The Slatest

A Reminder of All the Crimes the “Political” Mueller Investigation Uncovered

Josh Hawley pointing and speaking from the dias of the Senate Judiciary Committee room
Sen. Joshua D. Hawley of Missouri speaks as Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Alex Wong/Getty Images

When Attorney General William Barr appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to testify about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Republican Sen. Mike Hawley characterized it as an attempt to “overturn the results of a democratic election.” Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “When the Mueller report is put to bed, and it soon will be, this committee is going to look long and hard on how this all started.” And Sen. Mike Lee’s line of questioning suggested that he believes the foundations of the investigation were too flimsy and motivated by political bias.


In their attempts to discredit the investigation, those characterizations essentially ignored what the special counsel has already accomplished: uncovering an assortment of crimes committed by dozens of people, including Trump campaign advisers. In case Republicans on the committee—or anyone else—need to be reminded, here’s a rundown of the indictments against 34 people and three companies achieved by the special counsel, many of which have led to guilty pleas:


Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chair

Manafort faced 25 counts from Mueller’s team related primarily to his lobbying efforts in Ukraine and financial wrongdoing. A jury in the Eastern District of Virginia found Manafort guilty of eight counts related to the financial crimes, and he additionally pled guilty to conspiracy against the U.S. and witness tampering in the District of Columbia.  He was sentenced to a total of seven-and-a-half years of incarceration.


Rick Gates, former Trump campaign aide

Gates was one of campaign chair Paul Manafort’s closest associates and confidants, so their indictments were intimately linked. Gates pleaded guilty in February 2018 to felony counts of conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to federal authorities in connection with work he and Manafort completed for a pro-Russia faction in Ukraine. By agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel, Gates was able to avoid a host of other charges having to do with foreign financial dealings.

Konstantin Kilimnik, former Russian military interpreter

Mueller’s office indicted Kilimnik for conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice in June. Kilimnik worked with Manafort on lobbying efforts in Ukraine and, according to the indictment, attempted to sway two journalists who were potential witnesses. Kilimnik does not currently reside in the U.S., so he may never be prosecuted.


Alex van der Zwann, lawyer

Van der Zwaan, a Dutch national, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to charges of lying to federal agents about his interactions with Gates and Kilimnik. Van der Zwaan had been involved in Gates’ and Manafort’s lobbying efforts in Ukraine and later admitted to lying about that work and deleting related emails. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison.

Michael Flynn, former White House national security adviser

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump was inaugurated, and lying to the feds about his lobbying efforts on behalf of Turkey.

Roger Stone, former Trump campaign adviser

Mueller’s office unveiled charges against Stone in January on seven counts of obstruction of justice, lying, and witness tampering. The investigation also found that Stone had been seeking out stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The indictment alleged that Stone lied to Congress about his communications with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks and his knowledge of the organization’s plans to release the hacked material.
Stone is also accused of influencing one of his associates to use Fifth Amendment protections to avoid answering questions from the House Judiciary Committee. Stone’s trial is scheduled for November.


George Papadopoulos, former foreign policy campaign adviser

Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days of incarceration in September after pleading guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about his interactions with foreign nationals with ties to the Russian government. Papadopoulos had allegedly tried several times to set up meetings between Russian officials and Trump campaign staffers over the course of the election but was ultimately unsuccessful.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer

In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of lying to Congress about the canceled Trump Tower project in Moscow, particularly concerning the length of the endeavor and Trump’s knowledge of the business discussions. And as a result of an investigation that Mueller referred to the Southern District of New York, Cohen also pleaded guilty in August to eight counts of campaign finance violations related to hush money agreements with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. Cohen was ultimately sentenced to three years of incarceration.


12 Russian GRU agents

Mueller’s office charged members of the GRU, the Russian intelligence agency, in July on 11 counts related to the hacking of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Democratic National Committee.

13 Russian nationals and three companies


In February, 2018, a group of Russian nationals and three associated companies were charged for a sprawling election interference scheme that involved sowing discord and promoting distrust of American democracy on social media. The internet trolls assumed fake personas, spread disinformation, and attempted to boost Trump’s candidacy. It is unlikely that the any of these individuals will be extradited from Russia to face trial.

Richard Pinedo, fake ID vendor

Pinedo, a California man, was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home detention in October for selling fake online identities that 13 Russian operatives would eventually use to set up PayPal accounts for their efforts to sow discord on social media during the 2016 election.