No matter how the midterm election turns out next week, it seems clear that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is close to some major moves in his ongoing investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 election. But what might happen in the weeks and months ahead?
Well, there will probably be more indictments, including for some very major figures such as Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. And there will likely be a report detailing all of the crimes Mueller has uncovered over the course of his investigation.
Now, thanks to a blockbuster report from the Brookings Institute’s Governance Studies program, we can pinpoint six crimes that were allegedly committed by the president and members of his 2016 campaign:
- Conspiracy to Commit Offense or to Defraud the United States, 18 U.S.C. § 371
- Computer Fraud and Abuse Act 18 U.S.C § 1030
- Federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. §
- Contributions and Donations by Foreign Nationals, 52 U.S.C. §
- Bribery of Public Officials and Witnesses, 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2)
- Misprision of Felony, 18 U.S.C. § 4
How do those federal laws apply to actions taken by Trump and/or members of his campaign team? The report also explains that in clear language:
Conspiracy to Commit Offense or to Defraud the United States: Two or more people knowingly and voluntary pursuing an illegal goal (conspiracy).
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: The alleged hack of the DNC by Russian military intelligence officers posing as the fictitious persona Guccifer 2.0.
Federal Wiretap Act: The disclosure of stolen emails from the DNC to WikiLeaks, which then released the emails online.
Contributions and Donations by Foreign Nationals: The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting at which members of the Trump campaign “deliberately met with Russian nationals after being told that they had information on the Clinton campaign as part of Russia and its government’s support for Trump, and hid this fact.” A contribution could be money or anything “of value,” including information.
Bribery of Public Officials and Witnesses: If Trump’s pro-Kremlin policies “both as nominee and president” could be considered a quid pro quo for the “thing of value” (Russian interference, dirt, material support of Trump etc.).
Misprision of Felony: Whether there was an effort to knowingly conceal participation a crime. In this case, a conspiracy.
“The American people have a fundamental right to know if the president of the United States or those close to him worked with Russia to win the election and undermine American democracy—in violation of our criminal law.”
And if crimes were indeed committed, those who committed them must be punished, including the current president. The rule of law demands it.