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Thu Apr 25, 2019, 10:40 PM

Question: Was Mueller directed to use the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt

when it came to conspiracy and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia? Why didn't he use the lighter standard of preponderance of evidence? And why didn't he follow Congress's guidelines as to what constitutes conspiracy and coordination?

Even without knowing what is redacted, the report offers “substantial and credible information” of the Trump campaign conspiring or coordinating with the Russian government. Under federal criminal law, “conspiracy” does not require direct proof or explicit words of agreement. It can be proven by action and circumstantial evidence from which the agreement may be inferred. And on campaign “coordination,” the Mueller report made a significant omission or oversight on this question when it stated that “‘coordination’ does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. We understood coordination to require an agreement — tacit or express.”

As the election law expert Paul Seamus Ryan noted, Congress in its 2002 campaign finance law rejected that view: Federal law “shall not require agreement or formal collaboration to establish coordination.” The federal regulations followed this command: “Coordinated means made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate,” with no need to show any kind of agreement. Expenditures for coordinated communications are considered in-kind contributions, and foreign contributions — public or private — are illegal.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/opinion/mueller-trump-campaign-russia-conpiracy-.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&login=email&auth=login-email


Most of Mueller's work was done before Barr came onto the scene—unless Barr directed him to use proof beyond a reasonable doubt when he arrived.

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Response to Poiuyt (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 11:21 PM

1. I doubt he really had any choice.

He was operating under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, and empowered to evaluate and bring criminal charges, which use the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. Congress can use the lower standard, but I don't believe he could, simply by virtue of the jurisdiction under which he was operating.

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Response to Poiuyt (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 11:35 PM

2. Reasonable doubt is the evidentiary standard in criminal trials . . .

. . . and preponderance of evidence is the standard in civil matters. That's why.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 01:54 AM

5. Most criminal indictments have been based on circumstantial evidence

as per numerous former federal attorneys I've listened to.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 03:54 AM

6. But the standard of IMPEACHMENT, which is tantamount to an indictment,

has historically been closer to preponderance of the evidence.

The House impeaches. The Senate has a trial and either convicts or doesn't convict.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 04:02 AM

7. No, that is not the "standard" for indictments

The standard for indictments is what a prosecutor believes he/she can convince a jury constitutes evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Most of the time, if a prosecutor doesn't believe he has the eviidence necessary to meet the standard for conviction, he won't indict.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 04:15 AM

9. You're right. But the difference between an impeachment/indictment in the House

preceding a Senate trial, and an indictment in a regular court is that there are no criminal consequences to being convicted in the Senate -- just the possible loss of a job.

So an impeachment should not require the same "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard as a criminal indictment -- but the decision is ultimately left up to the individual Senator.

http://congressionalresearch.com/98-990/document.php?study=STANDARD+OF+PROOF+IN+SENATE+IMPEACHMENT+PROCEEDINGS

In sum, the Senate has traditionally left the choice of the applicable standard of proof
to each individual Senator. While rejecting a motion to make the criminal standard the
standard in the Claiborne impeachment, the discussion made clear that it was simply a
decision to allow each member to make that choice and not a repudiation of the standard
itself. Individuals might apply that or any other standard of their choice. A walk through
history and an examination of the discussions of legal commentators may aid individuals
in weighing their choices, but provides no definitive answers. Indeed, such an exercise
is perhaps most useful in highlighting basic questions that members will want to ask
themselves when searching for the appropriate standard.


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Response to Poiuyt (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 12:02 AM

3. If he was, he should have said, "Screw you" to the one giving him direction.

Anything else was just padding his retirement, or using Fitzmas as a guide.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 04:06 AM

8. Proof he wasn't padding his retirement: he had to leave a law partnership

where he was making multiple millions per year to take this job at standard government pay.

Mueller is a rules follower, the antithesis of Trump, and he was following the rules.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 07:27 AM

10. Maybe he wasn't getting any work for the law partnership, or maybe he just felt better

working in a government environment.

In this case, there is nothing laudable about being a "rules follower" or complying with orders to overlook key aspects of the investigation.

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Response to Poiuyt (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2019, 12:35 AM

4. Not only that was he told to narrow the investigation to Russian "government"? Knowing the way the

... Russians operate is mostly cut outs.

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