Special counsel Robert Mueller submitted momentous court filings this week. The documents discuss wrongdoing by president Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, campaign chair Paul Manafort, and national security advisor Mike Flynn—but surface little new information about Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 US presidential election.
Everything else was redacted.
Here’s what we learned this week from the court filings’ claims:
- Trump and then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen tried to arrange a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Sept. 2015.
- Cohen twice broke campaign finance laws on Trump’s orders, by paying off two women who say they had affairs with Trump.
- Former campaign chair Paul Manafort was in touch with a senior Trump administration official as recently as Feb. 2018, although he claimed otherwise.
While Mike Flynn’s sentencing memo reveals only that the former national security advisor closely cooperated with Mueller’s probe, the redactions are thick in a mysterious addendum document. In it, references to three investigations are completely redacted, and one—about coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign—is not. Which raises the question: What are the investigations that Mueller won’t name, and how could they be more sensitive than Trump colluding with the Kremlin?
The Manafort memo, which alleges that he lied to investigators about five separate things, tantalizingly redacts details about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, his former aide and allegedly an ex-Russian spy. It also redacts details about a $125,000 wire transfer related to a debt owed by Manafort to a firm that had worked for him, and blocks out a description of a separate Department of Justice investigation that Manafort allegedly lied about. Could that overlap with the investigations redacted in Flynn’s case? Who knows.