Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is delivering major results — but most Americans don't know that.
A majority of Americans don’t know that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has uncovered evidence of any crimes, even though he has already issued 23 indictments and obtained five guilty pleas.
That’s according to a new survey from Navigator Research, which looked at Americans’ views of the Russia probe, including awareness of key facts about the ongoing investigation.
The results show that although the vast majority of Americans know about the investigation, most (59 percent) don’t know it has already resulted in serious criminal charges for people in Trump’s inner circle, as well as persons and organizations based in Russia.
Here’s a look at some of the major results thus far:
- Number of people indicted: 20
- Number of companies indicted: 3
- Number of total charges: 75
- Number of guilty pleas: 5
- Number of people sentenced: 1
The indicted individuals include four former Trump advisers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California resident, and one London-based Dutch lawyer. As of June 8, this list also includes a Russian-Ukrainian operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence. Five of these individuals, including three former Trump aides, have already pleaded guilty and are now cooperating with investigators.
Here’s a look at some of the indictments Mueller has issued, and the guilty pleas he has obtained:
- Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was also a key member of Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.
- Senior campaign aide Rick Gates, a longtime business partner of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. Other charges, including money laundering, working as an unregistered foreign agent, and making other false statements were dropped as part of the plea deal.
- Former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the FBI.
- Alexander van der Zwaan, a London-based Dutch attorney, pleaded guilty in February to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Gates and an unnamed Ukrainian. He is currently serving a 30-day prison sentence.
- 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted in February on charges of conspiracy, as well as identity theft charges, stemming from Russia’s cybercrimes, including social media and hacking activity.
- California resident Richard Pinedo pleaded guilty in February to an identity theft charge for using stolen identities to set up bank accounts that were then used by Russians for activities related to election interference.
- Manafort is facing three separate indictments. One set of indictments, filed in DC, includes charges of conspiracy, money laundering, false statements, and failure to disclose foreign assets. Another set of indictments, filed in Virginia, includes financial, tax, and bank fraud charges. A third set of indictments, filed on June 8, includes charges of obstructing justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice by using intimidation or force against a witness, and also tampering with a witness, victim or informant.
Mueller’s investigation is focused on potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as potential obstruction of justice committed by Trump. According to a list of questions obtained by the New York Times, Mueller is concentrating the most on the following areas:
- Trump’s involvement in the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between campaign associates and Russian officials.
- Trump’s interactions with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, including any efforts to pressure him not to recuse himself from the probe.
- Trump’s decision to fire then-FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, as well as potential efforts to pressure him to back off the investigation.
- Trump’s knowledge of calls that Flynn made with former Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak in late December 2016.
It’s a lot of information, and the news cycle can quickly become overwhelming. But no matter how many times Trump calls the investigation a “witch hunt” (39 times on Twitter as of last week), the results are in and they couldn’t be clearer: Mueller is finding evidence — and it’s leading to charges, guilty pleas, and even prison time.
Their increasingly desperate behavior begs the question: What are they hiding?
Until we know the answer, the investigation must continue — and we must remain committed to preserving its integrity.