peace plan for Ukraine.
***
The Office investigated several other events that have been publicly reported involve
potential Russia-related contacts. For example, the investigation established that interactions
between Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Trump Campaign officials both the candidate April
2016 foreign policy speech Washington, D.C., and during the week the Republican National
Convention were brief, public, and non-substantive. And the investigation did not establish that
one Campaign officials efforts dilute portion the Republican Party platform providing
assistance Ukraine were undertaken the behest candidate Trump Russia. The
investigation also did not establish that meeting between Kislyak and Sessions September
2016 Sessionss Senate office included any more than passing mention the presidential
campaign.
The investigation did not always yield admissible information testimony, complete
picture the activities undertaken subjects the investigation. Some individuals invoked
their Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination and were not, the Office
judgment, appropriate candidates for grants immunity. The Office limited its pursuit other
witnesses and information-such information known attorneys individuals claiming
members the media-in light internal Department Justice policies. See, e.g. Justice
Manual 9-13.400, 13.410. Some the information obtained via court process, moreover, was
presumptively covered legal privilege and was screened from investigators filter (or
taint) team. Even when individuals testified agreed interviewed, they sometimes
provided information that was false incomplete, leading some the false-statements charges
described above. And the Office faced practical limits its ability access relevant evidence
well-numerous witnesses and subjects lived abroad, and documents were held outside the United
States.
Further, the Office learned that some the individuals interviewed whose conduct investigated-including some associated with the Trump Campaign---deleted relevant
communications communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature
encryption that not provide for long-term retention data communications records.
such cases, the Office was not able corroborate witness statements through comparison
contemporaneous communications fully question witnesses about statements that appeared
inconsistent with other known facts.
Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office
believes accurate and complete the greatest extent possible, given these identified gaps,
the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional
light (or cast new light) the events described the report.
U.S. Department Justice
AtterAe~ Werk Pret:ittet May CeAtaiA Material Preteetet:i Uttt:ier Fet:i. Crim. 6(e)
THE SPECIAL COUNSELS INVESTIGATION May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein-then serving Acting
Attorney General for the Russia investigation following the recusal former Attorney General
Jeff Sessions March 2016-appointed the Special Counsel investigate Russian
interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters. Office the Deputy Atty
Gen., Order No. 3915-2017, Appointment Special Counsel Investigate Russian Interference
with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters, May 17, 2017) (Appointment Order).
Relying the authority vested the Acting Attorney General, including .S.C. 509,
510, and 515, the Acting Attorney General ordered the appointment Special Counsel
order discharge [the Acting Attorney Generals] responsibility provide supervision and
management the Department Justice, and ensure full and thorough investigation the
Russian governments efforts interfere the 2016 presidential election. Appointment Order
(introduction). The Special Counsel, the Order stated, authorized conduct the investigation
confirmed then-FBI Director James Corney testimony before the House Permanent Select
Committee Intelligence March 20, 2017, including:
(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals
associated with the campaign President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope C.F .R. 600.4(a).
Appointment Order (b). Section 600.4 affords the Special Counsel the authority investigate
and prosecute federal crimes committed the course of, and with intent interfere with, the
Special Counsel investigation, such pe1jury, obstruction justice, destruction evidence,
and intimidation witnesses. C.F.R. 600.4(a). The authority investigate any matters
that arose directly from the investigation, Appointment Order (b)(ii), covers similar crimes
that may have occurred during the course the FBI confirmed investigation before the Special
Counsels appointment. the Special Counsel believes necessary and appropriate, the
Order further provided, the Special Counsel authorized prosecute federal crimes arising from
the investigation these matters. Id. (c). Finally, the Acting Attorney General made applicable
Sections 600.4 through 600.10 Title the Code Federal Regulations. Id. (d).
