Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators followed “several meandering paths” in their two-year investigation, “propelled by discoveries of unusual interactions between Trump associates and Russians,” The Washington Post reported Sunday night. Mueller uncovered a lot in his 448-page final report, but his team was left with “some unanswered mysteries, a lot of dead ends and, ultimately, a conclusion that the contacts they found did not establish a criminal conspiracy,” the Post says.
Mueller’s team had to grapple with a legal dispute with Attorney General William Barr over whether a president can even be accused of crimes, plus President Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. refused to be interviewed, and the witnesses they did have “were not ideal,” the Post reports:
A few key players, prosecutors would contend, lied in interviews. Many were loyal to the president and echoed his rhetoric that Mueller’s team was acting in bad faith. Some used encrypted applications with disappearing messages that could not be reviewed. Others were overseas, unreachable to American investigators. In some cases, their statements were only loosely tethered to the facts. [The Washington Post]
Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort fits in the first three categories, and the “loosely tethered” description matches conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, the Post reports, citing an interview with Corsi’s lawyer, David Gray. Corsi had offered “tantalizing leads” about Roger Stone and WikiLeaks, but his story was never quite straight and his leads always led to dead ends, the Post reports.
Trying to get actionable material out of Corsi, “it’s their biggest nightmare,” Gray told the Post. “The supposed best of the best were just frankly dumbfounded by the whole situation.” Corsi was not charged, he added, because after six marathon interviews, “at the end of the day, they threw up their hands and said, ‘We can’t use any of this.'” Read more about the obstacles Mueller couldn’t get over at The Washington Post. Peter Weber