Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after testifying to the House Intelligence Committee about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Capitol Hill on July 24, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Photo by AFP

As 2018 came to a close, the special counsel investigation was bearing down on President Trump.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III had secured the cooperation of Trump’s one-time fixer, Michael Cohen, and appeared to be preparing to indict a longtime adviser, Roger Stone. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was in jail after pleading guilty to multiple felonies, and Mueller’s prosecutors were pressing him to explain why he had given 2016 polling data to an associate with alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

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