The Acting Attorney General further clarified the scope the Special Counsel
investigatory authority two subsequent memoranda. memorandum dated August 2017,
explained that the Appointment Order had been worded categorically order permit its public
release without confirming specific investigations involving specific individuals. then
confirmed that the Special Counsel had been authorized since his appointment investigate
allegations that three Trump campaign officials-Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and George
Papadopoulos-committed crime crimes colluding with Russian government officials
with respect the Russian government efforts interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
The memorandum also confirmed the Special Counsels authority investigate certain other
matters, including two additional sets allegations involving Manafort (crimes arising from
payments received from the Ukrainian government and crimes arising from his receipt loans
U.S. Department Justice
Atterttey Werk Preattet May CeAtaiA Material Preteetea UAaer Fea. Griff!:. 6(e)
from bank whose CEO was then seeking position the Trump Administration); allegations
that Papadopoulos committed crime crimes acting unregistered agent the Israeli
government; and four sets allegations involving Michael Flynn, the former National Security
Advisor President Trump. October 20, 2017, the Acting Attorney General confirmed memorandum the
Special Counsels investigative authority several individuals and entities. First, part
full and thorough investigation the Russian governments efforts interfere the 2016
presidential election, the Special Counsel was authorized investigate the pertinent activities Michael Cohen, Richard Gates, Roger Stone, and
Confirmation the authorization investigate such individuals, the memorandum
stressed, does not suggest that the Special Counsel has made determination that any them has
committed crime. Second, with respect Michael Cohen, the memorandum recognized the
Special Counsels authority investigate leads relate[d] Cohens establishment and use
Essential Consultants LLC to, inter alia, receive funds from Russian-backed entities. Third, the
memorandum memorialized the Special Counsel authority investigate individuals and entities
who were possibly engaged jointly undertaken activity with existing subjects the
investigation, including Paul Manafort. Finally, the memorandum described FBI investigation
opened before the Special Counsels appointment into allegations that [then-Attorney General
Jeff Sessions] made false statements the United States Senate[,] and confirmed the Special
Counsels authority investigate that matter.
The Special Counsel structured the investigation view his power and authority
exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions any United States Attorney. C.F.R:
600.6. Like U.S. Attorney Office, the Special Counsels Office considered range
classified and unclassified information available the FBI the course the Office Russia
investigation, and the Office structured that work around evidence for possible use prosecutions federal crimes (assuming that one more crimes were identified that warranted prosecution).
There was substantial evidence immediately available the Special Counsel the inception
the investigation May 2017 because the FBI had, that time, already investigated Russian
election interference for nearly months. The Special Counsels Office exercised its judgment
regarding what investigate and did not, for instance, investigate every public report contact
between the Trump Campaign and Russian-affiliated individuals and entities.
The Office has concluded its investigation into links and coordination between the Russian
government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign. Certain proceedings associated
with the Offices work remain ongoing. After consultation with the Office the Deputy Attorney
General, the Office has transferred responsibility for those remaining issues other components the Department Justice and FBI. Appendix lists those transfers.
Two district courts confirmed the breadth the Special Counsels authority investigate
Russia election interference and links and/or coordination with the Trump Campaign. See United
States Manafort, 312 Supp. 60, 79-83 (D.D.C. 2018); United States Manafort, 321
Supp. 640, 650-655 (E.D. Va. 2018). the course conducting that investigation, the Office
periodically identified evidence potential criminal activity that was outside the scope the
Special Counsels authority established the Acting Attorney General. After consultation with
U.S. Department Justice
At:tenle:, Werk Preclttet Mtty CeHtaiA Material Preteetecl UAeer Fee. Criffl. 6(e)
the Office the Deputy Attorney General, the Office referred that evidence appropriate law
enforcement authorities, principally other components the Department Justice and the FBI.
Appendix summarizes those referrals.
*** carry out the investigation and prosecution the matters assigned him, the Special
Counsel assembled team that its high point included attorneys- five whom joined the
Office from private practice and detail assigned from other Department Justice
components. These attorneys were assisted filter team Department lawyers and FBI
personnel who screened materials obtained via court process for privileged information before
turning those materials over investigators; support staff three paralegals detail from the
Departments Antitrust Division; and administrative staff nine responsible for budget,
finance, purchasing, human resources, records, facilities, security, information technology, and
administrative support. The Special Counsel attorneys and support staff were co-located with and
worked alongside approximately FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants,
paralegal, and professional staff assigned the FBI assist the Special Counsels investigation.
Those assigned FBI employees remained under FBI supervision all times; the matters
which they assisted were supervised the Special Counsel.
During its investigation the Office issued more than 2,800 subpoenas under the auspices grand jury sitting the District Columbia; executed nearly 500 search-and-seizure warrants;
obtained more than 230 orders for communications records under U.S.C. 2703(d); obtained
almost orders authorizing use pen registers; made requests foreign governments
pursuant Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties; and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses,
including almost before grand jury.
