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New FBI Documents From Mueller’s Russia Investigation Reveal What Witnesses Said About Trump

  • August 04, 2020

“Ford used the photo of Felix Dzerzhinsky as her Twitter profile photo. Ford read in the article on Smoking Gun that some of the documents released by Guccifer2.0 persona had the name of Dzerzhinsky on internet and thought he had a ‘creative background,’” the summary said.

In a separate interview, the Republican strategist Jason Miller who was chief spokesperson of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, told the FBI he sought assistance from the Republican National Committee in 2016 poring over the hacked Democratic National Committee emails that Wikileaks released. Moreover, he said he recalled hearing stories “about there potentially being a tape in which Trump used the ‘N-word.’ When the campaign learned it was the infamous Access Hollywood tape, Miller said he and the campaign went into damage control. He said he was responsible for disseminating the statement that Trump’s “grab em by the pussy” line “amounted to locker room talk.”

Although the Mueller investigation led to 37 indictments and seven convictions, Trump has aggressively sought to discredit it, repeatedly referring to it as a “witch hunt.” His efforts have been supported by Attorney General Bill Barr, who has intervened in several cases related to the investigation, including the prosecutions of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and political consultant Roger Stone. Last year, Barr also tapped a US attorney in Connecticut, John Durham, to investigate the origins of the Russia probe.

Last month — after Trump commuted Stone’s prison sentence and referred to the probe as a “hoax” and “witch hunt” that the “Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency” — Mueller broke his silence by writing an op-ed in the Washington Post defending his investigation. In June, in response to a separate lawsuit filed by BuzzFeed News and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a previously blacked-out portion of the Mueller report was disclosed; it showed that Mueller’s team suspected Trump had lied to investigators in his written responses to their questions about Stone.

The final 448-page Mueller report, released in April 2019, was the most hotly anticipated prosecutorial document in a generation. But it reflected only a tiny fraction of the primary-source documents that Mueller’s team had amassed over the course of its two-year probe; much of the content of the typewritten interview summaries taken by the special counsel’s office has never before been reviewed publicly. A month after the report was released, BuzzFeed News sued the FBI and the Department of Justice, seeking access to those records. That litigation was subsequently joined by CNN.

In October, a federal judge ordered the release of the documents, and the two agencies began releasing 302s last November. Under the court order, records must be disclosed every month; to date, the government has produced about 3,000 pages of summaries from interviews with more than 500 witnesses who spoke to Mueller’s team during the course of the investigation.

The vast majority of the 302s have been heavily redacted, leaving vast swaths of information about what witnesses told investigators obscured from view. BuzzFeed News has challenged some of those redactions, arguing in court that one category of exemption the government has cited to justify the withholdings was legally unfounded, politically motivated, and implemented solely to protect the president.

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