Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election – Volume 1

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Introduction to Volume 1

On April 18, 2019, the Department of Justice released the “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” This section covers some background behind the creation of this audio podcast and the “Introduction to Volume 1” from pages 1 to 3 of the report. 

Introduction to Volume 1 (1:45)

Music by Lee Rosevere


Executive Summary to Volume 1

This section covers the “Executive Summary to Volume 1” from pages 4 to 10 of the report.

Russian Social Media Campaign (0:10)
Russian Hacking Operations (1:47)
Russian Contacts with the Campaign (3:52)
2015 Russian Contacts with the Campaign (5:00)
Spring 2016 Russian Contacts with the Campaign (5:30)
Summer 2016 Russian Contacts with the Campaign (6:14)
Fall 2016 Russian Contacts with the Campaign (9:18)
Post-2016 Election Russian Contacts with the Campaign (10:13)
The Special Counsel’s Charging Decisions (14:38)

Music by Lee Rosevere


I. The Special Counsel’s Investigation

The section covers the appointment order of the Special Counsel and the scope of what they were tasked to investigate, from pages 11 to 13 of the report.

Music by Lee Rosevere


II. Russian “Active Measures” Social Media Campaign

This episode covers pages 14 to 35 of the report.

This section is heavily redacted citing, in most cases, “Harm to Ongoing Matter,” and this section introduces a sound effect to help note the skipped areas of redaction, while trying to provide context for the redactions when possible.

Russian “Active Measures” Social Media Campaign (0:15)

  1. Structure of the Internet Research Agency (3:11)
  2. Funding and Oversight from Concord and Prigozhin (3:53)
  3. The IRA Targets U.S. Elections (4:51)
    1. The IRA Ramps Up U.S. Operations As Early As 2014 (4:56)
    2. U.S. Operations Through IRA-Controlled Social Media Accounts (6:02)
    3. U.S. Operations Through Facebook (8:21)
    4. U.S. Operations Through Twitter (11:39)
      1. Individualized Accounts (12:12)
      2. IRA Botnet Activities (13:49)
    5. U.S. Operations Involving Political Rallies (14:24)
    6. Targeting and Recruitment of U.S. Persons (16:32)
    7. Interactions and Contacts with the Trump Campaign (18:07)
      1. Trump Campaign Promotion of IRA Political Materials (18:48)
      2. Contact with Trump Campaign Officials in Connection to Rallies (20:27)

Music by Lee Rosevere


III.A. GRU Hacking Directed at the Clinton Campaign (Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations)

Section III will be delivered in four parts. This section covers part A, GRU Hacking Directed at the Clinton Campaign, from Section III: Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations.

  1. GRU Units Target the Clinton Campaign (2:02)
  2. Intrusions into the DCCC and DNC Networks
    1. Initial Access (4:53)
    2. Implantation of Malware on DCCC and DNC Networks (5:51)
    3. Theft of Documents from DNC and DCCC Networks (8:05)

This episode covers pages 36-41 of the report.

Music by Lee Rosevere


III.B. Dissemination of the Hacked Materials

Part 2 of 4 from Section III: Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations. This section explains the investigation’s look into DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0 and the use of Wikileaks from pages 41-49 of the report.

 B. Dissemination of the Hacked Materials

  1. DCLeaks (0:29)
  2. Guccifer 2.0 (2:55)
  3. Use ofWikiLeaks (7:10)
    1. WikiLeaks’s Expressed Opposition Toward the Clinton Campaign (7:35)
    2. WikiLeaks’s First Contact with Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks (8:46)
    3. The GRU’s Transfer of Stolen Materials to WikiLeaks (10:27)
    4. WikiLeaks Statements Dissembling About the Source of Stolen Materials (15:06)

Music by Lee Rosevere


III.C. Additional GRU Cyber Operations

Part 3 of 4 from Section III: Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations. This section offers the investigation’s findings of the Russian efforts to target individuals involved in the Clinton Campaign and entities involved in election administration from pages 49-51 of the report.

C. Additional GRU Cyber Operations (0:13)

  1. Summer and Fall 2016 Operations Targeting Democrat-Linked Victims (0:30)
  2. Intrusions Targeting the Administration of U.S. Elections (2:23)

Music by Lee Rosevere


III.D. Trump Campaign and the Dissemination of Hacked Materials

Part 4 of 4 from Section III: Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations. Note: Sections 1a through 1d are heavily redacted. From section 1e until the conclusion, the investigation’s findings focus on interactions between the Trump Campaign and Wikileaks as well as the campaign’s interest and efforts to obtain deleted Clinton emails.

This episode covers pages 51-65 of the report.

