Mueller Probe To Take Another Unpredictable Turn After Unusual ‘Conspiracy to Defraud Government’ Charge Invoked

Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is set to take yet another unpredictable turn after the special counsel invoked the unusual “conspiracy to defraud the government,” charge that “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,” The Washington Times reports. 

Emma Kohse, Harvard International Law Journal editor-in-chief, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Lawfare blog’s top editor, argue that, based in the language of the indictments and the legal precedents behind them, the “conspiracy to defraud the government” charge provides the Mueller team with significant flexibility in trying to build a case against Mr. Trump and members of his 2016 campaign. […]

“Russia’s sustained, many-front effort to interfere in the 2016 election — a glimpse of which was shown in the indictment — is undoubtedly more complex and far-reaching than the plots that have previously been prosecuted as conspiracies to defraud the United States,” Ms. Kohse and Mr. Wittes write. “But that makes Mueller’s theory richer, not more novel.” […]

Because Mr. Mueller is alleging conspiracy to defraud the FEC, DOJ and State Department, some legal scholars say recent commentary about “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Kremlin is misdirected. Instead, he appears to be building a case with the FEC, DOJ and State Department at its core — not the Kremlin. […]

“To allege that a new conspirator had joined such a conspiracy, Mueller would have to allege only that such a person — presumably a new defendant — had agreed to participate in a scheme of deceit by which the FEC, the Justice Department or the State Department was deprived of its regulatory authority,” Ms. Kohse and Mr. Wittes write.

President Trump’s lawyers are in the process of negotiating with special counsel Robert Mueller to bring the Russia probe to an end, reports Rebecca Ballhaus and Peter Nicholas of the Wall Street Journal.

President Donald Trump’s lawyers are seeking to negotiate a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that uses an interview with the president as leverage to spur a conclusion to the Russia investigation, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

The president’s legal team is considering telling Mr. Mueller that Mr. Trump would agree to a sit-down interview based on multiple considerations, including that the special counsel commit to a date for concluding at least the Trump-related portion of the investigation. One idea is to suggest a deadline of 60 days from the date of the interview, the person said.

As calls for Mueller to wrap up his probe grow louder due to a lack of evidence, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) recently admitted that zero proof of collusion has been found.

Schiff has been a key figure in the Trump/Russia witch hunt since day one, writes John S. Roberts at Right Observer.

While on “The View,” Schiff admitted what everyone has known for quite a while – there is no evidence of collusion.

Yet, it’s difficult to imagine the probe will come to an end anytime soon.

CNN reported Wednesday that investigators are attempting to determine whether former Blackwater chief Erik Prince misled the  House Intelligence Committee about a meeting he had in Seychelles in January of 2017.

Prince is accused of using the meeting as an opportunity to establish a secret back channel with Russia.


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