In this essay about special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, we provide an overview of the information available at the time of publication about that investigation. The essay will explain who Robert Mueller is; what the investigation is trying to find; and why the investigation was instigated. In addition, the essay will discuss the latest news, as of May 21, 2018, about the investigation. In addition to discussing the Mueller investigation, the essay will provide you with a technical guide for writing academic essays. In addition to being formatted in an appropriate academic style, it will include all of the standard parts of an academic essay, including: introduction, thesis statement, evidence and analysis in the body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Table of Contents
Robert Mueller- Robert Mueller is the special prosecutor appointed to look into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential campaign. As evidence increases suggesting that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Republicans have claimed the Mueller’s investigation is partisan. An essay focusing on Mueller’s background would look into his political allegiances, prior work history, and other aspects that would support or discredit claims that he is behaving in a partisan manner.
Christopher Steele- The ex-spy who claims that a Russian dossier exists that makes Trump vulnerable to blackmail by the Kremlin. With allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, any interactions between Trump and Russian officials becomes of interest. This includes allegations by ex-spy Christopher Steele that a dossier on Trump exists that details information, including a video tape of sexual activity with prostitutes, which could allow the Kremlin to influence Trump’s behavior. This essay would not only discuss Christopher Steele’s history as an agent and the alleged contents of the dossier, but also whether those contents would actually give the Kremlin leverage over Trump.
Election Influencing and the Internet- The allegations that Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election are multi-faceted. In addition to claims of possible tampering with election machines and votes, the claims include Russia’s role in using social media to influence the outcome of the election. An essay on this topic would discuss how social media has been used to influence elections, both in the United States and abroad.
The Mueller Investigation
Did the Trump Campaign Collude with Russia to Influence the 2016 Election?
Is the Mueller Investigation a Partisan Witch-Hunt?
Why the Mueller Investigation is Important to Ensure Election Integrity
a. Who is Mueller?
b. What is the Mueller Investigation?
c. Why is Mueller investigating the 2016 presidential election?
d. What are the latest developments in the investigation?
The Robert Mueller Investigation is a Special Counsel Investigation by United States law enforcement into whether there was any collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and any foreign power to influence the election. The investigation specifically focuses on whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, which the investigation has already established made attempts to influence the campaign’s outcome. The investigation was initially handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but in May 2017 Robert Mueller was appointed as a United States Special Counsel to head the investigation. This led to the consolidation of many separate investigations, including investigations in the former chairman for the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, and Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. While the focus of the investigation has been on election interference and collusion with Russia, it has also investigated possibly related areas, such as hush-money payments made by people connected to the Trump campaign to various individuals who have claimed sexual relationships with Trump. I
While President Trump or his surrogates have repeatedly called the Mueller Investigation a witch-hunt and suggested it has no foundation, the reality is that Mueller has not only found enough evidence to indict several members of Trump’s campaign or administration, but also that the investigation has already led to some guilty pleas.
While the political process and the fact that a sitting President cannot be indicted on federal charges, only impeached, may mean that Trump evades prosecution for collusion in the 2016 campaign, the results of the Mueller investigation have already proven a significant level of collusion to influence the 2016 campaign, between Trump’s associates and Russia.
Special Investigator Robert Mueller may face accusations of engaging in partisan politics, but his history, both as a professional and as an individual, make those accusations appear spurious. Robert Mueller, a former US attorney, was the second-longest serving FBI director in history; in 2011, Congress voted to extend Mueller’s term by two years, so that he could serve a 12-year tenure, rather than a 10-year tenure (Kopan, 2017). He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2001, after being appointed by a Republican President, George W. Bush. Likewise, in 2011, the vote to extend his term was unanimous. He is considered by other law enforcement professionals to be among the best, if not the best, investigative prosecutor in the country, and has been responsible for a number of high-profile investigations. He personally identifies as a Republican, politically, though there are no allegations that his personal political beliefs have influenced any of his actions as FBI director or US attorney.
While referred to as the Mueller Investigation in the press, the Mueller Investigation is more appropriately called the Special Counsel Investigation. Mueller is the head of the investigation, but he was not responsible for beginning the investigation. Instead, he was appointed by the Justice Department to investigate allegations that Russia influenced the 2016 Presidential campaign after the Trump Administration fired FBI director James Comey, who was investigating those allegations, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation. “As a special counsel, Mr. Mueller can choose whether to consult with or inform the Justice Department about his investigation…He is empowered to press criminal charges, and he can request additional resources subject to the review of an assistant attorney general” (Ruiz and Landler, 2017). Therefore, the investigation is both independent of other law enforcement agencies, but also subject to oversight by the Attorney General’s office, which is, in turn, part of the executive branch. This makes the investigation difficult, as the Trump Administration, which is the subject of the investigation, also retains the power to fire Mueller, and even to order that the Attorney General end the investigation and not name another special prosecutor if Mueller is fired. Therefore, the Mueller investigation is best described as a semi-independent Justice Department investigation, headed by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, into allegations that President Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the election.
There are multiple answers to the question about why Mueller is investigating the 2016 presidential election. The first set of answers focuses on why Mueller is the individual in charge of the investigation. The second set of answers focuses on why there is an investigation. The answers are related, because, if the reasons necessitating the selection of Special Counsel are accurate, they could help bolster claims of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia.
Appointing a Special Counsel became necessary after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump reportedly asked Comey to end the investigation into Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and allegations that Flynn had colluded with Russia in matters regarding the 2016 campaign. At the time those allegations came to light, there was not evidence that Flynn was necessarily acting on behalf of Trump’s campaign. When Comey refused to end the investigation into Flynn, Trump fired him from his position. The acting Attorney General responded by naming Robert Mueller, a man known for his impartial and judicious approach to issues, as special counsel to investigate those claims of collusion.
There are a number of reasons that collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign is suspected. It is already well-established that Russia expended significant efforts to influence the 2016 Presidential campaign, including a very determined effort to use social media, specifically Facebook, to influence voters. In January of 2017, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence launched a bipartisan probe of Russian meddling, which was sparked by a declassified report from the Director of National Intelligence, detailing efforts by Russian President Vladimir Putin, to help influence the campaign by smearing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. This was followed by investigations by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the F.B.I., and then the Justice Department. The investigation started with allegations that Michael Flynn, who would become Trump’s National Security Advisor; Paul Manafort, who would become chairman of the Trump campaign; Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law; and Donald Trump, Jr., all had contact with Russians who were giving them or offering to give them damaging information about Hillary Clinton in order to damage her campaign. Later, hackers break into DNC computers, steal oppositional research on Trump, and getting access to DNC emails.
As of May 21, 2018, the investigation had resulted in a number of indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions. Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos has pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russian official while working for Trump’s campaign. Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. Three other people have entered guilty pleas in relation to the investigation: Paul Manafort’s business partner Rick Gates, Richard Pineo, and Alex van der Zwaan. Mueller has indicted Paul Manafort, thirteen Russian citizens, and three Russian entities on a variety of charges linked to the investigation.