From its inception, the Office recognized that its investigation could identify foreign
intelligence and counterintelligence information relevant the FBIs broader national security
mission. FBI personnel who assisted the Office established procedures identify and convey
such information the FBI. The FBIs Counterintelligence Division met with the Office regularly
for that purpose for most the Office tenure. For more than the past year, the FBI also
embedded personnel the Office who did not work the Special Counsels investigation, but
whose purpose was review the results the investigation and send- writing- summaries foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information FBIHQ and FBI Field Offices.
Those communications and other correspondence between the Office and the FBI contain
information derived from the investigation, not all which contained this Volume. This
Volume summary. contains, the Offices judgment, that information necessary account
for the Special Counsels prosecution and declination decisions and describe the investigations
main factual results.
FBI personnel assigned the Special Counsels Office were required adhere all applicable
federal law and all Department and FBI regulations, guidelines, and policies. FBI attorney worked
FBI-related matters for the Office, such FBI compliance with all FBI policies and procedures, including
the FBIs Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG). That FBI attorney worked under FBI
legal supervision, not the Special Counsel supervision.
U.S. Department Justice
At:terfl:ey Werk Preclttet Ma; CeHta.iH Material Prnteetea Uttcler Fee Critn. 6(e)
II. RUSSIAN ACTIVE MEASURES SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
The first form Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research
Agency, LLC (IRA), Russian organization funded Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and
companies controlled, including Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord
Catering (collectively Concord). The IRA conducted social media operations targeted large
U.S. audiences with the goal sowing discord the U.S. political system. These operations
constituted active measures (aKTHBHE>Ie MeponpIDITIDI), term that typically refers operations
conducted Russian security services aimed influencing the course international affairs.4
The IRA and its employees began operations targeting the United States early 2014.
Using fictitious U.S. personas, IRA employees operated social media accounts and group pages
designed attract U.S. audiences. These groups and accounts, which addressed divisive U.S.
political and social issues, falsely claimed controlled U.S. activists. Over time, these
social media accounts became means reach large U.S. audiences. IRA employees travelled
the United States mid-2014 intelligence-gathering mission obtain information and
photographs for use their social media posts.
IRA employees posted derogatory information about number candidates the 2016
U.S. presidential election. early mid-2016, IRA operations included supporting the Trump
Campaign and disparaging candidate Hillary Clinton. The IRA made various expenditures carry
out those activities, including buying political advertisements social media the names U.S.
persons and entities. Some IRA employees, posing U.S. persons and without revealing their
Russian association, communicated electronically with individuals associated with the Trump
Campaign and with other political activists seek coordinate political activities, including the
staging political rallies. The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons
knowingly intentionally coordinated with the IRA interference operation. the end the 2016 U.S. election, the IRA had the ability reach millions U.S.
persons through their social media accounts. Multiple IRA-controlled Facebook groups and
The Office aware reports that other Russian entities engaged similar active measures
operations targeting the United States. Some evidence collected the Office corroborates those reports,
and the Office has shared that evidence with other offices the Department Justice and FBI.
Harm Ongoing Matter
see also SM-2230634, serial (analysis). The FBI case number cited here, and other FBI case numbers
identified the report, should treated law enforcement sensitive given the context. The report contains
additional law enforcement sensitive information. discussed Part below, the active measures investigation has resulted criminal charges
against individual Russian nationals and three Russian entities, principally for conspiracy defraud the
United States, violation U.S.C 371. See Volume Section V.A, infra; Indictment, United States Internet Research Agency, al., :18-cr-32 (D.D.C. Feb. 16, 2018), Doc. (Internet Research Agency
Indictment).
U.S Department Justice
AttEltHe~c Wetk Predttet May CeHttliH Matetial Pt1eteetee UHeet Pee. Ct1iffl. 6(e)
Instagram accounts had hundreds thousands U.S participants. IRA-controlled Twitter
accounts separately had tens thousands followers, including multiple U.S. political figures
who retweeted IRA-created content. November 2017, Facebook representative testified that
Facebook had identified 470 IRA-controlled Facebook accounts that collectively made 80,000
posts between January 2015 and August 2017. Facebook estimated the IRA reached many
126 million persons through its Facebook accounts. January 2018, Twitter announced that
had identified 3,814 IRA-controlled Twitter accounts and notified approximately 1.4 million
people Twitter believed may have been contact with iRA-controlled account. Structure the Internet Research Agency
anization also led more detailed anizational structure.
