What the indictment means


Here’s a good summary of what to expect next. Go read the whole thing:

Don’t hold your breath for “collusion.” For all the talk of Russian collusion, there isn’t really a federal crime that matches what the press, critics, and Capitol Hill lawmakers have been calling collusion, a word that refers legally to a narrow segment of antitrust law. And there’s almost zero chance anyone will be charged with treason, a charge that’s only available to use against enemies in a declared war.
Instead, nearly all charges that stem from this case—based, at least on publicly available tea leaves—are likely to focus on targeting individual crimes reflecting aspects of the complex web of Russian influence in 2016, rather than a neatly-tied-up-with-a-bow conspiracy. Early rounds of charges may even likely focus on business dealings far removed from the questions of the 2016 election.

Expect to see garden-variety white-collar crimes—charges like money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and “structuring,” (arranging financial transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements)—as well as the possibility of some more exotic charges like violating the nation’s election laws or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or there’s a general catch-all known as 18 USC Sec. 371, “conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States.”

There’s also the crime of being an unregistered foreign agent—a charge known inside the Justice Department as a “FARA violation,” after the Foreign Agents Registration Act. A FARA violation is typically the FBI’s go-to way to charge espionage and foreign intelligence officers—the cases are rare and only a few agents in their careers ever have a chance to work a FARA case—but we’ve already seen Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn retroactively register as “foreign agents” this year, showing that they have some legal exposure in this realm.

2 Responses to What the indictment means

  1. Imhotep October 30, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Politicians in both political party’s have been using the Russian’s as belligerents since 1917 to justify all manner of ridiculous policies and military expenditures.

    Two examples: Joe McCarthy and the House in-American Committee (Overman Committee, 1918), and the Vietnam War.

    Unlike most American’s, the Russian’s know how our political system works and who is actually in charge of the process.


    One man/woman, one vote is a fantasy.

    The oligarchs chose our candidates and we line up and vote for their choices. (There’s not a dimes worth of difference………)

    What this indictment means is that, “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” FDR.

  2. Lless October 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

    The analysis is mostly true, unless that they have proof of funding. That would change everything.

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