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Impeachment Inquiries

November 14, 2019

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President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks on border security and the partial shutdown of the government in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Where the investigations related to President Trump stand

A look at where investigations related to President Donald Trump stand and what may lie ahead for him:

WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?

Trump is facing investigations in Washington and New York.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia and whether the president obstructed the investigation. Trump also plays a central role in a separate case in New York, where prosecutors have implicated him in a crime. They say Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal hush-money payments to two women as a way to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump and former campaign adviser, was arrested Friday morning and charged with lying to Congress and obstruction.

Stone was charged in a seven-count indictment that includes witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. He was arrested at his home in Florida during a pre-dawn FBI raid. Stone is scheduled to appear in court later Friday.

The indictment provides the most detail to date about how Trump campaign associates were aware in the summer of 2016 that emails had been stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign. It alleges unnamed senior Trump campaign officials contacted Stone to ask when the stolen emails might be disclosed.

Court documents lay out Stone’s conversations about the stolen emails posted by WikiLeaks in the weeks before Trump defeated Clinton.

Stone is also accused of making false statements to the House intelligence committee.

He has been under scrutiny for months but has maintained his innocence.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a federal judge has scheduled a sealed proceeding to determine whether former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort intentionally lied to investigators.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Friday she would provide a redacted transcript as soon as possible. The Feb. 4 hearing will be closed. Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in Washington in September as part of a plea deal.

He agreed to cooperate in the special counsel’s Russia investigation but prosecutors charge he breached the deal by lying. Manafort’s attorneys say he just didn’t have a perfect recollection of all the facts.

Jackson said she must decide for herself whether Manafort lied in order to properly sentence him.

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SO … DID THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COLLUDE WITH RUSSIA?

There is no smoking gun when it comes to the question of Russia collusion. But the evidence so far shows that a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and several lied about the communication.

There is also evidence that some people in the president’s orbit were discussing a possible email dump from WikiLeaks before it occurred. American intelligence agencies and Mueller have said Russia was the source of hacked material released by WikiLeaks during the campaign that was damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential effort.

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OTHER QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

—WHAT ABOUT OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE? That is another unresolved question that Mueller is pursuing. Investigators have examined key episodes such as Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his fury over the recusal from the investigation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

—WHAT DOES TRUMP HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ALL THIS? Trump has repeatedly slammed the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt” and insisted there was “NO COLLUSION” with Russia. He also says his former lawyer, Cohen, lied to get a lighter sentence in New York.

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