The Mueller Report is out.
The long-awaited and much discussed Mueller Report on Russian influence operations during the US 2016 elections was released in redacted form Thursday morning.
At a pre-release press conference, US Attorney General Barr reviewed the report and explained the reasons for redactions. He said the Special Counsel established that there was an effort on the part of Russian intelligence services to interfere in the US elections, but that no Americans were found to have collaborated with Russia.
Four categories of material were redacted:
- Grand jury material whose redaction is required by law.
- Material that might compromise intelligence sources and methods (or "investigative technique").
- Material whose release might impair other ongoing investigations or prosecutions (and this accounted for most of the redactions). Two of the cases the Attorney General mentioned in particular were the IRA and Roger Stone matters.
- Information affecting the privacy and reputation of "peripheral third-parties" mentioned in the investigation.
The White House reviewed the report's redacted version and declined to invoke executive privilege.
The Attorney General also said a bipartisan group of members of Congress would receive an almost unredacted version--the only material they wouldn't see would be grand jury material, disclosure of which is restricted by law.
The report concludes that "the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." Much of that interference occurred through leaks the GRU obtained and retailed through its DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 fronts, and through WikiLeaks as well. The Internet Research Agency ran an influence operation to disparage candidate Clinton and favor campaign Trump. While the Trump Campaign thought it would benefit from discreditable material so released, the investigation did not establish that any members of the Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russians. That's true of both the hacking and the subsequent social media campaigns: "The investigation did not identify evidence that any US persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with" the Russian organizations.