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The Kremlin operative previewed their plan for “anonymous release” of the information to help the Trump campaign.A very significant question is what reception the Russians got from the Trump Campaign after making these revelations.When there is “evidence of absence,” the Special Counsel was willing to say the investigation “established” effectively that something did not occur.For example, the Report states that the investigation “established” that interactions between the Russian Ambassador and Campaign officials at certain locations were “brief, public, and non-substantive.” That finding excludes the possibility that something more nefarious occurred in those particular interactions. : At a March 31, 2016 meeting of the campaign’s foreign policy advisory group, one of the advisers George Papadopoulos “brought up a potential meeting with Russian Officials,” and told the group that he learned from his contacts in London that Putin wanted to meet Trump.It conveys the absence of any evidence when, for example, it states the investigation “did not identify evidence” or “did not uncover evidence” that something occurred.
First, as the Report states, “several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office,” and “those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.” Second, President Trump’s interference in the investigation also appears to have stymied the investigation.
Furthermore, statements that the investigation “did not establish” something occurred are not the same as saying there was “no evidence” that it occurred.
The Report has clear ways of saying when the investigation found no evidence.
Fourth, some of the individuals who “cooperated” with the investigation (e.g., Steve Bannon) appear to have been deceptive or not fully forthcoming in their dealings with the Special Counsel.
Several individuals failed to recall the content of important conversations with Trump or other Campaign associates.
That’s one feature of the Report’s being constrained by the burdens of proof in a criminal context.