We are reliably informed that any and all “conspiracy theories” are the mark of insanity. Therefore, it’s so sad to see what’s become of a once noble swamp critter:
For a look at how Special Counsel Robert Mueller could tie Russian election interference to American citizens, watch the C-word.
Not coordination or collusion, but conspiracy.
One charge in particular — conspiracy to defraud the U.S. — has cropped up in several of the Mueller team’s major cases. The allegation shows up in filings against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as well as in indictments of Russian nationals accused earlier this month of hacking into Democratic Party organizations and election infrastructure. Conspiracy charges are significant because they’re building blocks: Once prosecutors allege a conspiracy, they can add more individuals later.
Donald Trump and his circle have long focused on a different buzzword, saying that there was no collusion with Russians, and subsequently that if there was collusion, Trump wasn’t aware of it. Now comes Trump attorney-cum-spokesman Rudy Giuliani. ”I don’t even know if that’s a crime, colluding about Russians,” Giuliani told CNN this week. Trump echoed that in a tweet: “Collusion is not a crime.”
That is at once technically correct and, according to former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah, beside the point.
“To say there’s no crime of collusion means nothing,” said Rocah. “That label isn’t in the criminal statutes. But that doesn’t matter because the conduct that underlies collusion can be, under certain circumstances, conspiracy to defraud the U.S.”
As of yet, it is unclear which federal agency Mueller and the Russia-Gate conspirators have allegedly defrauded. Candidates include the DOJ, Congress, the Post Office, the White House, and the Treasury.
It’s also unclear how an insanity defense plays out in an enemy combatant proceeding.