New FBI Documents Show What Witnesses In The Mueller Probe Told Federal Investigators About Trump And Russia - 2020-09-02
BuzzFeed News sued the Department of Justice to get copies of the witness interview summaries that Robert Mueller kept from public view. Today, we are publishing the 10th installment of what the FBI interview summaries contain.
The federal government has once again released hundreds of pages of previously unseen records from former special counsel Robert Mueller's two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and President Donald Trump's attempts to obstruct the inquiry. These documents, interview summaries known within the FBI as 302s, were turned over to BuzzFeed News and CNN in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. They reveal what hundreds of people — many of them close to Trump and his campaign — told federal investigators when they were questioned as part of the probe, which began in May 2017.
Since last November, more than 3,000 pages of the interview summaries, excerpts of which are sprinkled throughout Mueller's final report, have been released to the public. However, many details were never cited in the report. For example, Paul Manafort was still actively advising the Trump campaign three days before Election Day in 2016 — despite having been fired as campaign manager nearly three months earlier. That fact, wrote Trump's next campaign manager, Steve Bannon, in an email, needed to be kept secret or "they are going to try to say the Russians worked with wiki leaks to give this victory to us." The latest cache includes additional interview summaries from Manafort and his associate Rick Gates; Nicholas Panuzio, who ran Manafort's public relations and lobbying firm in the 1980s and 1990s; Trump campaign adviser J.D. Gordon; former spokesperson for the Office of Director of National Intelligence, Timothy Barrett, who now works as a spokesperson for CIA; and Ricky Pinedo, a California man who sold bank account numbers to Russians — some of whom were later indicted by Mueller for interfering in the 2016 election. The identities of dozens of other witnesses were redacted on privacy grounds.