What’s NOT in the report: How page after page is covered with redactions

Dozens of pages in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report had redactions, including portions of a section on Russia‘s efforts to influence the 2016 election via social media and parts of one on the investigation into ties between President Donald Trump‘s campaign and WikiLeaks. 

One of the most heavily redacted section of the 448-page report was about Russia’s effort to sow seeds of discord in the 2016 presidential election.

Specifically targeted by the Justice Department’s black pen was the section dealing with the Internet Research Agency, which ‘carried out the earliest Russian interference operations identified by the investigation – a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States,’ the report states. 

Dozens of pages in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report were redacted

Dozens of pages in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report were redacted

Dozens of pages in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report were redacted

Special counsel Robert Mueller's 438-page report was made public Thursday

Special counsel Robert Mueller's 438-page report was made public Thursday

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s 438-page report was made public Thursday

Page after page is blacked out by Attorney General William Barr, whose DoJ lawyers went through the report to hide sensitive information before its public release on Thursday.

‘Harm to an ongoing matter,’ is the stated reason, which indicates the matter is still being investigated by federal prosecutors. 

The section details Russia’s efforts on Facebook and Twitter to influence voters toward Donald Trump and away from Hillary Clinton.

Barr said at a press conference on Thursday that nothing was redacted for executive privilege, which President Donald Trump could have used.

The four categories for redaction are grand jury evidence, classified material, information about on-going investigations, and details that could ‘unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.’ 

About about 2,050 lines – or 12.4 percent – are redacted, the Wall Street Journal noted. 

There are also several blackouts in the section detailing the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee and the placing of malware software in their system. 

The reason given is ‘investigative technique.’ 

There are also heavy redactions in the section looking at possible contacts between Trump’s campaign and Wikileaks, in reference to the hacked Democratic emails. 

‘Harm to an ongoing matter’ is the reason.

In January, Mueller brought charges against longtime Trump confident Roger Stone, claiming he sought to gather information about hacked Democratic Party emails at the direction of an unidentified senior Trump campaign official and engaged in extensive efforts to keep it a secret.

‘Grand jury’ was another heavily cited reason for redactions, particularly in a section on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who was under FBI surveillance during the campaign after a FISA warrant was issued as part of the feds’ counter-intelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign. 

It was also cited as the reason for redactions in the section on the infamous June 9 2016 Trump Tower meeting when Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Russian who claimed to have information on Hillary Clinton. 

And it’s listed as the reason for several black outs in the section Manafort’s work for the Ukraine, which ultimately got him convicted in federal court last year. 

All the 448 pages of the Mueller report with the redacted sections seen in black

All the 448 pages of the Mueller report with the redacted sections seen in black

All the 448 pages of the Mueller report with the redacted sections seen in black

Roger Stone was indicted because he sought info about the hacked Democratic emails

Roger Stone was indicted because he sought info about the hacked Democratic emails

Roger Stone was indicted because he sought info about the hacked Democratic emails

There are several black outs in the section about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's work for the Ukraine

There are several black outs in the section about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's work for the Ukraine

There are several black outs in the section about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s work for the Ukraine

And an unknown person seems to be wiped away from the report. In Volume II, Mueller’s team examined Trump’s conduct toward former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign manager Paul Manafort after both men agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s team. 

There is also a third name blacked out, citing ‘harm to ongoing matter.’ 

Mueller’s office also referred 14 cases to other agencies in the course of their work.

‘During the course of the investigation, the Office periodically identified evidence of potential criminal activity that was outside the scope of the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction established by the Acting Attorney General. After consultation with the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office referred that evidence to appropriate law enforcement authorities, principally other components of the Department of Justice and the FBI,’ the report states. 

Two of those matters were named and have been publicized: the case against former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen and against former Obama White House Counselor Gregory Craig for his work with the Ukraine.

The other 12 are blacked out.   

Prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia told The Washington Post one is a continuing grand jury investigation in connection with a foreign state-owned mystery company that refused to comply with a Mueller subpoena.

 

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