Social Media Irifluence the 2016 US. Election, Hearing Before the Senate Select Committee Intelligence, 115th Cong. (11/ 1/17) (testimony Colin Stretch, General Counsel ofFacebook) (We
estimate that roughly million people were served content their News Feeds directly from the IRA
80,000 posts over the two years. Posts from these Pages were also shared, liked, and followed people
Facebook, and, result, three times more people may have been exposed story that originated from
the Russian operation. Our best estimate that approximately 126 million people may have been served
content from Page associated with the IRA some point during the two-year period.). The Facebook
representative also testified that Facebook had identified 170 Instagram accounts that posted approximately
120,000 pieces content during that time. Facebook did not offer estimate the audience reached via
Instagram.
Twitter, Update Twitters Review the 2016 Election (Jan. 31, 2018).
See SM-2230634, serial 92.
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
See SM-2230634, serial Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S. Department Justice
Akeme:y Werk Pteclttet Ma:, Cefttttifl Mtttefia.l Pteteetecl UA:clet Fecl. R.. Ctiffl:. 6(e) Funding and Oversight from Concord and Prigozhin
Until least February 2018, Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two Concord companies
funded the IRA. Prigozhin wealthy Russian businessman who served the head Concord.
Harm Ongoing Matter
See e.g., SM-2230634, serials 113 180 Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
131 204.
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S. Department Justice
}dt:erHey Werk eettet: Ma-y Cettt:aiH Mat:erial Pret:eet:ee Uttder Fee. Criffi. 6(e)
Numerous media
sources have reported Prigozhins ties Putin, and the two have appeared together public
photographs.
Harm Ongoing Matter
raHarm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S. Treasury Depattment, Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities Connection with
Russias Occupation Crimea and the Conflict Ukraine (Dec. 20, 2016).
Harm Ongoing Matter
See, e.g., Neil MacFarquhar, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian Oligarch Indicted US. Known Putins Cook, New York Times (Feb. 16, 2018).
Harm Ongoing Matter
see also SM-
U.S. Department Justice
AttorHey Werk Prodttet May Cefltaifl Material Proteeted Under Fed. Cfim. 6(e)
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
The term troll refers internet users- this context, paid operatives-who post inflammatory otherwise disruptive content social media other websites.
U.S. Department Justice
.MterHey Werk Prncl1:1et May CeHtailI Material Preteetecl UHEler Fecl. Criffl. 6(e) May
2016, IRA employees, claiming U.S. social activists and administrators Facebook groups,
recruited U.S. persons hold signs (including one front the White House) that read Happy
55thBirthda Dear Boss, homa Pri ozhin whose 55th birthda was June 2016 .31 The IRA Targets U.S. Elections The IRA Ramps U.S. Operations Early 2014
subdivided the Translator Department into different
responsibilities, ranging from operations different social media platforms analytics
Investigative Technique
serials 204.
See SM-2230634,
See SM-2230634, serial 156.
Internet Research Agency Indictment see also 5/26/16 Facebook Messages,
1479936895656747 (United Muslims America)
U.S. Department Justice
AttorHey Work Prnauet Mity Cofl:tttiH Mttterittl Proteetea UHaer Fea. Crini. 6(e)
graphics and IT.
See SM-2230634, serial 204 Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S Department Justice
Attem1:ey Werk Predttet M!t) Cefl:tai11: Material Preteeted Ufl:der Fed. Criffl. 6(e)
IRA employees also traveled the United States intelligence-gathering missions
June 2014, four IRA employees applied the U.S. Department State enter the United States,
while lying about the purpose their trip and claiming four friends who had met party.
Ultimately, two IRA employees-Anna Bogacheva and Aleksandra Krylova-received visas and
entered the United States June 2014.
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
See SM-2230634, serials 150 172 Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S. Department Justice
Atteftte:-y Werk Preettet May CetttRin ~iB.terial Preteetee Utteef Fee. Crim. 6(e) U.S. Operations Through IRA-Controlled Social Media Accounts
Dozens IRA employees were responsible for operating accounts and personas
different U.S. social media platforms. The IRA referred employees assigned operate the
social media accounts specialists.42 Starting early 2014, the IRAs U.S. operations
included social media specialists focusing Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.43 The IRA later
added specialists who operated Tumblr and Instagram accounts.
