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Fri Nov 23, 2018, 12:34 PM

Federal judge in the Mueller case affirms the legal theory that makes collusion a crime.

Judge in Mueller Case Upholds Legal Theory that Makes Collusion a Crime



Yes, Collusion Is a Crime – Or at Least it Can Be

This court ruling should drive another nail in the coffin of the argument that collusion is not a crime. It clearly can be, and the crime is conspiracy – even if no other independent criminal violations are identified. Mueller’s use of that theory in his Russian social media indictment is a textbook example of a 371 conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and that theory has now been validated by the trial judge’s ruling.

To be fair, this was a motion to dismiss, which presents a very high bar for a defendant to succeed. To prevail prosecutors only needed to demonstrate that the indictment makes allegations legally sufficient to support the charges. Proving those allegations, of course, is another matter — and the government will need to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury if the case ultimately proceeds to trial. But the legal theory is clearly valid, as this court ruling confirms.

The indictment that includes Concord does not include any Americans. That is the great outstanding question in the Mueller investigation: did any Americans join in the conspiracy? Were Americans involved, knowing that Russians were secretly working to help the Trump campaign while concealing their true identities and failing to report their activities as required? If so, they could be joined into the same conspiracy through a superseding indictment or could be charged in a new conspiracy. Much of the grand jury activity surrounding associates of Trump ally Roger Stone seems to be looking at these issues. Stone apparently had contact with various Russians – knowingly or not – and seemed to have advance notice of when stolen Democratic emails would be leaked.

It remains to be seen whether Mueller will conclude that the activities of Stone and others amounted to a conspiracy or to something less – perhaps just sleazy, hardball politics. Everything will depend on the evidence about what Stone and others knew and when they knew it – and that is likely now a focus of the grand jury’s inquiry. But if Mueller finds that Trump associates did conspire – or collude – with the Russians in these activities, he clearly has a legal basis to pursue criminal charges.

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Reply Federal judge in the Mueller case affirms the legal theory that makes collusion a crime. (Original post)
kpete Nov 2018 OP
triron Nov 2018 #1

Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 12:53 PM

1. This is as timid as MSM.

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