Tue, 16 Jul 2019

Where the investigations related to Trump stand

23 Mar 2019, 17:41 GMT+10

A look at where the investigations related to US President Donald Trump stand and what may lie ahead for him:

What's this all about?

Special counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report on whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia and whether the president obstructed the investigation.

Trump also plays a central role in a separate case in New York, where prosecutors have implicated him in a crime. They say Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal hush-money payments to two women as a way to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign. New York prosecutors also are looking into Trump's inaugural fund.

Congressional investigations also are swirling around the president. Democrats have launched a sweeping probe of Trump, an aggressive investigation that threatens to shadow the president through the 2020 election season.

What do I need to know right now?

Mueller turned over his long-awaited final report to Attorney General Wiliam Barr on Friday.

Barr released a letter noting his plans to write his own account of Mueller's findings and said he could send his account to Congress quickly.

The White House released a statement saying it had not seen or been briefed on the document.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer said it's "imperative" to make the full report public.

So... did the Trump campaign collude with Russia?

There is no smoking gun when it comes to the question of Russia collusion. But the evidence so far shows that a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and several lied about the communications.

There is evidence that some people in Trump's orbit were discussing a possible email dump from WikiLeaks before it occurred. American intelligence agencies and Mueller have said Russia was the source of hacked material released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks during the campaign that was damaging to Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential effort.

Other questions to consider

What about obstruction of justice? - That is another unresolved question that Mueller was pursuing. Investigators have examined key episodes such as Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and Trump's fury over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal.

What does Trump have to say about all this? - Trump has repeatedly slammed the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" and insisted there was "NO COLLUSION" with Russia. He also says Cohen lied to get a lighter sentence in New York.

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