The Justice officials:
The former FBI director was appointed to oversee the probe into Russian election interference and whether there was any collusion with Donald Trump or his campaign. Mueller kept a low-profile, secured multiple indictments and guilty pleas, but failed to secure an in-person interview with the president. He submitted a 400-page report to Attorney General William Barr.
As deputy attorney general, Rosenstein assumed authority over the Russia probe with the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Rosenstein tapped Mueller to lead the probe – a fateful decision that drew the ire of President Trump, who went after him publicly. He remained on the job with oversight of the probe as Trump launched repeated attacks on the Justice Department. He relinquished formal authority when Trump named Matthew Whitaker acting AG and the Senate later confirmed William Barr to run the agency.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew the unending scorn of President Trump by recusing himself from the Russia probe, allowing for Mueller's appointment. He had been a Trump campaign advisor, and had failed to initially disclose his own campaign contacts with Russians.
Trump installed Matthew Whitaker after asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. The move put a Trump loyalist in charge of the Mueller probe he had blasted publicly during a critical period. Nevertheless, Whitaker allowed Rosenstein to maintain day-to-day oversight of the probe, and it was allowed to go forward.
Trump secured the resignation of Sessions and named Matthew Whitaker acting attorney general. Then, he nominated Barr, who had blasted the obstruction of justice basis for the probe in his writings, and who has taken a view of strong executive power. He was confirmed by the Senate on a 54-45 vote with just three Democrats voting for him. Barr infuriated Democrats by releasing a four-page summary of the Mueller report just 48-hours after he got it.
The campaign advisors
The president's son-in-law, a senior White House advisor, was interviewed extensively by Mueller's team. Kushner's White House portfolio, his contacts with Russians and inaccurate disclosures, and his efforts to secure overseas financing for a Manhattan skyscraper all became areas for inquiry.
Former Trump National Security Advisor Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about his conversations with Russians about sanctions during the transition, and to lying about his lobbying for Turkey. His early cooperation sent a message to other witnesses.
Trump's former campaign chair got a seven-year prison sentence after being convicted on one set of money laundering and corruption charges, and pleading guilty to other charges. Prosecutors say he lied despite an agreement to cooperate. President Trump praised his loyalty, but claimed he had not thought about a pardon for his former top advisor.
Manafort's deputy on the campaign, Gates had been Manafort's business partner, and testified about Manafort's efforts set up offshore companies, failure to pay taxes, and avoid disclosure laws. His participation helped the government untangle extremely complex business arrangements dealing with millions the pair earned for their Ukrainian work.
Page was a Trump foreign policy advisor when there were just a handful of them. His Russia contacts – he gave a speech in Moscow in the midst of the campaign – drew immediate scrutiny. The FBI got a judge's approval for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Warrant to monitor Page – leading to Trump's claim there was 'spying' on his campaign.
Papadopoulos met with a Maltese professor in London who said he had information about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, a key development in the beginning of the FBI's counter-intelligence probe on Trump. He pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and served 12 days in jail.
Donald Trump Jr.
The president's son attended an infamous meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016. When word got out, he released a statement saying the meeting was about Russian adoptions. When the New York Times was about to report on the contents of his emails, he tweeted out the entire email chain of contacts with British publicist Rob Goldstone about the promise of dirt on Hillary Clinton. Goldstone was representing pop singer Emin Agalarov, whose father is a major Moscow real estate developer.
Trump's longtime advisor Stone is an infamous political dirty trickster on the scene since the Nixon administration. Prosecutors charged him with seven counts including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks in January 2019.
Trump's long-time press secretary and top White House communications aide met with investigators, and was involved when Trump dictated an initial misleading statement about the Trump Tower meeting with Russians. Having been with Trump since his campaign operated with a skeleton crew, she was a potential font of information. But unlike many Trump aides, she left in good standing, and secured a lucrative job with Fox, where Trump is deeply connected.
The ex-British intelligence officer compiled information based on his Russia contacts for what became the golden showers dossier, which contained salacious unverified claims about Trump's conduct in Moscow. It also said the Russians had compromising financial leverage over Trump. The FBI obtained the document in 2016, and former FBI Director James Comey briefed Trump about it during the transition.
Simpson's firm, Fusion GPS, conducted the investigation that resulted in the 'dirty dossier.' Fusion began the 2016 campaign under contract from the conservative Washington Free Beacon news outlet, whose leaders hoped to damage