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Tue Nov 14, 2017, 05:13 AM

Why is collusion not against the law?

In my opinion it should be! I would want any government official who conspires with a foreign country to steal an election should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. No matter what party that person with, it is not their right to steal from the public people! But in the days, nothing is against the law for the rich, the powerful and the prominent people of this country.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 05:25 AM

1. CONSPIRACY is,

'a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.'

There must be an underlying unlawful act.

Your 'steal an election' must be further defined to be justiciable.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 05:30 AM

2. colluding with a foreign government to steal an election is against the law.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 05:43 AM

3. I heard yesterday that is wasn't.

I am not a lawyer and was hoping I heard them wrong!

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Response to imanamerican63 (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 06:49 AM

4. The term "collusion" is not found in the law

But related terms like conspiracy, espionage, fraud and racketeering are in the law.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 12:19 PM

11. It is against the law to interfere with an election.

"A foreign national spending money to influence a federal election can be a crime," Persily said. "And if a U.S. citizen coordinates, conspires or assists in that spending, then it could be a crime."

Persily pointed to a 2011 U.S. District Court ruling based on the 2002 law. The judges said that the law bans foreign nationals "from making expenditures to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a political candidate."

Another election law specialist, John Coates at Harvard University Law School, said if Russians aimed to shape the outcome of the presidential election, that would meet the definition of an expenditure.

"The related funds could also be viewed as an illegal contribution to any candidate who coordinates (colludes) with the foreign speaker," Coates said.

To be sure, no one is saying that coordination took place.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 06:55 AM

5. There is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

""There's a significant difference between the Russians having dirt and offering that dirt, and someone asking the Russians to commit an illegal act to obtain that dirt," said Jacob Frenkel, a white collar attorney at Dickinson Wright who previously worked in the now-defunct Office of Independent Counsel. "The latter likely would be prosecutable, and probably as a conspiracy to commit a computer crime, or as a computer crime.""

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-mueller-potential-charges-20171031-story.html

There are a number of actions,, such as conspiracy to defraud the United States, that are illegal that we and the media generally refer to as collusion.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 06:57 AM

6. No law that specifically calls it collusion

 

is needed. Accepting help / money from a foreign entity for an election is already illegal. So is working as an (undisclosed) agent for a foreign power.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 10:10 AM

7. When Collusion with Russia Becomes a Crime: Part IIIAiding and Abetting

President Obama's attorney has some good articles on this. Here is just one https://www.justsecurity.org/42387/collusion-russia-crime-part-iii-aiding-abetting/

It may be easier to appreciate the case to the contrary–that liability with the requisite intent could be imposed for these actions–by considering how the case could also be brought under ordinary “aiding and abetting” principles of the criminal law.

It is well understood that established “aiding and abetting” principles have wide, elastic application. The abettor is not required, of course, to have been “in on it” from the beginning. In Learned Hand’s classic formulation in United States v. Peoni, the law requires only “that he in some sort associate himself with the venture, that he participate in it as in something that he wishes to bring about, that he seek by his action to make it succeed.” The courts have defined in various terms this association, but what is required is “some affirmative conduct designed to aid in the success of a venture with knowledge that [the]actions would assist the perpetrator, the principal of the crime.” United States v. Cowart, 595 F.2d 1023, 1031(1979).

Note that the assistance constituting aiding and abetting does not have to be substantial. The accomplice liability provision of the federal campaign finance law, focused on “substantial assistance,” is, in that sense, stricter. ,So federal prosecutors proceeding on an “aiding and abetting” theory may have the latitude to reach a broader range of Trump campaign conduct in support of the Russian program.

It would not be the first time that Prosecutors would have enforced campaign finance law with an “aiding and abetting” charge. And they have evidence in the Trump/Russia case with which to work.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 10:10 AM

8. Campaign Finance Law: When Collusion with a Foreign Government Becomes a Crime

Commentary on Russian intervention in the 2016 elections has included one confidently expressed and perhaps growing view: that there may be a scandal there, but no conceivable crime. It is claimed that the Trump campaign could wink and nod at Russian hacking, and derive the full benefit, but that without considerably more evidence of direct involvement, there is no role for criminal law enforcement. The matter is then left to Congress to consider whether new laws are needed, and the public, of course, will render its judgment in opinion polls and in elections still to come.