Initially, the IRA created social media accounts that pretended the personal accounts U.S. persons. early 2015, the IRA began create larger social media groups public
social media pages that claimed (falsely) affiliated with U.S. political and grassroots
organizations. certain cases, the IRA created accounts that mimicked real U.S organizations.
For example, one IRA-controlled Twitter account, @TEN_GOP, purported connected the
Tennessee Republican Party.46 More commonly, the IRA created accounts the names
fictitious U.S. organizations and grassroots groups and used these accounts pose antiimmigration groups, Tea Party activists, Black Lives Matter protestors, and other U.S. social and
political activists.
Harm Ongoing Matter
See, e.g. Facebook 100011390466802 (Alex Anderson); Facebook 100009626173204
(Andrea Hansen); Facebook 100009728618427 (Gary Williams); Facebook 100013640043337
(Lakisha Richardson).
The account claimed the Unofficial Twitter Tennessee Republicans and made posts
that appeared endorsements the state political party. See, e.g. @TEN_GOP, 4/3/ Tweet
(Tennessee GOP backs @rea!DonaldTrump period #makeAmericagreatagain #tngop #tennessee #gop).
U.S. Department Justice
Attemey .erk Preclttet May CetttaiH Material Preteetecl UHcler Fecl. Critn. 6(e)
Inifll
The focus the U.S. presidential campaign continued throughout 2016.
2016
internal
reviewing the IRA-controlled Facebook group Secured Borders, the
Harm Ongoing Matter
See, e.g., SM-2230634 serial 131
The IRA posted content about the Clinton candidacy before Clinton officially announced her
presidential campaign. IRA-controlled social media accounts criticized Clintons record Secretar
State and romoted various criti ues her candidac The IRA also used other techni Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S Department Justice
Attofttey Work Prnclttet// May CotttaiH Matet ial Proteetecl UHcler Fed. Crim. 6Ee)
author criticized the lower number posts dedicated criticizing Hillary Clinton and reminded
the Facebook specialist imperative intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton. U.S. Operations Through Facebook
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
during the 2016 campaign covered range political issues and included purported conservative
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S. Department Justice
AttorAe, Work Proat1et May Cofl:taiA Material Proteetea UAaer Fee. Criffl. 6(e)
groups (with names such Being Patriotic, Stop All Immigrants, Secured Borders, and
Tea Party News), purported Black social justice groups (Black Matters, Blacktivist, and
Dont Shoot Us), LGBTQ groups (LGBT United), and religious groups (United Muslims
America).
Throughout 2016, IRA accounts published increasing number materials supporting
the Trump Campaign and opposing the Clinton Campaign. For example, May 31, 2016, the
operational account Matt Skiber began privately message dozens pro-Trump Facebook
groups asking them help plan pro-Trump rally near Trump Tower.55 reach larger U.S. audiences, the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that
promoted the IRA groups the newsfeeds U.S. audience members. According Face book,
the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately
$100,000.
During the U.S. presidential campaign, many IRA-purchased advertisements explicitly
supported opposed presidential candidate promoted U.S. rallies organized the IRA
(discussed below). early March 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements that overtly
opposed the Clinton Campaign. For example, March 18, 2016, the IRA purchased
advertisement depicting candidate Clinton and caption that read part, one day God lets
this liar enter the White House president that day would real national tragedy.57
Similarly, April 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements for its account lack Matters
calling for flashmob U.S. persons take photo with #HillaryClintonForPrison201
#nohillary2016. IRA-purchased advertisements featuring Clinton were, with very few
exceptions, negative .59
IRA-purchased advertisements referencing candidate Trump largely supported his
campaign. The first known IRA advertisement explicitly endorsing the Trump Campaign was
purchased April 19, 2016. The IRA bought advertisement for its Instagram account Tea
Party News asking U.S. persons help them make patriotic team young Trump supporters uploading photos with the hashtag #KIDS4TRUMP. subsequent months, the IRA
purchased dozens advertisements supporting the Trump Campaign, predominantly through the
Facebook groups Being Patriotic, Stop All Invaders, and Secured Borders.
