The “Trump-Russia” scandal may still end up being about collusion, among other things, but collusion isn’t a felony. However, we may be looking at several serious crimes, including “aiding and abetting” an enemy of the United States, which is a felony. Have the Trumps been guilty of this? The bar is lower than you might think. The tweet story about these impending legal troubles is below.
The single most important actual crime we may see in the Trump-Russia investigation is a never-discussed one: Aiding and Abetting
by Seth Abramson via Twitter
1/ Investigators are now trying to determine *exactly* when every member of the Trump campaign found out Russia was working to elect Trump.
2/ These dates are of legal importance because they establish a “mens rea” (mental state) for possible crimes committed by Trump and others.
3/ Once Trump, his family, and/or his campaign aides knew Russia was committing crimes to assist Trump, certain actions became *prohibited*.
4/ For instance, once Trump had this knowledge, he could not publicly deny it without running afoul of federal Aiding and Abetting statutes.
5/ For instance, once Don Jr. had this knowledge he couldn’t take any action in furtherance of a plan to benefit from Russia’s illegal acts.
6/ Knowledge of Russian illegalities—even broadly—is a necessary precursor to what we colloquially call “collusion” (not a legal term here).
7/ This is why *all* of Trump’s most audacious lies—and his family’s, and his aides’—center on their *knowledge* of what Russia was doing.
8/ Paul Manafort’s excuse for not knowing Russia was working to elect Trump? (a) he didn’t check his email; (b) he was looking at his phone.
9/ Jared Kushner’s excuse for not knowing Russia was working to elect Trump? (a) he left a big meeting early; (b) he didn’t check his email.
10/ What do the Trump aides who changed the GOP platform last July say in response to charges they were executing a quid pro quo for Russia?
11/ They say (a) they were executing orders Trump gave March 31, 2016; (b) but don’t blame Trump, because he didn’t know what we were doing.
12/ What’s *Trump’s* excuse as to Russia working to elect him—after *admitting* he knew and then *getting briefed on it* on August 17, 2016?
13/ Why, he just didn’t *believe* what U.S. intel agencies said, of course! He just didn’t *believe* the mountains of evidence we all saw!
14/ Now ask yourself: does Bob Mueller believe any of these lies? Does the FBI? Does the DOJ? Do American voters? Would a duly-seated jury?
15/ FACT: Don was directly told by a trusted friend that Putin was working to elect his dad. He knew this as of the first week of June 2016.
16/ Now consider: despite the way the Russia issue blew up after June 2016, Don says he *never told his dad* Putin was working to elect him.
17/ Don, Jared, and Manafort say they *never* discussed the issue again—with *anyone*—and deliberately plotted to keep this info from Trump.
￼18/ Do *you* believe that? Do you think Mueller does? Or the FBI? The DOJ? Most American voters? Most American Congressmen? Future jurors?
19/ You think Don sat there watching Russia news every single day for *months*, yet never told daddy Putin was confirmed as “in his corner”?
20/ Do you believe that—once the Russia news broke shortly after June 2016—Kushner and Manafort *never went back to look at their emails*?
What all this means is that the Russian investigation is not going away but is ramping up. Trump and his family members have had relationships with Russians high up in the Russian government for many years, and it’s impossible to believe that Putin, in his blind hatred for Hillary Clinton, didn’t help Trump get elected president. As each week passes, we have more and more proof of his collusion. But since collusion isn’t a crime, “we” need to convict Trump of other actual crimes in order to impeach him. This could include obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting, money laundering and even treason.