Revisit 5 major players linked to the Mueller investigation

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By Amy Hansen, Washington Week Associate Producer

It’s been quite the year for Robert Mueller.

The former FBI director was tapped to lead the investigation into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election on May 17, 2017.

His past 365 days have included a TIME ‘Person of the Year’ nomination, becoming the subject of a steady stream of tweets from President Donald Trump, and a handful of national polls about Americans’ confidence in the probe.

But Mueller isn’t the only household name to emerge out of the investigation. Revisit some of the major players involved in the list below.

George Papadopoulos

Former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign

Papadopoulos reportedly lied to the FBI about trying to set up a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. President Trump dismissed his link to Papadopoulos, calling him a “low-level volunteer.” Papadopoulos was the first to be charged in the investigation. He pleaded guilty in October 2017 and reportedly agreed to assist Mueller. 

Michael Flynn

Former national security adviser, member of Trump campaign team

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The retired Army general interacted with Russian officials before the president took office and later lied about the contact to the FBI. He was the first administration official to face charges and pleaded guilty in November 2017.  ABC News reported Flynn also agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign manager for three months in 2016, and Rick Gates, former deputy Trump campaign manager

Gates and Manafort worked together to lobby on behalf of “pro-Russian Ukrainian political figures” and later linked up on the Trump campaign.  The duo was hit with a lengthy indictment in October 2017 for laundering millions of dollars they had received from Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs throughout their years advising Ukraine's pro-Russian Party of Regions.

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In exchange for several charges to be dropped, Gates pleaded guilty in February to conspiring to defraud the U.S. and making false statements. He reportedly agreed to cooperate with Mueller in the probe.

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Manafort pleaded not guilty to a list of federal charges late last year, including conspiracy against the United States and failing to register as an agent of a foreign principal.

Alex van der Zwaan

International corporate law attorney

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The lawyer, linked to both Gates and Manafort, became the first person connected in the probe to go to prison after he reportedly lied to Mueller’s team and then tried to cover it up. After a 30-day stint at a Pennsylvania prison, he is expected to be released next month.