As the country anxiously awaits revelations from special counsel Robert Mueller's report at the conclusion of his Russia collusion investigation, one Washington Post reporter argued that his findings have been hiding in plain sight all along.
"As people have awaited the outcome" of the Russia investigation, Post correspondent Philip Bump wrote Friday, "the slow accretion of malfeasance that Mueller has already uncovered has faded into background noise."
Though of course Mueller knows a lot that the public doesn't, Bump argued, "we know a lot more than we did when he was appointed."
In a visual analysis of the Mueller findings so far, the Post illustrated the wide breadth of documentation the special counsel already has of crimes related to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
So far, there's been "about 290 pages of documents detailing alleged and admitted illegal behavior, including, in most cases, broad context for the actions," the correspondent wrote. "It’s dozens of criminal charges, some rolled into plea agreements. It’s dozens of people, including a number of named Russian actors. It’s a handful of people who have served time in prison, been sentenced or who will be sentenced shortly."
This "broad description of criminal activity" has one major point where it overlaps, Bump wrote: the 2016 presidential election.
Though "it is absolutely true that little of the activity undertaken by the Americans on that list involved criminal activity directly related to the campaign," many of the people who've been indicted and jailed — Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone — committed their crimes while working on the Trump campaign or, in the case of Cohen, on the president's behalf.
"The Mueller report that is sitting in plain sight above does not show that Trump himself actively conspired with Russian actors to influence the election," the correspondent mused. "It does show, though, that his campaign and campaign team were a locus of suspicious activity and suspicious actors."
It's been "easy to overlook" how much the public has already found out from Mueller, but "to a degree," his report is already out, Bump added.