Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed down indictments on Friday, accusing 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities of conspiring to defraud the United States, committing wire fraud, and identity theft. Notably absent from the charges levied against these Russians, however, was any indication that they would be charged for specifically violating the law preventing foreign nationals from interfering in U.S. political activities. To do that without registering as a foreign agent is a crime and it would seem to be the most obvious crime with which to charge these individuals and groups. Indeed, much of the indictment seems written to support such a conclusion. So why did Mueller decide to leave off the most obvious charge?
Over at Power Line, they have a fascinating explanation of why that might be:
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.
If there is even a hint of truth to this, then it proves that Mueller’s team is NOT letting the facts lead the way. No, they are orchestrating this investigation in such a way that it leaves Clinton and her cronies untouched while putting Trump and his team in maximum legal jeopardy. To the extent that the Trump campaign “colluded” with a foreign power, so did Clinton and her campaign. Trump’s campaign spoke to a Kremlin-affiliated lawyer; so did Clinton’s campaign proxies, Fusion GPS. Trump’s campaign used information from WikiLeaks; Clinton’s campaign spoke with Ukrainian government officials. All’s fair in love and war. Both Trump and Clinton played dirty and did everything they could to win. But only Trump is in “trouble” for it.
That’s not the way the Justice system is supposed to work.