While I don’t personally like using the term “collusion” simply because “collusion” is not a federal crime, new revelations stemming from both the House Intel Committee’s minority and majority reports, indicate that collusion or a violation of “18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit an offense or to defraud the United States” did likely take place within the Trump Campaign.
While Republicans clearly ended the investigation early, not allowing key witnesses to be interviewed or the issuance of important subpoenas to individuals and organizations in question, even the report coming from the Republican members of the committee shows what appears to be strong evidence of a conspiracy. There are three main events, which both the majority and minority reports shed light on. They are as follows:
Flynn Appears to have known about the Wikileaks hack prior to the Wikileaks hack:
Michael Flynn knew that the DNC hackers and a nation, in particular, were undertaking ‘cyber operations’ against the Democratic National Committee. How do we know that he knew this? Because on July 15, 2016 he sent an email to an unnamed campaign communications advisor stating:
“There are a number of things happening (and will happen) this election via cyber operations (by both hacktivists, nation-states and the DNC).”
Note that he used the word “both” in his email, implying that the activists and nation-states were the ones undertaking the ‘cyber operations’ against the DNC. Within a week of this email being sent, Wikileaks dumped their first batch of hacked DNC emails to the public, embarrassing both the Clinton campaign and the DNC, and likely hurting Clinton’s presidential hopes.
If in fact Michael Flynn knew that these hacks were forthcoming and knew that a nation-state was behind them, yet failed to report this information to the FBI, then it seems highly likely that Flynn and the Trump Campaign were involved in a conspiracy to propagate hacked information to the public.
While Michael Flynn is not available to comment, due to obvious reasons (he’s said to be cooperating with the Special Counsel), I was able to get in touch with his son Michael Flynn Jr. for comment.
“Pretty vague statement. Like everything else, [I] would have to see context,” Flynn Jr. told me.
While he’s right that context is incredibly important here, there is no doubt that Mueller has the context of these conversations and a supporting witness, in Flynn, himself.
Donald Trump Jr. admits to breaking the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Late last year the media reported that Donald Trump Jr., who was acting on the part of the campaign, had received a direct message on Twitter from Wikileaks. Within that message was a stolen or ‘guessed’ password that Wikileaks had obtained for a soon-to-launch anti-Trump website. The fact that this password was shared with Trump Jr. from Wikileaks wasn’t a crime in itself, although it certainly made it appear as if Wikileaks was working with the campaign. What would have been a crime, however, is if Donald Trump Jr. or any campaign member, used the provided password to access the website without permission from the website owners. Well, guess what, thanks to the Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee, we now have direct evidence that such a crime took place, right out of the mouth of Trump Jr. himself.
“Guys I got a weird Twitter DM from [W]ikileaks. See below. I tried the password and it works and the about section they reference contains the next pic in terms of who is behind it. Not sure if this is anything but it seems like it’s really wikileaks asking me as I follow them and it is a DM. Do you know the people mentioned and what the conspiracy they are looking for could be? These are just screen shots but it’s a bully built out page claiming to be a PAC let me know your thoughts and if we want to look into it.”
The words “I tried the password, and it works” is all that any prosecutor would likely need to charge Donald Trump Jr. with computer fraud, perpetrated by accessing information from a protected computer, or 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(c).
Robert Mueller Likely Has Email and Skype Conversations Between George Papadopoulos and Russian Officials
The minority report touches on multiple conversations that Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos engaged in with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). These conversations took place via Skype and email, over a period of several weeks and involved discussions related to setting up meetings between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. We must keep in mind that it is more likely than not that Robert Mueller has records and transcripts of all of these emails and Skype conversations, since Papadopoulos is cooperating.
In addition to these three events, last week we also got confirmation that Russian attorney, Natalia Veselniskaya, whom Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner all met with at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, is in fact a Russian spy or an ‘informant’. This confirms that these three campaign officials, including Trump’s Campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, met with a Russian spy, in order to get ‘dirt on Hillary Clinton”. This meeting proves that the campaign, at the very least, tried to work with Russia in an attempt to undermine our democratic election process. In other words, this meeting shows that there was a clear attempt to violate “18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit an offense or to defraud the United States”.
Clearly laws were broken by the campaign. The question is whether or not Mueller and his team will be able to link likely crimes committed by the higher up members of the campaign directly to a conspiracy involving candidate and now President Trump, Russia, Wikileaks, and others.
Considering the fact that the evidence that’s already known to the public seems to suggest criminal activity, while Mueller is surely sitting on an order of magnitude more evidence and information than the public has, it would appear to be a good bet that Mueller plans to show that the President’s family, and likely the President himself, were involved in a criminal conspiracy against the United States. Time will only tell though.