Volume I

Cover and index

The finely detailed table of contents reads like a narrative all on its own.

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Introduction to volume I

In this introduction, Mueller’s team provides a very brief overview of what we can expect from the report.

I 1

“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Executive summary to volume I

The executive summary details the topics and events covered in the first volume of the report, and recaps Mueller’s findings. The first volume mainly consists of the factual results of the special counsel’s investigation.

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The special counsel’s investigation

This section describes the special counsel’s authority, his assigned tasks, and how he carried out the investigation. It clarifies that the report itself is a summary, not a complete record of his activities.

Personal Privacy

I 13

“This Volume is a summary. It contains, in the Office’s judgment, that information necessary to account for the Special Counsel’s prosecution and declination decisions and to describe the investigation’s main factual results.”

Russian “active measures” social media campaign

Structure of the Internet Research Agency

This part of the report possibly details the inner workings of the Internet Research Agency. We can’t be sure, however, because the section is heavily redacted.

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Funding and oversight from Concord and Prigozhin

This section is redacted almost in its entirety, citing harm to other ongoing investigations.

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The IRA targets US elections

Mueller’s team provides a detailed breakdown of the IRA’s operations in the US, including its use of Twitter, Facebook, political rallies, and individual targeting to distribute its messages. Much of the section, again, is redacted.

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Russian hacking and dumping operations

GRU hacking directed at the Clinton campaign

Officers of the Russian Federation’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) hacked into email accounts associated with the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. This section details how they did it.

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Dissemination of the hacked materials

The GRU hackers disseminated the documents stolen from the Democrats via online personas, including “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0”. Later, the documents were published on WikiLeaks.

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I 44

“WikiLeaks, and particularly its founder Julian Assange, privately expressed opposition to candidate Clinton well before the first release of stolen documents. In November 2015, Assange wrote to other members and associates of WikiLeaks that "[w]e believe it would be much better for GOP to win... Dems+Media+liberals woudl [sic] then form a block to reign in their worst qualities… With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute... She’s a bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath." ”

Additional GRU cyber operations

The report also identifies other hacking operations in which GRU was involved.

Personal PrivacyInvestigative Technique

Trump campaign and the dissemination of hacked materials

In this highly redacted section, Mueller and his team detail interactions between Trump, his campaign, and WikiLeaks.

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Russian government links to and contacts with the Trump campaign

Campaign period (September 2015 – November 8, 2016)

This extensive section describes the relationships between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. It reveals details about the Trump Tower Moscow project, meetings at Trump Tower in New York, events at the Republican National Convention, and dealings with Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and others.

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Post-election and transition-period contacts

Additional links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign are covered here. They include Jared Kushner’s meeting with Sergey Gorkov, interactions between Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, and Michael Flynn’s contacts.

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Prosecution and declination decisions

Russian ‘active measures’ social media campaign

This section outlines the prosecution of three Russian agencies for violating US elections and political processes. It indicates that some of them were in contact with members of the Trump campaign, though investigators didn’t find evidence the campaign staffers were aware that they were working with Russians.

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Russian hacking and dumping operations

This covers the indictment of Russian military intelligence officers who conspired to hack into the Democratic National Committee and other American email accounts, ultimately passing the emails they acquired to WikiLeaks.

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Russian government outreach and contacts

Here the report discusses contacts between Trump campaign officials and people with ties to the Russian government, or claiming to have such ties. Charges were levied against Paul Manafort and Richard Gates for their activities on behalf of Ukraine.

Harm to ongoing matterPersonal PrivacyGrand Jury information

Volume II

Cover and index

Again, the table of contents is so detailed that it can nearly be read as a summary of the report itself.

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Introduction to volume II

The introduction to volume two offers some of the Mueller team’s conclusions, and includes an important caveat: “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

II 2

“The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Executive summary to volume II

The executive summary covers the topics and events included in this second volume—in particular, the special counsel’s obstruction-of-justice inquiry.

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II 8

“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice. ”

Background legal and evidentiary principles

Legal framework of obstruction of justice

This section summarizes portions of the law relevant to obstruction of justice. It notes that most obstruction statutes require a corrupt intent, an obstructive act, and a connection between the act and an official proceeding.

Investigative and evidentiary considerations

The report considers evidence gathered by the special counsel related to the question of obstruction of justice.

Grand Jury information

II 12

“Taking into account that information and our analysis of applicable statutory and constitutional principles…we determined that there was a sufficient factual and legal basis to further investigate potential obstruction-of-justice issues involving the president.”

Factual results of the obstruction investigation

The campaign’s response to reports about Russian support for Trump

In this section, and those that follow, Mueller and his team describe the evidence they’ve gathered on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign, and how Trump and his campaign responded.

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The president’s conduct concerning the investigation of Michael Flynn

Grand Jury information

The president’s reaction to public confirmation of the FBI’s Russia investigation

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Events leading up to and surrounding the termination of FBI director Comey

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II 76

“The President’s draft termination letter also stated that morale in the FBI was at an all-time low and Sanders told the press after Comey’s termination that the White House had heard from "countless" FBI agents who had lost confidence in Comey. But the evidence does not support those claims … and Sanders acknowledged to investigators that her comments were not founded on anything.”

The president’s efforts to remove the special counsel

Personal Privacy

II 78

“According to notes written by Hunt, when Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said,‘Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.’”

The president’s efforts to curtail the special counsel investigation

Personal PrivacyGrand Jury information

The president’s efforts to prevent disclosure of emails about the June 9, 2016 meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials

Grand Jury information

The president’s further efforts to have the attorney general take over the investigation

The president orders McGahn to deny that the president tried to fire the special counsel

II 115

“The President referred to McGahn as a lying bastard’ and said that he wanted a record from him.”

The president’s conduct towards Flynn, Manafort, redacted

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II 132

“The evidence supports the inference that the President intended Manafort to believe that he could receive a pardon, which would make cooperation with the government as a means of obtaining a lesser sentence unnecessary.”

The president’s conduct involving Michael Cohen

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Overarching factual issues

II 158

“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”

Legal defenses to the application of obstruction-of-justice statutes to the president

Statutory defenses to the application of obstruction-of-justice provisions to the conduct under investigation

Trump’s lawyers have argued that the president cannot obstruct justice due to his constitutional authority. Mueller and his team analyze that argument and break down the legal statutes that lead to their conclusion: “Article II of the Constitution does not categorically and permanently immunize the President from potential liability for the conduct that we investigated.”

Constitutional defenses to applying obstruction-of-Justice statutes to presidential conduct

Mueller and his team conclude that “Congress can validly regulate the President’s exercise of official duties to prohibit actions motivated by a corrupt intent to obstruct justice” and that this restriction would not undermine the president’s executive powers granted by the Constitution.


This is the shortest section in the document. Five sentences clearly state that the investigators did not reach any clear conclusions on whether Trump acted inappropriately. “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct…Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”


Appendix A

This is the letter acting attorney general Rod Rosenstein wrote appointing the special counsel.

Appendix B

A glossary of terms relevant to the report.

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Appendix C

The questions put to president Trump under oath, and his responses. It includes the Mueller team's rationale for why it did not subpoena the president to testify in person.

Grand Jury information

II C-2

“Recognizing that the President would not be interviewed voluntarily, we considered whether to issue a subpoena for his testimony. We viewed the written answers to be inadequate. But at that point, our investigation had made significant progress and had produced substantial evidence for our report. We thus weighed the costs of potentially lengthy constitutional litigation, with resulting delay in finishing our investigation, against the anticipated benefits for our investigation and report. ”

Appendix D

Cases transferred, referred, and completed by the special counsel’s office.

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