An interesting observation is just starting to gain traction in the news regarding the charges contained in last Friday’s indictment of 13 Russians. Did political considerations play a role in determining which charges to include and which to omit? It’s starting to look that way.
Robert Barnes, criminal lawyer and longtime writer for the Washington Post, immediately noticed the omission of what would have been an expected charge in this case.
A closer look at what Mueller actually charged the Russians with is warranted.
Curiously, they were not charged as foreign agents engaging in political activities without registering, as would have been expected.
Instead, they were charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, wire and bank fraud and identity theft.
This group interfered in a US Presidential election intending to influence the outcome, yet they weren’t charged under the appropriate statute.
John Hinderaker, lawyer and founder of the Powerlineblog.com, finds the government’s choice of charges to be “odd” based on what crimes were actually committed.
“The indictment is odd, to say the least. Its very first paragraph recites that it is against the law for foreign nationals to spend money to influence US elections, or for agents of foreign countries to engage in political activities without registering. But no one is charged with these crimes. Instead, the indictment is devoted mostly to charging a “conspiracy to defraud the United States.” Normally, that would refer to defrauding the U.S. out of, say, $10,000 in Medicare benefits. Its application to the 2016 election seems dubious.”
Mueller indicted the Russians only for violating 18 U.S.C. §371 (conspiracy to defraud the United States), §§ 1343 and 1344 (wire fraud and bank fraud), and §1082(A) (identity theft). He did not indict them for violating 52 U.S.C. §30121 (contributions and donations by foreign nationals). The question is, why not?”
The 13 Russians were “agents of a foreign country.” They “engaged in political activities.” And they did not register. All three criteria were met. Why weren’t the Russians charged with breaking this law? It would have been the obvious charge.
If Mueller indicted the Russians for this crime, he would then be questioned, and rightly so, why others who met similar criteria, were not charged. Former British spy Christopher Steele, meets the criteria. He is an agent of a foreign country, who engaged in political activities without registering.
Section 2 of the statue states “it is a crime to “solicit, accept, or receive” such a contribution from a foreign national.” If Steele were to be indicted for the first part of the statute, then by extension, those who hired him and those who paid him could also be charged. Since this group would include the Clinton Campaign, the DNC, Fusion GPS and the law firm of Perkins, Coie, Mueller sought to prevent the firestorm that he knew would ensue by avoiding this specific charge.
“This is the relevant language of 52 U.S.C. §30121, which covers “meddling” in U.S. elections by foreign nationals:
Prohibition: It shall be unlawful for—
(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
(C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or
(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.”
“The Russians obviously violated this statute; they spent millions of dollars to promote the candidacies of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Jill Stein, and to oppose the candidacies of Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. So why weren’t they charged with the most pertinent crime they committed? Because Christopher Steele arguably violated the same law. He is a foreign national, and he contributed a “thing of value” to the Hillary Clinton campaign, namely the fake dossier.”
“Note, too, Section (2): it is a crime to “solicit, accept, or receive” such a contribution from a foreign national. Isn’t that what the Perkins, Coie law firm, the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and probably Hillary herself, did?”
“The FEC guidance on contributions by foreign nationals is interesting. There is a “volunteer exception”; i.e., foreign nationals can volunteer their services to a political campaign. But Steele wasn’t a volunteer.”
At any rate, the omission of a charge under this statute is gaining the attention of Republicans who see it as yet another example of the double standard that exists in Washington today.
Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh discussed this issue last night and I have no doubt we will be hearing more about it.
Republicans have to remain vigilant because Democrats and the mainstream media are going to put every obstacle they can in our path to keep us from learning the truth.
But the truth seems to be coming out now, very slowly, but certainly faster than before.
And none of us need worry. Help is on the way. Actress Jennifer Lawrence has decided to take a year off from acting to “fix our democracy.” What a relief!Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com.
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