5/31/16 Facebook Message, 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber)
5/31/16 Facebook Message, 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber)
Social Media Influence the 2016 US. Election, Hearing Before the Senate Select Committee Intelligence, 115th Cong. (11/1/17) (testimony Colin Stretch, General Counsel ofFacebook).
3/18/16 Facebook Advertisement 6045505152575.
4/6/16 Facebook Advertisement 6043740225319.
See SM-2230634, serial 213 (documenting politically-oriented advertisements from the larger
set provided Face book).
4/19/16 FacebookAdvertisementID 6045151094235.
U.S. Department Justice
Attonie~ Werk Preclt:tet CeA:taitt Material Preteetecl UA:cler Fecl. iffl. 6(e)
Collectively, the IRAs social media accounts reached tens millions U.S. persons.
Individual IRA social media accounts attracted hundreds thousands followers. For example, the time they were deactivated Facebook mid-2017, the IRA United Muslims
America Facebook group had over 300,000 followers, the Dont Shoot Facebook group had
over 250,000 followers, the Being Patriotic Facebook group had over 200,000 followers, and
the Secured Borders Facebook group had over 130,000 followers. According Facebook,
total the IRA-controlled accounts made over 80,000 posts before their deactivation August 2017,
and these posts reached least million U.S persons and may have reached estimated 126
million people.62 U.S. Operations Through Twitter
Separately, the IRA operated network automated Twitter accounts
(commonly referred bot network) that enabled the IRA amplify existing content Twitter. Individualized Accounts
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
See Facebook 1479936895656747 (United Muslims America); Facebook 157233400960126 (Dont Shoot); Facebook 1601685693432389 Bein Patriotic Facebook
757183957716200 Secured Borders).
Harm Ongoing Matter
Social Media Influence the 2016 US. Election, Hearing Before the Senate Select Committee Intelligence, 115th Cong. (11/1 17) (testimony Colin Stretch, General Counsel Facebook).
Harm Ongoing Matter Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S. Department Justice
Atton:tey .Vork Proattet May CofttttiR Mttterittl Proteetea Uttaer Fee. Criffl. 6(e)
Harm Ongoing Matter
The IRA operated individualized Twitter accounts similar the operation its Facebook
accounts, continuously posting original content the accounts while also communicating with
U.S. Twitter users directly (through public tweeting Twitter private messaging).
The IRA used many these accounts attempt influence U.S. audiences the
election. Individualized accounts used influence the U.S. presidential election included
@TEN_GOP (described above); @jenn_ abrams (claiming Virginian Trump supporter with
70,000 followers); @Pamela_Moore13 (claiming Texan Trump supporter with 70,000
followers); and @America:.._lst_ (an anti-immigration persona with 24,000 followers) .67 May
2016, the IRA created the Twitter account @march_for_trump, which promoted IRA-organized
rallies support the Trump Campaign (described below).
Using these accounts and others, the IRA provoked reactions from users and the media. Multiple
IRA-posted tweets gained popularity. U.S. media outlets also quoted tweets from IRA-controlled
accounts and attributed them the reactions real U.S. persons. Similarly, numerous high-
Harm Ongoing Matter
Other individualized accounts included @MissouriNewsUS (an account with 3,800 followers
that posted pro-Sanders and anti-Clinton material).
See @march_for_trump, 5/30/16 Tweet (first post from account).
For example, one IRA account tweeted, those people, who hate the Confederate flag. Did
you know that the flag and the war wasnt about slavery, was all about money. The tweet received over
40,000 responses. @Jenn_Abrams 4/24/17 (2:37 p.m.) Tweet.
Josephine Lukito Chris Wells, Most Major Outlets Have Used Russian Tweets Sources for
Partisan Opinion: Study, Columbia Journalism Review (Mar. 2018); see also Twitter Steps Explain
#NewYorkValues Ted Cruz, Washington Post (Jan. 15, 2016) (citing IRA tweet); People Are Slamming
the CIA/or Claiming Russia Tried Help Donald Trump, U.S. News World Report (Dec. 12, 2016).
