Litigation Documents Related to the Mueller Investigation

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and related matters has so far yielded a range of prosecutions and appellate litigation. Lawfare will be collecting significant documents from these lawsuits on this page as the investigation and litigation moves forward.

This page is maintained by Victoria Clark and Quinta Jurecic. Any queries or additional documents should be directed to Quinta Jurecic at [email protected].

 

On May 17, 2017, acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller III to serve as Special Counsel. 

 

U.S. v. Michael Cohen (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1:18-cr-850)

Who is he? Michael Cohen was previously an employee of the Trump Organization, serving as executive vice president and special counsel from around 2007 to 2017, and President Trump's personal attorney. In August 2018, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations in a separate case brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

What are the charges? On November 29, 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to Congress about the Trump Organization's efforts to construct a Trump Tower Moscow in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001 (a)(2) in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York.

Where does this case stand? Cohen pleaded guilty to the charge and entered into a formal plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller on November 29, 2018.  

 

U.S. v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr. (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 1:18-cr-83)

Who is he? Paul J. Manafort, Jr. served as the chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign from March 2016 through August 2016. He resigned after the New York Times reported that he had received “off-the-books” money from a Ukrainian political party with a pro-Russian tilt, known as the Party of Regions. Prior to his time on the Trump campaign, Manafort worked as a lobbyist in Ukraine from 2005 until 2014, largely as an advisor to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as well as to the Party of Regions.

What are the charges? On Feb. 22, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Manafort with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, filing false tax returns, aiding in the filing of false tax returns and failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts. The charges are related to his lobbying and political consulting work in Ukraine.

Where does the case stand? The trial began on July 31, 2018. On Aug. 21, a jury found Manafort guilty on eight of the 18 counts, but remained deadlocked on the other 10 counts. Manafort’s sentencing is currently set for Feb. 8, 2019.

 

U.S. v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:17-cr-201)

Why is this case separate from the charges against Manafort in the Eastern District of Virginia? The first indictment against Paul Manafort was returned by a grand jury in the District of Columbia in October 2017, months before the grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia returned a separate indictment in Febuary 2018. Manafort refused to waive venue for the Virginia charges, which would have allowed prosecutors to bring all charges in Washington, D.C., so both cases proceeded separately. The Virginia trial took place first, from July 31 through Aug. 21. The D.C. trial was scheduled to begin on Sept. 24. However, Manafort entered into a plea agreement on Sept. 14.

What are the charges? On Oct. 30, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia unsealed an indictment charging Manafort and his associate Rick Gates with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, making false and misleading FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) statements and making false statements to the Department of Justice. The charges are related to Manafort’s lobbying and political consulting work in Ukraine.

On June 6, 2018, the grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Manafort and his associate Konstantin Kilimnik with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice for their alleged efforts to contact and influence potential witnesses. 

Where does the case stand? According to a status report filed on Nov. 26, the government is alleging that Manafort lied multiple times during his conversations with the FBI and the special counsel's office following his plea agreement, thereby violating its terms. Manafort's attorneys contest the allegation. Both parties have asked the court to move forward with sentencing. 

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Amy Berman Jackson: Scheduling Conference held on 11/30/2018 as to PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR. (1). Submission from the government regarding the alleged breach of the plea agreement is due by 12/7/2018; Defendant's proposed schedule for the filing of a response to the government's submission is due by 12/12/2018. REFERRAL TO PROBATION OFFICE for Presentence Investigation. Sentencing is set for 3/5/2019 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 3 before Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Sentencing Memoranda from the parties are due by 2/22/2019. Bond Status of Defendant: Defendant's Presence was waived for this hearing, but he remains committed; Court Reporter: Janice Dickman; Defense Attorneys: Kevin M.Downing and Thomas Edward Zehnle; US Attorneys: Andrew Weissmann, Greg Donald Andres and Jeannie S. Rhee. (jth) (Entered: 11/30/2018)

 

 

Manafort v. Department of Justice

What is the case? Facing criminal charges, Manafort filed a civil suit against the Justice Department, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, arguing that Rosenstein’s order appointing Mueller stretched beyond the authority granted by the Justice Department’s special counsel regulations. The case was dismissed in August 2018, just as Manafort’s criminal trial in the Eastern District of Virginia was beginning.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1:18-cv-00011)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (18-5193)

 

U.S. v. Richard W. Gates III (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:17-cr-201)

Who is he? Richard W. Gates worked on the Trump campaign under Paul Manafort as a campaign adviser beginning in June 2016. He stayed on the campaign after Manafort left, and then served as deputy chairman of Donald Trump’s inaugural committee. Before his work with the Trump campaign, Gates worked alongside Manafort during the latter’s time in Ukraine as a lobbyist and political consultant to Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of Regions.

