Worried for our children wrote:
Ok Frosty, let's pretend for a moment that the investigation has been concluded. To include all the instances you listed, the investigation has determined that there was "collusion"- can you show me what actual "crime" has been committed? Which criminal statute has been violated?
That is a point that most have overlooked.
So does this mean no crime was committed or simply that we should be using a different term for the act?
Some paragraphs from several sources.. I would say the investigations will go on for some time yet..
note that collusion itself is not a specific federal crime—what matters is what kind of cooperation might have taken place and in what way. As to whether collusion did occur or a crime was committed, they said the jury is still out.
Collusion is not a federal crime (except in the unique case of antitrust law), so we should all just stop using “collusion” as a short-hand for criminality. But that doesn’t mean that the alleged cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia is of no criminal interest. To the contrary, if true, it may have violated any number of criminal prohibitions.
For example, if Donald Trump Jr. sought “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from the Russians, he might be charged with conspiring to violate the election laws of the United States, which prohibit foreign nationals from contributing any “thing of value” to an electoral campaign. The opposition dirt is at least plausibly a thing of value. And to the extent that the Trump campaign aided, abetted or advised the Russians (or any other hackers) about what would be most useful to steal from the Democrats or how best to enhance the impact of their release, they may well have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Of course, none of this excuses the apparent cover-up, which is often as bad as the original crime. Lying to the federal government in your registration forms or your security application is a false statement. Using the wires to perpetrate your crime is often wire fraud. In short, let’s stop talking about “collusion” and instead talk about real crimes that may, or may not, be proven—violations of election law, computer hacking, false statements and wire fraud.
The word “collusion” has been a terrible one to use in the Trump-Russia saga, since it doesn’t accurately describe either the criminal or counterintelligence aspects of what we know. On the criminal side, the word that would best describe an agreement between the Trump campaign and Russia to commit any number of crimes (say, election fraud) would be “conspiracy”—something that the recent release of Donald Trump Jr.’s email chain might support.
On the counterintelligence side, collusion is best described by the word “recruitment.” The aim of a foreign intelligence service is to find and convince individuals to help them achieve intelligence objectives. In the case of the election, the question is whether Russia was able to recruit American citizens, including people in the Trump campaign, to help them sway the outcome in Donald Trump’s favor. We are less likely to get direct public evidence of this since most of the information obtained by the FBI about Russia’s network and tactics will be classified unless someone is prosecuted for a crime.
But we have some clues that Russia may have been successful, such as Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn officially registering as foreign agents under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, or reports of a FISA order against Carter Page, which could only be obtained by showing a court that he was “knowingly engaged in foreign intelligence activities” on behalf of a foreign power. Even so, the criminal penalties for spying for a foreign intelligence service in non-defense-related areas are fairly weak, and I expect that Robert Mueller and the FBI will likely use any prosecutorial leverage they have over these individuals to get people higher up the chain for potentially more egregious criminal violations. The story is definitely not over, so stay tuned.