U.S Department Justice
Att6ffl:ey W6rk Preattet May CeHtaiH Material Preteetea UHaef Fea. Ct1im.. 6(e)
profile U.S persons, including former Ambassador Michael McFaul,72 Roger Stone,73 ean
Hannity,74 and Michael Flynn Jr.,75 retweeted responded tweets posted these IRAcontrolled accounts. Multiple individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign also promoted IRA
tweets (discussed below) IRA Botnet Activities January 2018, Twitter publicly identified 3,814 Twitter accounts associated with the
IRA. According Twitter, the ten weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, these
accounts posted approximately 175,993 tweets, approximately 8.4% which were election-
@Mcfaul 4/30/16 Tweet (responding tweet @Jenn_Abrams).
@RogerJStoneJr 5/30/ Tweet (retweeting @Pamela_Moore13); @RogerJStoneJr 4/26/
Tweet (same).
@seanhannity 6/21/17 Tweet (retweeting @Pamela_Moore 13).
@mflynnJR 6/22/17 Tweet (RT @Jenn_Abrams: This what happens when you add the voice
over old documentary about mental illness onto video SJWs .). botnet refers network private computers accounts controlled group send
specific automated messages. the Twitter network, botnets can used promote and republish retweet) specific tweets hashtags order for them gain larger audiences.
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
Eli Rosenberg, Twitter Tell 677,000 Users they Were Had the Russians. Some Signs Show
the Problem Continues, Washington Post (Jan. 19, 2019).
U.S. Department Justice
Atteffle.f Nerk Precl1:1et Mey CetttaiH Material Preteeteel UHcler Fecl. Crim. 6(e)
related. Twitter also announced that had notified approximately 1.4 million people who
Twitter believed may have been contact with IRA-controlled account. U.S. Operations Involving Political Rallies
The IRA organized and promoted political rallies inside the United States while posing
U.S. grassroots activists. First, the IRA used one its preexisting social media personas
(Facebook groups and Twitter accounts, for example) announce and promote the event. The
IRA then sent large number direct messages followers its social media account asking
them attend the event. From those who responded with interest attending, the IRA then sought U.S. person serve the events coordinator. most cases, the IRA account operator would
tell the U.S. person that they personally could not attend the event due some preexisting conflict because they were somewhere else the United States. The IRA then further promoted the
event contacting U.S. media about the event and directing them speak with the coordinator.83
After the event, the IRA posted videos and photographs the event the IRAs social media
accounts.
The Office identified dozens U.S. rallies organized the IRA. The earliest evidence rally was confederate rally November 2015. The IRA continued organize rallies even
after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The attendance rallies varied. Some rallies appear
have drawn few (if any) partici2ants while others drew hundreds. The reach and success these
rallies was close! monitored
Twitter, Update Twitters Review the 2016 Election (updated Jan. 31, 2018). Twitter
also reported identifying 50,258 automated accounts connected the Russian government, which tweeted
more than million times the ten weeks before the election.
...
Twitter, Update Twitters Review the 2016 Election (updated Jan. 2018).
8/20/ Facebook Message, 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber)
See, e.g.
joshmilton024@gmail.com 7/21/16 Email,
@march_for_trump 6/25/16 Tweet (posting photos from rally outside Trump Tower).
Instagram 2228012168 (Stand For Freedom) /3/ Post (Good evening buds! Well
planning organize confederate rally [...] Houston the November and want more people attend.).
U.S. Department Justice
A*eftte) Werk Predttet Ma, CetttaiH Matefial Preteeted UHeer Fed. Cfim. 6(e)
U.S. Department Justice
At:1:erttey Werk Preclttet May Cm=ttaill Material Preteetecl Uttcler Fecl. Criffi. 6(e)
From June 2016 until the end the presidential campaign,
almost all the U.S. rallies organized the IRA focused the
U.S. election, often promoting the Trump Campaign and opposing
the Clinton Campaign. Pro-Trump rallies included three New
York; series pro-Trump rallies Florida August 2016; and
series pro-Trump rallies October 2016 Pennsylvania. The
Florida rallies drew the attention the Trump Campaign, which
posted about the Miami rally candidate Trumps Facebook
account (as discussed below).
IRA Poster for Pennsylvania
Rallies organized the IRA Targeting and Recruitment U.S. Persons
IRA employees frequently used Investigative Technique
Twitter, Face book, and
Instagram contact and recruit U.S. persons who followed the group. The IRA recruited U.S.
ersons from across the olitical ectrum. For example, the IRA targeted the family and number black social justice activists
The pro-Trump rallies were organized through multiple Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts.