Trump Campaign and the Dissemination of Hacked Materials (0:23)

  1. Redacted [Harm to Ongoing Matter] (0:39)
    1. Background (0:43)
    2. Contacts with the Campaign about WikiLeaks (0:48)
    3. Redacted [Harm to Ongoing Matter] (2:55)
    4. WikiLeaks’s October 7, 2016 Release of Stolen Podesta Emails (4:28)
    5. Donald Trump Jr. Interaction with WikiLeaks (6:30)
  2. Other Potential Campaign Interest in Russian Hacked Materials (8:55)
    1. Henry Oknyansky (a/k/a Henry Greenberg) (9:39)
    2. Campaign Efforts to Obtain Deleted Clinton Emails (11:52)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.A. Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign

This episode covers page 66 of the report, which provides an introduction to the eight subsections ahead focusing on the principal links between the Trump Campaign and individuals with ties to the Russian government.

Due to the length of each of these subsections, they will each be getting their own episode: 1) Trump Tower Moscow Project, 2) George Papadopoulos, 3) Carter Page, 4) Dimitri Simes and the Center for the National Interest, 5) June 9, 2016 Meeting at Trump Tower, 6) Events at the Republication National Convention, 7) Post-Convention Contacts with Kislyak, and 8) Paul Manafort.

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IV.A.1 Trump Tower Moscow Project

Part 1 of 8 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 67-80, focuses on the Trump Organization and the Trump Campaign’s contacts with Russia surrounding the Trump Tower Moscow Project.

Trump Tower Moscow Project (0:10)

  1. Trump Tower Moscow Venture with the Crocus Group (2013-2014) (1:16)
  2. Communications with I.C. Expert Investment Company and Giorgi Rtskhiladze (Summer and Fall 2015) (3:40)
  3. Letter of Intent and Contacts to Russian Government (October 2015-January 2016) (7:16)
    1. Trump Signs the Letter of Intent on behalf of the Trump Organization (7:24)
    2. Post-LOI Contacts with Individuals in Russia (10:38)
  4. Discussions about Russia Travel by Michael Cohen or Candidate Trump (December 2015-June 2016) (18:01)
    1. Sater’s Overtures to Cohen to Travel to Russia (18:09)
    2. Candidate Trump’s Opportunities to Travel to Russia (22:07)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.A.2 George Papadopoulos

Part 2 of 8 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 80-95, focuses on George Papadopoulos and his contacts with Russia while serving as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump Campaign.

George Papadopoulos (0:10)

  1. Origins of Campaign Work (1:19)
  2. Initial Russia-Related Contacts (3:51)
  3. March 31 Foreign Policy Team Meeting (8:29)
  4. George Papadopoulos Learns That Russia Has “Dirt” in the Form of Clinton Emails (10:00)
  5. Russia-Related Communications With The Campaign (14:22)
  6. Trump Campaign Knowledge of “Dirt” (19:32)
  7. Additional George Papadopoulos Contact (21:31)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.A.3 Carter Page

Part 3 of 8 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 95-103, investigates Carter Page and his interactions with Russian intelligence and other contacts prior to and while serving as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump Campaign. 

Carter Page (0:10)

  1. Background (0:57)
  2. Origins of and Early Campaign Work (4:02)
  3. Carter Page’s July 2016 Trip To Moscow (5:58)
  4. Later Campaign Work and Removal from the Campaign (11:21)

Music by Lee Rosevere


V.A.4 Dimitri Simes and the Center for the National Interest

Part 4 of 8 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 103-110, outlines interactions with the Center for the National Interest, a D.C.-based non-profit with expertise in and connections to the Russian government.

Dimitri Simes and the Center for the National Interest (0:11)

  1. CNI and Dimitri Simes Connect with the Trump Campaign (1:16)
  2. National Interest Hosts a Foreign Policy Speech at the Mayflower Hotel (4:13)
  3. Jeff Sessions’s Post-Speech Interactions with CNI (7:51)
  4. Jared Kushner’s-Continuing Contacts with Simes (9:48)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.A.5 June 9, 2016 Meeting at Trump Tower 

Part 5 of 8 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 110 to 123, details the events leading up to a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower where the campaign expected to receive information damaging to Hillary Clinton.

June 9, 2016 Meeting at Trump Tower (0:11)

  1. Setting Up the June 9 Meeting (2:16)
    1. Outreach to Donald Trump Jr. (2:19)
    2. Awareness of the Meeting Within the Campaign (7:36)
  2. The Events of June 9, 2016 (10:31)
    1. Arrangements for the Meeting (10:36)
    2. Conduct of the Meeting (11:43)
  3. Post-June 9 Events (15:50)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.A.6 Events at the Republication National Convention 

Part 6 of 8 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 123 to 127, looks at two Russia-related topics from the Republican National Convention (RNC): 1) encounters with the Russian Ambassador at RNC and 2) toning down language with regard to Russia in the Republican Party platform.

Events at the Republican National Convention (0:11)

  1. Ambassador Kislyak’s Encounters with Senator Sessions and J.D. Gordon the Week of the RNC (1:21)
  2. Change to Republican Party Platform (3:03)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.A.7 Post-Convention Contacts with Kislyak

Part 7 of 8 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 127-129, briefly covers encounters with Russian Ambassador Kislyak and members of the Trump team after the Republican National Convention.

