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Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019)

United States investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections

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Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019): United States investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections
The Special Counsel investigation of 2017 to 2019, also referred to as the the Russia investigation, and later the Mueller probe and Mueller investigation, started as a covert United States counterintelligence investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. According to its authorizing document, which was signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 17, 2017, the investigation's scope included allegations that there were links or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government as well as "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." It included a criminal investigation which looked into potential obstruction of justice charges against Trump and others within the campaign and administration. Conducted by the Department of Justice Special Counsel's Office headed by Robert Mueller, a Republican and former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Special Counsel investigation began eight days after President Trump dismissed FBI director James Comey, who had been leading existing FBI investigations since July 2016 into links between Trump associates and Russian officials or their affiliates. Following Comey's firing, over 130 Democratic Party lawmakers in Congress called for the appointment of a special counsel, while the FBI began investigating Trump for obstruction of justice. The special counsel's office took over both these investigations from the FBI.

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