Mueller invokes unusual ‘conspiracy to defraud government’ charge to ensnare more targets

Special counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors have invoked an unusual “conspiracy to defraud the government” charge to ensnare a Russian cyber network and could use the same legal strategy to go after President Trump and his associates, even if the conspiracy is not linked to a criminal act.

Although the president constantly denies any wrongdoing, Mr. Mueller’s 10-month-long investigation has become the heart of the Trump-Russian election meddling saga, dominating headlines and leaving the White House tangled in conflict and controversy as additional charges have also been filed against four of his close associates — with further indictments likely.

Last month, Mr. Mueller, a Republican and former FBI director, indicted 13 Russian nationals connected to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) Russian “troll farm,” accusing the IRA of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by spreading fake news stories through U.S. social media. The same approach was employed in securing a plea deal last month with Rick Gates, the aide for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

What has attracted attention in legal circles is the underlying legal theory behind the indictments, accusing the Russians of essentially committing a crime by preventing agencies of the U.S. government from carrying out the duties. Mr. Mueller appears to be leveraging the theory “into a powerful instrument with respect to both foreign and domestic actors,” according to a recent article on Lawfare, a national security blog by the Lawfare Institute and Brookings Institution.

1 Comment - what are your thoughts?

  • Navy Bob says:

    When announcing the 13 indictments last month, it was announced that no vote was effected by the Russia trolls. It was said that no American knowingly conspired with the Russians. If both of these are true, and they must be since they were said by Mueller’s boss, that no crime has been committed and this farce should be ended. Why are they going after the President for some perceived crime, thought up by the Obama regime so that there would NOT be the “smooth transition of government” he demanded when Hillary was the shoe in. His torch carriers in the media have been trumpeting it for the last year, and still NO EVIDENCE. To the contrary, there is able evidence exonerating the President and enough to seek Grand Jury indictments against Clinton, Obama and many of their minions. Here’s an idea: END THIS WITCH HUNT and let the President get to the business of running the country like he was elected to. Can you imagine if this farce had not been the distraction it is how much more of his agenda, the agenda he was elected to achieve, he could have accomplished?

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