Why did Mueller's indictments skip over the most obvious and pertinent statute that was violated?
Robert Mueller’s indictments announced Friday are most notable for what Sherlock Holmes famously called “The dog that didn’t bark.” There was a clear, obvious, and pertinent statute that could have been applied to the alleged crimes but wasn’t. Fortunately, the blogosphere has our own Sherlock Holmes on the case, Powerline’s John Hinderaker, who noticed the charge that was not made:
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? (snip)
Actually, 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? (snip)
This is the relevant language of 52 U.S.C. §30121, which covers “meddling” in U.S. elections by foreign nationals:
(a) 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?
I thought it very peculiar that Friday’s announcement of the indictments was made just in time to distract the nation from the FBI’s confession that it could have stopped the Parkland school slaughter but didn’t bother following up on an explicit warning of the guns stockpiled and the threats of a school shooting by the alleged perp. It suggests that the announcement was rushed in order to distract the nation from the FBI’s failure to perform its duty at the cost of a horrendous slaughter and trauma. The thousands of students at the high school who escaped slaughter will be traumatized for life by what they experienced that day.
But John Hinderaker’s shrewd observation takes the disgrace to an entirely different level. It suggests (but does not prove) that the Mueller team is going out of its way to shield Hillary Clinton and her campaign and their henchmen at Perkins Coie, the DNC, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele from their own potential crimes.
Perhaps the reason why Robert Mueller did not make the announcement himself, but rather let his boss do it, is that he wanted to avoid potential questions about the statute that his indictments ignored.
Guardians of Justice?
I hope there will an opportunity for Congress to call Mueller to testify and explain why his indictment dog didn’t bark at the obvious statute that was violated.