What are the charges? On Oct. 30, 2017, a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia handed down an indictment charging both Manafort and Gates with conspiracy against the United States, including conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, making false and misleading FARA statements and making false statements to the Justice Department.

Where does the case stand? On Feb. 23, 2018, Gates pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charges, as well as to making a false statement to the special counsel’s office. He testified in Paul Manafort’s trial in the Eastern District of Virginia on Aug. 6, 2018. As of November 2018, court documents show that Gates was continuing to cooperate with the ongoing special counsel investigation.

 

U.S. v. Richard W. Gates III (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 1:18-cr-83)

Why are these charges separate from the charges against Gates in the Eastern District of Virginia? As with Manafort, the special counsel filed charges against Gates in both the District of Columbia as well as the Eastern District of Virginia. Gates pleaded guilty to the D.C. charges, and the Virginia charges were dismissed without prejudice.

U.S. v. Konstantin Kilimnik (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:17-cr-201)

Who is he? Konstantin Kilimnik is a dual Ukrainian-Russian citizen who worked as Manafort’s translator and local contact in Ukraine. Though it has been reported that Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence, he has repeatedly denied those allegations. Kilimnik claims he stopped working for Manafort in 2014, but acknowledges that he met with Manafort at least two times while Manafort was working for the Trump campaign. The last publicly known communication between the two was in April 2018, according to court documents. 

What are the charges? In a superseding indictment filed on June 8, 2018, the special counsel alleged that Kilimnik helped Manafort contact potential witnesses in Manafort’s upcoming trial to persuade them not to contradict Manafort’s testimony.

Where does the case stand? Kilimnik’s current whereabouts are unknown. While Manafort pleaded guilty to the witness tampering charges on Sept. 14, 2018, but no further action has been taken in Kilimnik’s case.

 

U.S. v. Alexander van der Zwaan (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:18-cr-31)

Who is he? Alexander van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen, was employed by the law firm Skadden Arps to work on a report commissioned by Paul Manafort on behalf of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2012. The report concerned the Ukrainian government’s prosecution of one of Yanukovych’s political rivals, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and was later criticized as an attempt to justify Tymoshenko’s wrongful imprisonment.

What are the charge? On Feb. 20, 2018, van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents during a Nov. 3, 2017 interview, regarding his communications with Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik.

Where does the case stand? On April 3, 2018, Judge Amy Jackson Berman sentenced van der Zwaan to serve 30 days in prison and pay a $20,000 fine.

Sentencing held on 4/3/2018 as to ALEX VAN DER ZWAAN. Count 1: Sentenced to Thirty (30) days incarceration, followed by Two (2) months of supervised release. Special Assessment of $100.00 was imposed and a fine of $20,000.00 was Ordered. Bond Status of Defendant: Defendant is permitted to voluntarily surrender when designated, with all previously imposed conditions of personal recognizance bond remaining in effect; Court Reporter: Janice Dickman; Defense Attorneys: William Schwartz, Laura Birger and Nicholas Flath; US Attorneys: Andrew Weissmann, Greg Donald Andres and Brian Richardson; Probation Officer: Kelly Kraemer-Soares. (jth) (Entered: 04/04/2018)

 

U.S. v. Internet Research Agency, et al (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; 1:18-cr-32)

Who are the defendants? The indictment names 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities. The first of these entities is the Internet Research Agency LLC, a Kremlin-backed troll farm based in St. Petersburg that has been active since at least 2013. The government alleges that the other two entities, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, are  controlled by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, a longtime associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Collectively referred to in court documents as “Concord,” these entities are accused of having a number of Russian government contracts and being the primary source of funding for the Internet Research Agency’s efforts.  

