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(THREAD) This thread shows how Trump aided (18 U.S.C. § 2) Russian computer fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030)—an impeachable offense. Please retweet.
1/ 18 U.S.C. § 2 prohibits aiding, abetting, or procuring a crime against the U.S. The penalty is the same as for the underlying offense.
2/ To be eligible for conviction for aiding, abetting or procuring (paying for) a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 2, certain conditions must be met.
3/ There must be a crime. You must know the crime is afoot beforehand. You must aid, abet, or procure it. And you must intend to facilitate.
4/ 17 intelligence agencies concur—Russia committed computer fraud in an effort to hack our election systems on or just before Election Day.
5/ So there are a series of dates for the relevant offenses—18 U.S.C. § 2—to include Election Day and the several days and weeks just prior.
6/ On August 17th, 2016, Donald Trump received his first-ever official briefing from the intelligence community as a presidential candidate.
7/ He was told "U.S. officials had drawn 'direct links' between Putin's government and recent hacks and email leaks."https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-was-told-russia-was-blame-hacks-long-debate-n663686
8/ He was told these computer crimes were ongoing—which he'd acknowledged on July 27 by calling for more such crimes.https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html
9/ Under 18 U.S.C. § 2, one's knowledge of the crime need not be ironclad. You just need to know there's a "high likelihood" it will occur.
10/ Moreover, under 18 U.S.C. § 2 case law, "deliberate ignorance"—denying evidence of "high likelihood"—qualifies equally as "knowledge."
11/ So as of August 17th, 2016, Trump legally had "knowledge" of pending computer crimes—no matter what he later said. The law doesn't care.
12/ The only question is whether Trump took steps to "facilitate" the crime in a way that aided, abetted or procured it under 18 U.S.C. § 2.
13/ If he did, by law he'd be culpable for Russia's post-August 17th computer crimes to a degree no different from the hackers themselves.
14/ Based exclusively on public reporting, we know that Trump took several steps to aid, abet, or procure post-August 17th computer crimes.
15/ In fact, certain of those legally actionable steps are steps the President of the United States is publicly taking at this very moment.
16/ For our purposes, the most important of the three terms we're now focused on—"aid"; "abet"; "procure"—is the last of these: procurement.
17/ Certain crimes—international computer fraud is one—are expensive to commit. It's illegal to bankroll such crimes directly or indirectly.
18/ So the only question—under federal law—is whether Trump directly or indirectly funded Russia's computer crimes after August 17th, 2016.
19/ 22 days after his August 17, 2016 briefing—September 8—Trump's NatSec and foreign policy chief, Sessions, met with Russia's ambassador.
20/ Last week, Sessions finally conceded to Congress—after providing false answers in two prior testimonies—he and Kislyak talked sanctions.
21/ Sessions began his September 8 sanctions discussion with Kislyak at the July RNC. So for both discussions he was legally Trump's agent.
22/ On September 8, Trump's position on Russian sanctions was to oppose them and to support their unilateral abolition by the United States.
23/ Sessions now admits to having communicated to Ambassador Kislyak the Trump campaign's position on US-Russia sanctions—that is, against.
24/ The legal problem for Trump here is that his position supports an unmitigated financial benefit for Russia—essentially a pecuniary gift.
25/ If Trump had changed his policy post-August 17, it'd be different. Or if he supported negotiated sanctions relief—benefit to both sides.
26/ But Trump's position was that—despite knowing Russia had committed computer fraud—they should receive an unmitigated financial benefit.
27/ This cannot be emphasized enough: Trump's sanctions policy was legally and historically unprecedented in the history of U.S. politics.
28/ Trump didn't just permit Sessions to offer unilateral sanctions relief to Russia. He had other aides put it into the public sphere, too.
30/ On March 24th, 2016, Papadopoulos revealed to his NatSec and foreign policy teammates that the Kremlin had sent him to set up meetings.
31/ As a legal "agent" of the Kremlin—one authorized to make offers on its behalf—Papadopoulos was supposed to get a Trump-Putin meeting.
32/ Failing that, he was to get a meeting between top Trump officials and Kremlin officials. This was known to Trump aides as of March 24th.
33/ On March 31, Papadopoulos revealed himself as a Kremlin agent to Trump himself at the Trump International in DC. http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/17/trump-adviser-proposed-meeting-with-russians-during-campaign-but-was-shot-down-by-sessions/
34/ (Note: The Daily Caller erroneously reported Sessions permanently nixed Papadopoulos' entreaty. WaPo has confirmed that that wasn't so.)
35/ The reason this matters is that Trump didn't fire Papadopoulos. He made him one of his spokesmen on Russia policy for over six months.
36/ And then, on September 30, 2016, he permitted this known Kremlin agent to give a long interview with the Russian media outlet Interfax.
36/ During the interview, Trump's agent Papadopoulos made clear the Trump campaign opposed all sanctions on Russia. http://www.interfax.com/interview.asp?id=704556
37/ These representations—plus Mike Flynn's to Kislyak in December—signaled to Putin that he'd receive a monetary benefit for helping Trump.
38/ This intent was confirmed when a plot to remove sanctions in January—immediately post-inauguration—was revealed. http://www.newsweek.com/trump-white-house-secret-efforts-lift-russia-sanctions-putin-619508
39/ This intent is proven today—October 23—as Trump defies Congress by refusing to execute a passed sanctions bill. https://www.thedailybeast.com/congress-trump-wont-implement-russia-sanctionsand-he-wont-tell-us-why
40/ Under 18 U.S.C. § 2 and 18 U.S.C. § 1030, directly or indirectly promising no-strings-attached payments to a criminal actor is a crime.
41/ The nexus between Trump's promise of payment and Putin's crime: the crime would help Trump get elected—and he could only pay if elected.
42/ If at any time after learning Russia was committing computer fraud to aid his campaign Trump had changed his Russia policy, he'd be OK.
43/ If at any time Trump had had anything but a historically unprecedented sanctions policy—their unilateral abolition by the US—he'd be OK.
44/ If at any time after becoming president Trump had ended his plot to reward Russia financially, his crimes would be much harder to prove.
45/ But Trump made every possible effort to let the Kremlin know that they would be rewarded for committing computer fraud to help him win.
46/ He knew it was illegal; on July 27th, he almost slipped and forgot to add "by the press" in noting Russia would be rewarded for hacking.
47/ "Collusion" isn't a legal term—it simply means a "conspiracy to commit a crime." In a conspiracy, there are actors and (often) abettors.
48/ I should note that there's a prima facie case to impeach Trump on other crimes—notably, Obstruction (Comey) and Witness Tampering (Don).
49/ And indeed those "post hoc" crimes constitute "collusion" too—though not the sort that Republicans in D.C. seem inclined to acknowledge.
50/ But Trump's clear, oddly public violations of 18 U.S.C. § 2 and 18 U.S.C. § 1030—one count for each act of fraud—are indisputable. {end}
NOTE/ The thread continues at the link below:
PS/ Sessions lied on how the second meeting was set up: he first said a Kislyak aide asked; later, Kislyak. He was worried about his agency.
NOTE/ The thread continues at the link below:
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