Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has either indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 19 people and three companies so far — with most of those being announced just in the past week.
That group is composed of four former Trump advisers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Three of these people have already pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe, with another reportedly set to follow later today.
None of the charges against Americans or Trump advisers so far have directly alleged that they worked with Russia to interfere with the campaign.
Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to making false statements about their contacts with Russians to investigators. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have been hit with money laundering and other charges that relate to their work for the government of Ukraine and a Russia-affiliated Ukrainian political party.
Other reported focuses of Mueller’s investigation — such as the hacking and leaking of prominent Democrats’ emails and potential obstruction of justice by the Trump administration — have not resulted in any indictments yet. Here, though, are the charges that are publicly known so far.
The full list of known indictments and plea deals in Mueller’s probe
1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in October.
2) Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in December.
3) Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted in October on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, false statements, and failure to disclose foreign assets — all related to his work for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He’s pleaded not guilty on all counts.
4) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was similarly indicted on conspiracy, money laundering, and false statements charges. He’s pleaded not guilty on all counts, for now.
5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller.
22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer will reportedly plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates.
Two ex-Trump advisers lied to the FBI about their contacts with Russians
So far, no Trump associates have been specifically charged with any crimes relating to helping Russia interfere with the 2016 election.
The closest we’ve come to that is that both Papadopoulos and Flynn both now admit that they lied to the FBI about their contacts with people connected to the Russian government. (Papadopoulos’s contacts took place before the election, and Flynn’s after it.)
Papadopoulos: Back in April 2016, Papadopoulos got a tip from a foreign professor he understood to have Russian government connections that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” He then proceeded to have extensive contacts with the professor and a Russian woman, in which he tried to plan a Trump campaign trip to Russia.
But when the FBI interviewed Papadopoulos about all this in January 2017, he repeatedly lied about what happened, he now admits. So he was arrested in July, and later agreed to plead guilty to a false statements charge and start cooperating with Mueller’s probe.
Flynn: In December 2016, during the transition, Flynn spoke to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that President Barack Obama had just placed on Russia, and about a planned United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements.
But when FBI agents interviewed him about all this in January 2017, Flynn lied to them about what his talks with Kislyak entailed, he now admits. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to a false statements charge and began cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
Both Papadopoulos and Flynn may now be providing Mueller’s team with information that could incriminate others in Trump’s orbit. But we haven’t seen the fruits of their cooperation just yet.
Several Russians were indicted in connection with a propaganda effort
More recently, Mueller’s team has indicted 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies in connection with alleged interference with the 2016 campaign.
The indictments’ main emphasis is on the propaganda efforts of one Russian group in particular: the Internet Research Agency. That group’s operations — which included social media posts, online ads, and organization of rallies in the US — were, the indictment alleges, often (but not exclusively) aimed at denigrating Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, and at supporting Donald Trump’s.
Specifically indicted were:
- The Internet Research Agency itself
- Two shell companies involved in financing the agency (Concord Management and Concord Catering)
- The alleged financier of the Agency, Yevgeniy Prigozhin.
- Twelve people who allegedly worked for the Agency (Mikhail Bystrov, Mikhail Burchik, Aleksandra Krylova, Anna Bogacheva, Sergey Polozov, Maria Bovda, Robert Bovda, Dzheykun Ogly, Vadim Podkopaev, Gleb Vasilchenko, Irina Kaverzina, and Vladimir Venkov)
The specific charges in the case include one broad “conspiracy to defraud the United States” count, but the rest are far narrower — one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and six counts of identity theft. It is highly unlikely that the indicted Russians will ever come to the US to face trial.
No Americans have been charged with being witting participants in this Russian election interference effort. However, one American, Richard Pinedo of California, pleaded guilty to an identity fraud charge, seemingly because he sold bank account numbers created with stolen identities to the Russians. Pinedo agreed to cooperate with the probe as part of his plea deal.
Two other ex-Trump advisers are facing charges related to their past work for Ukraine
Then there are former Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, both of whom Mueller’s team indicted last October on a combined 12 counts.
The charges against the pair relate to nearly a decade of foreign work they did for the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian politicians before they joined Trump’s campaign.
Manafort and Gates allegedly “acted as unregistered agents” for the Ukrainians, generating “tens of millions of dollars in income,” which they then “laundered” through “scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts,” per their indictment. They also are accused of failing to appropriately disclose their foreign work and foreign assets.
Manafort and Gates did this work for Ukraine’s pro-Russia political faction, but so far, it is not clear if these charges have any connection to the topic of Russian interference with the 2016 campaign. Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty on all counts, but there have lately been reports that Gates may soon strike a plea deal.
An associate of Gates is set to plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI
Finally, the probe into Manafort and Gates’s Ukrainian work has also ensnared one more person so far — Alex van der Zwaan.
Van der Zwaan was a lawyer for the London office of the New York law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom. The son-in-law of a Russian oligarch, he worked with Manafort and Gates on behalf of Ukraine’s government in 2012, to write a report defending the government’s imprisonment of a former prime minister.
In November 2017, Mueller’s investigators interviewed van der Zwaan about his Ukrainian work. But according to the charging document, van der Zwaan:
- lied about when his last communications with Rick Gates and another unnamed person took place, and
- lied about deleting and not providing relevant emails to the special counsel’s team.
We don’t yet know what, exactly, van der Zwaan was trying to cover up here. But he will reportedly plead guilty to a false statements charge in Washington, DC today.