What are the charges? The Feb. 16, 2018 indictment charges the individuals and entities with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The defendants allegedly posed as U.S. persons on social media and contacted real U.S. persons and organizations to coordinate political events and campaigns, with the goal of influencing U.S. politics in general and the 2016 presidential election in particular.

Where does the case stand? There is no indication that any of the defendants are in U.S. custody or the custody of other law enforcement entities. However, Concord Management and Consulting LLC have filed tw motions to dismiss the case against them and the other alleged co-conspirators, both of which the district court has denied.

 

U.S. v. Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, et al (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:18-cr-215)

Who are the defendants? The indictment names Viktor Borisovich Netyksho and another 11 individuals, all of whom allegedly work for Russia’s military intelligence agency, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU).

What are the charges? On July 13, 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging those 12 Russian intelligence officers with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to launder money. The charges are related to “large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The government alleges that GRU officers  hacked into the email accounts of individuals associated with the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee before releasing tens of thousands of those emails to the public in conjunction with Wikileaks.

Where does the case stand? There have been no further developments since the indictment was filed on July 13, 2018.

 

U.S. v. Richard Pinedo, et al (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:18-cr-24)

Who is he? According to the government, Richard Pinedo ran a California-based online service called Auction Essence that created and sold bank account numbers to anonymous online users. Individuals who bought the bank account numbers could then circumvent the security features on online payment companies such as Paypal.

What are the charges? Pinedo was charged with identity theft for creating around 200 bank accounts using stolen identities. He then allegedly sold these bank account numbers to unidentified users, some of whom had Russian ties. Prosecutors said that Pinedo helped link anonymous internet activity to the Russians named in the Internet Research Agency indictment, including Prigozhin. 

Where does the case stand? Pinedo pleaded guilty on Feb. 12, 2018 to identity fraud. He was sentenced on Oct. 10, 2018 and is currently serving a 12-month prison term.

Sentencing held on 10/10/2018 as to RICHARD PINEDO. The defendant was sentenced to one (1) year of incarceration on Count 1, with six (6) months of that sentence to be served in the Bureau of Prisons, followed by a term of twenty-four (24) months of supervised release with six months of home detention as a special condition of the supervised release, and a $100.00 special assessment. Defendant ORDERED to self-surrender on a date determined by the Bureau of Prisons and the US Probation Office. Bond Status of Defendant: Personal Recognizance; Court Reporter: Sara Wick; Defense Attorney: Jeremy Lessem; US Attorneys (DOJ Special Counsel): Jeannie Sclafani Rhee, Lawrence Atkinson, and Ryan Dickey; Prob Officer: Kelly Kramer-Soares. (jl) Modified on 10/10/2018 to reflect correct sentencing language. 

 

U.S. v. Michael T. Flynn (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:17-cr-232)

Who is he? Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn (Ret.) served as National Security Advisor to President Trump from the president’s inauguration on Jan. 20 to Feb. 13, 2017. He stepped down after reports that he misled both the FBI and Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

What are the charges? The criminal information filed against Flynn charges him with making false statements to FBI agents about his communications with Kislyak. According to the document, Flynn initially claimed that he discussed neither U.S. sanctions against Russia nor a United Nations resolution regarding Israeli settlements with Kislyak. However, the government states Flynn later admitted that he asked the Russian ambassador to moderate its response to President Obama’s Dec. 28, 2016 executive order implementing sanctions against Russia, and also tried to persuade Russia to vote against the UN resolution.Where does the case stand? Flynn pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017. He proceeded to cooperate with the ongoing special counsel investigation. On Sept. 17, 2018, the parties filed a status report stating that, “The matter is now ready to be scheduled for sentencing,” likely indicating that Flynn’s cooperation is complete. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, 2018.