See, e.g., Facebook 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber); Facebook 1601685693432389 (Being
Patriotic); Twitter Account @march_for_trump; beingpatriotic@gmail.com. (Rallies were organized
New York June 25, 2016; Florida August 20, 2016; and Pennsylvania October 2016.)
Harm Ongoing Matter
Harm Ongoing Matter
U.S. Department Justice
A:1:tetHe~ .1.et1k Pt1ecl1:1et Ml:t) Cml:taiH Material Preteetecl UHEler Fecl. CriH1. 6(e)
while posing grassroots group called Black Matters US. February 2017, the persona
Black Fist (purporting want teach African-Americans protect themselves when contacted law enforcement) hired self-defense instructor New York offer classes sponsored
Black Fist. The IRA also recruited moderators conservative social media groups promote
IRA-generated content,90 well recruited individuals perform political acts (such walking
around New York City dressed Santa Claus with Trump mask). the IRAs online audience became larger, the IRA tracked U.S.
persons with whom they communicated and had successfully tasked with tasks ran from anizin rallies takin ictures with certain olitical messa
3/11/16 Facebook Advertisement 6045078289928, 5/6/16 Facebook Adve1iisement
6051652423528, 10/26/16 Facebook Advertisement 6055238604687; 10/27/16 Facebook Message, 100011698576461 (Taylor Brooks).
8/19/16 Facebook Message, 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber)
12/8/16 Email, robot@craigslist.org beingpatriotic@gmail.com (confirming Craigslist
advertisement).
bull horn).
8/18-19/16 Twitter DMs, @march_for_trump
11/11-27/16 Facebook Messa es, 100011698576461 (Taylor Brooks)
(arranging pay for plane tickets and for
Facebook Message, 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber)
(discussing payment for rally supplies); 8/18/16 Twitter DM,
(discussing payment for construction materials).
U.S Department Justice
Attofll:e:,, Work Procluet May CoHtftiH Matefia:l Proteetecl UH.tier Fee. Criffi. 6(e) Interactions and Contacts with the Trump Campaign
The investigation identified two different forms connections between the IRA and members the Trump Campaign. (The investigation identified similar connections between
the IRA and the Clinton Campaign.) First, multiple occasions, members and surrogates the
Trump Campaign promoted-typically linking, retweeting, similar methods repostingpro-Trump anti-Clinton content published the IRA through IRA-controlled social media
accounts. Additionally, few instances, IRA employees represented themselves U.S. persons communicate with members the Trump Campaign effott seek assistance and
coordination IRA-organized political rallies inside the United States. Trump Campaign Promotion ofIRA Political Materials
Among the U.S. leaders public opinion targeted the IRA were various members
and surrogates the Trump Campaign. total, Trump Campaign affiliates promoted dozens
tweets, posts, and other political content created the IRA.
Posts from the IRA-controlled Twitter account @TEN_GOP were cited retweeted
multiple Trump Campaign officials and surrogates, including Donald Trump Jr., Eric
See, g., @DonaldJTrumpJr 10/26/ Tweet (RT @TEN_GOP: BREAKING Thousands
names changed voter rolls Indiana. Police investigating #VoterFraud. #DrainTheSwamp.);
@DonaldJTrumpJr /2/16 Tweet (RT @TEN_GOP: BREAKING: #VoterFraud counting tens
thousands ineligible mail Hillary votes being reported Broward County, Florida.);
@DonaldJTrumpJr 11/8/ Tweet (RT @TEN_GOP: This vet passed away last month before could
vote for Trump. Here his #MAGA hat. #voted #ElectionDay. Trump Jr. retweeted additional
@TEN_GOP content subsequent the election.
U.S. Department Justice
AttorHey Wede Prndttet Mity Cofltitifl Mitteriitl Proteetee UHder Fed. Crim. 6(e)
Trump, Kellyanne Conway,98 Brad Parscale,99 and Michael Flynn. 100 These posts included
allegations voter fraud, well allegations that Secretary Clinton had mishandled
classified information. 102 November 2016 post from the IRA-controlled
Twitter account @Pamela_Moore13 was retweeted
Donald Trump Jr. 103
THANK tOU f