Although the report went on to say that Mueller’s office “established every element of a misdemeanor,” the special counsel eventually decided “that prosecution of this potential violation was not warranted.”
“In this case, Trump Jr. accessed the website just before it was published using a ‘guessed’ password which, although sent to him individually, had also been posted by WikiLeaks on his public Twitter account, so everyone could follow WikiLeaks got the same preview of the site as Trump Jr.,” reads the report’s newly unedited passage.
The report continued, “Among other things, this fact would make it difficult to prove that Trump Jr. acted to further a crime or tort, or that he received more than $5,000 worth of information — what are the types of circumstances that may give rise to a penalty for a crime under the statute. Given that Trump Jr. did not initiate the plan to access the site or guess the password himself, the lack of evidence that his actions harmed the site or obtained valuable information, the technical nature of the violation and given the minimum penalty that a misdemeanor conviction would be expected under the circumstances, the Bureau decided not to press charges.”
Stone, a Trump ally, was found guilty of lying to congressional investigators about his communications with WikiLeaks and tampering with a witness, but was later pardoned by Trump. Stone boasted to campaign staff about his connection to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who orchestrated the release of internal emails hacked from Democratic National Committee computers.
The discussion by Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman, relates to events at the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland. Gordon flagged an amendment that rejected Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and called for deadly weapons to be supplied to Ukrainians. He reportedly said that position did not reflect Trump’s views on Ukraine. The platform eventually changed from advocating deadly weapons to advocating “due assistance.” Mueller’s investigators were trying to determine if Gordon “acted on instructions from Russia” when he had the platform changed.