US. Department of Justice


did not believe his response to the offer and the June 9 meeting itself violated the law. Given his
less direct involvement in arranging the June 9 meeting, Kushner could likely mount a similar
defense. And, while Manafort is experienced with political campaigns, the Office has not
developed evidence showing that he had relevant knowledge of these legal issues.

iii. Difficulties in Valuing Promised Information

The Office would also encounter difficulty proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the
value of the promised documents and information exceeds the $2,000 threshold for a criminal
violation, as well as the $25,000 threshold for felony punishment. See 52 U.S.C. § 30109(d)(1).
The type of evidence commonly used to establish the value of non-monetary contributions—such
as pricing the contribution on a commercial market or determining the upstream acquisition cost
or the cost of distribution—would likely be unavailable or ineffective in this factual setting.
Although damaging opposition research is surely valuable to a campaign, it appears that the
information ultimately delivered in the meeting was not valuable. And while value in a conspiracy
may well be measured by what the participants expected to receive at the time of the agreement,
see, e.g, United States v. Tombrello, 666 F.2d 485, 489 (11th Cir. 1982), Goldstone’s description
of the offered material here was quite general. His suggestion of the information’s value—116.,
that it would “incriminate Hillary” and “would be very useful to [Trump Jr’s] father”—was non-
specific and may have been understood as being of uncertain worth or reliability, given
Goldstone’s lack of direct access to the original source. The uncertainty over what would be
delivered could be reflected in Trump Jr.’s response (“if it’s what you say I love it”) (emphasis

Accordingly, taking into account the high burden to establish a culpable mental state in a
campaign-finance prosecution and the difficulty in establishing the required valuation, the Office
decided not to pursue criminal campaign-finance charges against Trump Jr. or other campaign
officials for the events culminating in the June 9 meeting.

c. Application to Harm to Ongoing Matter

Harm to Ongoing Matter

Harm to Ongoing Matter


U.S. Department of Justice
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(DC. Cir. 1993); United States v. Dale, 991 F.2d 819, 832-33 & n.22 (DC. Cir. 1993). For that
false statement to qualify as “material,” it must have a natural tendency to influence, or be capable
of influencing, a discrete decision or any other function of the agency to which it is addressed. See
United States v. Gaudin, 515 U.S. 506, 509 (1995); United States v. Moore, 612 F.3d 698, 701
(DC. Cir. 2010).

Perjury. Under the federal perjury statutes, it is a crime for a witness testifying under oath
before a grand jury to knowingly make any false material declaration. See 18 U.S.C. § 1623. The
government must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction under
Section 1623(a): the defendant testified under oath before a federal grand jury; the defendant’s
testimony was false in one or more respects; the false testimony concerned matters that were
material to the grand jury investigation; and the false testimony was knowingly given. United
States v. Bridges, 717 F.2d 1444, 1449 n.30 (DC. Cir. 1983). The general perjury statute, 18
U.S.C. § 1621, also applies to grand jury testimony and has similar elements, except that it requires
that the witness have acted willfully and that the government satisfy “strict common-law
requirements for establishing falsity.” See Dunn v. United States, 442 US, 100, 106 & n.6 (1979)
(explaining “the two-witness rule” and the corroboration that it demands).

Obstruction of Justice. Three basic elements are common to the obstruction statutes
pertinent to this Office’s charging decisions: an obstructive act; some form of nexus between the
obstructive act and an official proceeding; and criminal (i. e., corrupt) intent. A detailed discussion
of those elements, and the law governing obstruction of justice more generally, is included in
Volume 11 of the report.

b. Application to Certain Individuals
i. George Papadopoulos

Investigators approached Papadopoulos for an interview based on his role as a foreign
policy advisor to the Trump Campaign and his suggestion to a foreign government representative
that Russia had indicated that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of
information damaging to candidate Clinton. On January 27, 2017, Papadopoulos agreed to be
interviewed by F B1 agents, who informed him that the interview was part of the investigation into
potential Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election.

During the interview, Papadopoulos lied about the timing, extent, and nature of his
communications with Joseph Mifsud, Olga Polonskaya, and Ivan Timofeev. With respect to
timing, Papadopoulos acknowledged that he had met Mifsud and that Mifsud told him the Russians
had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” But Papadopoulos stated multiple
times that those communications occurred before he joined the Trump Campaign and that it was a
“very strange coincidence” to be told of the “dirt” before he started working for the Campaign.
This account was false. Papadopoulos met Mifsud for the first time on approximately March 14,
2016, after Papadopoulos had already learned he would be a foreign policy advisor for the
Campaign. Mifsud showed interest in Papadopoulos only after learning of his role on the
Campaign. And Mifsud told Papadopoulos about the Russians possessing “dirt” on candidate
Clinton in late April 2016, more than a month after Papadopoulos had joined the Campaign and


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