This view is flawed. It fails to consider the potential campaign finance violations, as suggested by the facts so far known, under existing law. These violations are criminally enforceable.

It would not be the first time Congress wrestled with these questions of foreign interference with the US electoral process. Following the 1996 elections, the Republican Party concluded that the victorious Bill Clinton had benefited from foreign intervention in his election. Its Senate majority organized hearings, chaired by the late Senator Fred Thompson, who opened them with the declaration that high-level Chinese officials had committed substantial sums of money to influence the presidential election. The ensuing investigation, which included a parallel criminal inquiry, did not live up to Senator Thompson’s most dramatic claims, but Congress later amended the law to tighten the long-standing prohibition against foreign national spending in federal elections. On this point, there was bipartisan unity: that the law should stand clearly and without gaping loopholes against foreign interference in American elections.

Then the issue made a dramatic return in this last presidential election, but with a major difference. This time, there is no doubt that a foreign state, Russia, devoted resources to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. But unlike 1996, the manner of this intervention—the hacking of emails, the dissemination of fake news—has directed much of the legal discussion to computer security and espionage statutes. The controversy has not had the “feel” of a classic case about political spending. It has come across in press reporting and public discussion as a tale of 21st century cyber-crime and foreign intelligence service skullduggery—more sophisticated international intrigue than Watergate’s “third-rate burglary” and associated cover-up. “Unlike the Watergate investigation, which began with a break-in,” the New Yorker’s and CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin has written, “it is not immediately clear what crimes may have been committed.” And even if there might be criminal wrongdoing somewhere in this Trump campaign-Russia relationship, commentators have tended to doubt that there is yet sufficient hard evidence of it.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 10:11 AM

9. Campaign Finance Law: When Collusion Becomes a Crime: Part II

Here is more of this analysis https://www.justsecurity.org/41795/campaign-finance-law-collusion-crime-part-ii/

It follows that the evidence in support of the “substantial assistance” would be different in quantity and nature from what is needed for a “coordination” claim. The evidence on the public record shows the Trump campaign encouraging the Russian activities and making active use of the hacked results. If there is a doubt that this is enough, the answer is not to return to the coordination rules, devised mostly for other cases: This only confuses the issue. Rather than only look “externally” for direct communications between campaign and foreign government, the investigation would focus its efforts more “internally,” on the campaign’s intent to build this de facto political alliance with Russia.

Some of the questions would be:

What do the records of the campaign–and the sworn testimony of campaign aides–establish about the strategic importance to the campaign of these Russian activities?

Did the campaign decide that it would not denounce the Russians, either on its own initiative or in response to press queries, because it did not wish to discourage them from continuing on their course?

Was the message intended for Russia discussed during preparations for the presidential debate, which would explain Mr. Trump’s special care in refusing to assign direct blame for the hacking to the government or to reject any assistance from the hackers?

What were the specific plans for active messaging around the hacked emails–in the press, in the preparation of surrogates for media appearances, and in the remarks prepared for or by the candidate for rallies and his own press interviews?

If there is evidence of this kind, it would match up with the known campaign and Trump handling of the Russia issue and answer any question of intent. The president’s open praise for the hacking, his stated “love” of Wikileaks, his refusal to condemn any state interference in the elections, could not be passed off as “Trump being Trump,” as the candidate just playing with the issue and relishing the coverage that came with it. Instead these actions, together with other evidence of intent that may still come to light, would represent the execution of a very specific campaign strategy to provide substantial assistance to the Putin regime’s program of intervention in an American presidential election.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 10:16 AM

10. That is a meme that has been spread by Trump White House since the beginning of this investigation.

"Collusion" is usually used with a negative connotation. Two people may collude to buy pizza for the entire group? Or they may "collude" to break the law in some manner. It is usually used in the latter context.

But Trump has been very successful at promoting the idea that "collusion" is not illegal. It depends on what the collusion is about.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 12:31 PM

12. Collusion is the wrong word to describe Russiagate--it's conspiracy, not collusion

Collusion, as I understand, describes two or more entities getting together for the purpose of price fixing, wage fixing, and other antitrust violations.
Example: No wonder prescription drugs are so exorbitant! The pharma companies have colluded to make them that way!

What the Russiagate investigation entails is the coordination of the tRump campaign--or even the administration--with Russian government interests, which is really a alleged conspiracy. They coordinated to undermine American democracy and suppant it with a vicious authoritarian regime.

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