The Lingering Mysteries of a Trump-Russia Conspiracy

By Natasha Bertrand

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

The day after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to lead the investigation into Russia’s election interference, it seemed to some that President Trump’s “worst nightmare” had come true. A year and nearly 20 indictments later, there’s no sign it’s winding down.

Dozens of dizzying developments and near-daily news alerts have bolstered both Mueller’s critics who say he’s on a “fishing expedition,” and his defenders, who believe he’s leaving no stone unturned. All along, Mueller has never said a word, preferring to speak through the criminal charges he’s levied against multiple Trump associates, including Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Trump has taken the opposite approach, ramping up his attacks on Mueller’s “witch hunt” and against the special counsel himself in tweets and interviews.

To the president, the investigation may seem like it has dragged on. But the longest special-counsel probe—Iran Contra under former President Ronald Reagan—lasted six-and-a-half years. The Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky inquiry involving former President Bill Clinton, which ultimately led to Clinton’s impeachment in the House, lasted four years. And the investigation of the Valerie Plame affair under former President George W. Bush lasted three-and-a-half years. Mueller’s pace has been breakneck, legal experts tell me—especially for a complicated counterintelligence investigation that involves foreign nationals and the Kremlin, an adversarial government.

As the probe wears on, the fundamental legitimacy of Trump’s presidency hangs in the balance: Did his campaign conspire with Russia to undermine Hillary Clinton and win the election?

Here, the most significant revelations the country has learned since Mueller began his probe—revelations that could eventually answer that question.


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Via:: The Atlantic

      

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