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings as to MICHAEL T. FLYNN:, REFERRAL TO PROBATION OFFICE for Presentence Investigation as to MICHAEL T. FLYNN.U.S. Probation Presentence Report due by 11/20/2018. Government Memorandum Of Law due by 12/4/2018. Defendant Memorandum Of Law due by 12/11/2018. Government's Reply due by 12/14/2018. Sentencing set for 12/18/2018 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (mac) 

U.S. v. George Papadopoulos (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1:17-cr-00182)

Who is he? George Papadopoulos served on the foreign policy advisory panel for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign beginning in March 2016. According to court documents, he soon met Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who touted his connections to the Russian government and told Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Papadopoulos allegedly sought to arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin with Mifsud as the go-between, and kept senior campaign advisers up to date on his efforts.

What are the charges? On July 28, 2017, George Papadopoulos was charged with making false statements to federal agents about his foreign contacts and the nature of those communications. He was also charged with obstruction of justice for his attempts to delete Facebook communications with foreign contacts in order to hide them from federal investigators. 

Where does the case stand? Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2017 to making false statements. On Sept. 7, 2018, he was sentenced to 14 days in prison and 12 months of supervised release. Papadopoulos began his 14-day sentence on Nov. 26. 

 

Andrew Miller v. U.S. 

Who is he? Andrew Miller is a longtime associate of Roger Stone, himself an advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. The special counsel is reportedly investigating whether Stone had advance knowledge of the Wikileaks email releases.

What are the charges? While Miller agreed to be interviewed by federal investigators and  cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation more broadly, he refused to testify before a grand jury even after twice being subpoenaed by Mueller’s office. Miller was held in civil contempt by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and is now appealing the contempt order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Where does the case stand? In both the district and the circuit court, Miller has challenged the underlying authority of the special counsel by arguing that Mueller was unlawfully appointed. His challenge failed at the district level and he was held in contempt on Oct. 10, 2018 for refusing to appear before the grand jury. However, the district court stayed the order until Miller appeal the ruling.

The case is currently before the D.C. Circuit. Notably, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, one of the Russian entities named in the Feb. 16 indictment, has filed an amicus brief in this case, and Miller’s attorney yielded five minutes of his time to Concord during oral argument before the appeals court.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1:18-gj-00034-BAH)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (18-3052)

 

Sealed v. Sealed

What do we know about this case? Almost nothing. The entire district court docket is sealed, and although the circuit court dockets are publically available, all individual filings are sealed.

Why do some believe this case is related to the special counsel investigation? Writing in Politico, Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn lay out two reasons to believe this case is related to the special counsel investigation. First, a sealed response was filed in the case just three hours after Samuelsohn overheard a man request the special counsel’s latest sealed filing from the clerk’s office for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit clerk. Second, the only judge to recuse himself from the en banc panel hearing the appeal was Trump-appointed Judge Greg Katsas, who promised during his confirmation hearings to recuse himself from any cases related to the special counsel investigation due to his previous work in the White House Counsel’s Office.

Where does the case stand? The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Aug. 16, 2018, where Chief Judge Beryl Howell ruled on Sept. 19. After the case was appealed up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the appeals court quickly sent it back to the district court to resolve a procedural issue. The appeals court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 14, 2018.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1:18-gj-00041-BAH)

  • Sealed docket.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (18-3068)

  • Notice of Appeal Filed (09/24/2018)
  • Sealed Motion to Stay Underlying Order Filed by Appellant (09/27/2018)
  • Per Curiam Order Directing Response by Appellee to Motion to Stay Case (09/28/2018)
  • Sealed Response in Opposition (10/01/2018)
  • Sealed Reply Filed by Appellant (10/01/2018)
  • Per Curiam Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Case for Lack of Jurisdiction (10/03/2018)
  • Sealed Petition for Rehearing, for Rehearing en banc filed by Appellant (10/05/2018)
  • Per Curiam Order Denying Petition for Rehearing (10/24/2018)
  • Per Curiam Order Denying Petition for Rehearing en banc (10/24/2018)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (18-3071)

  • Notice of Appeal Filed (10/09/2018)
  • Joint Motion to Expedite and Set Briefing Schedule (10/10/2018)
  • Appellant Brief (10/23/2018)
  • Appendix (10/23/2018)
  • Sealed Appellee Brief (11/07/2018)
  • Sealed Motion Filed by Appellee (110/07/2018)
  • Sealed Supplemental Appendix (11/07/2018)
  • Sealed Appellant Reply Brief (11/14/2018)
  • Sealed Notice filed by appellant (11/15/2018)