Post-Convention Contacts with Kislyak (0:11)

  1. Ambassador Kislyak Invites J.D. Gordon to Breakfast at the Ambassador’s Residence (0:31)
  2. Senator Sessions’s September 2016 Meeting with Ambassador Kislyak (1:19)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.A.8 Paul Manafort 

Part 8 of 8, the final subsection, from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign. This subsection of Volume 1, pages 129-144, details Paul Manafort’s interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime employee of Manafort’s, and who the FBI assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence.

Paul Manafort (0:11)

  1. Paul Manafort’s Ties to Russia and Ukraine (4:05)
    1. Oleg Deripaska Consulting Work (4:44)
    2. Political Consulting Work (6:25)
    3. Konstantin Kilimnik (7:08)
  2. Contacts during Paul Manafort’s Time with the Trump Campaign (9:37)
    1. Paul Manafort Joins the Campaign (9:41)
    2. Paul Manafort’s Campaign-Period Contacts (11:14)
    3. Paul Manafort’s Two Campaign-Period Meetings with Konstantin Kilimnik in the United States (16:27)
  3. Post-Resignation Activities (22:35)

Music by Lee Rosevere


IV.B. Post-Election and Transition-Period Contacts 

While Section IV.A. looked at the contacts leading up to the election. This section of Volume 1, pages 144-173 from Section IV: Russian Government Links To And Contacts With The Trump Campaign, lists the findings from the investigation into the post-election and transition period contacts as Russian officials sought to make inroads with members of the Trump team following the election.

Post-Election and Transition-Period Contacts (0:12)

  1. Immediate Post-Election Activity (0:50)
    1. Outreach from the Russian Government (1:22)
    2. High-Level Encouragement of Contacts through Alternative Channels (3:07)
  2. Kirill Dmitriev’s Transition-Era Outreach to the Incoming Administration (5:23)
    1. Background (6:35)
    2. Kirill Dmitriev’s Post-Election Contacts With the Incoming Administration (8:50)
    3. Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev Meet in the Seychelles (11:48)
    4. Kirill Dmitriev’s Post-Election Contact with Rick Gerson Regarding U.S. Russia Relations (20:05)
  3. Ambassador Kislyak’s Meeting with Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn in Trump Tower Following the Election (25:25)
  4. Jared Kushner’s Meeting with Sergey Gorkov (28:40)
  5. Petr Aven’s Outreach Efforts to the Transition Team (33:10)
  6. Carter Page Contact with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (38:14)
  7. Contacts With and Through Michael T. Flynn (39:56)
    1. United Nations Vote on Israeli Settlements (41:05)
    2. U.S. Sanctions Against Russia

Music by Lee Rosevere


V. Prosecution and Declination Decisions

As part of the final section of Volume 1, pages 174-199, this section explains the Special Council’s decisions on whether to exercise its prosecutorial authority with regard to the evidence it found through the investigation.

Prosecution and Declination Decisions (0:24)

A. Russian “Active Measures” Social Media Campaign (2:01)

B. Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations (4:50 )

  1. Section 1030 Computer-Intrusion Conspiracy (4:56)
    1. Background (5:01)
    2. Charging Decision As to [Redacted – Harm to Ongoing Matter] (6:51)
  2. Potential Section 1030 Violation By [Redacted – Personal Privacy] (7:02)

C. Russian Government Outreach and Contacts (7:58)

  1. Potential Coordination: Conspiracy and Collusion (9:52)
  2. Potential Coordination: Foreign Agent Statutes (FARA and 18 U.S.C. § 951) (12:38)
    1. Governing Law (12:59)
    2. Application (15:43)
  3. Campaign Finance (17:53)
    1. Overview Of Governing Law (18:32)
    2. Application to June 9 Trump Tower Meeting (21:12)
      1. Thing-of-Value Element (24:19)
      2. Willfulness (27:19)
      3. Difficulties in Valuing Promised Information (29:28)
    3. Application to [Redacted – Harm to Ongoing Matter] (31:01)
      1. Questions Over Whether [Redacted – Harm to Ongoing Matter] (31:12)
      2. Willfulness (31:22)
      3. Constitutional Considerations (31:43)
      4. Analysis as to [Redacted – Harm to Ongoing Matter] (31:55)
  4. False Statements and Obstruction of the Investigation (32:09)
    1. Overview Of Governing Law (32:31)
    2. Application to Certain Individuals (35:06)
      1. George Papadopoulos (35:09)
      2. [Redacted – Personal Privacy] (40:08)
      3. Michael Flynn (40:17)
      4. Michael Cohen (43:25)
      5. [Redacted – Harm to Ongoing Matter] (47:02)
      6. Jeff Sessions (47:11)
      7. Others Interviewed During the Investigation (50:34)

Music by Lee Rosevere