(Thread) Reading the Mueller Report, IV
Why weren’t crimes charged as a result of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower Meeting?
Part I begins here:
We’ll begin with the “facts.”
By “facts” I mean what the prosecutors have enough evidence to prove.
1/ The meeting was proposed to Jr. in an email from Goldstone, at the request of his then-client Emin Agalarov (son of Russian real estate developer Aras Agalarov)👇
Jr. invited Manafort and Cohen to the meeting. Both accepted.
2/ Senior campaign members discussed the meeting ahead of time, but SC “found no documentary evidence” showing that Trump “was made aware of the meeting—or its Russian connection—before it occurred.”
3/ SC considered the fact that on June 7, Trump announced his intention to give “a major speech” about “all things that have taken place with the Clintons.” (Fn. 713, p. 116.) And then he didn't.
4/ Apparently the Campaign offered a plausible alternate explanation for the change in topic: The June 12 Pulse nightclub shooting [could have] caused the change. Moreover, the staff had prepared a draft of the Clinton speech based on publicly available info . .
5/ . . . including info from the book Clinton Cash. Later, on June 22, Trump delivered the Clinton speech.
On June 9, Jr., Kushner, & Manafort arrived at the meeting, “expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.” (110)
6/ The derogatory info delivered by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was actually pretty lame: She claimed that funds derived from illegal activities in Russia were provided to HRC and other Democrats.
Jr. asked her for evidence to support her claim. She had none.
7/ Jr. asked how these alleged payments could be tied to the Clinton campaign. Veselnitskaya said she could not trace the money once it entered the U.S.
Kushner became “aggravated” and asked “what are we doing here?” (p. 118) He also iMessaged Manafort stating: “waste of time.”
8/ Kushner manufactured an excuse to leave.
Veselnitskaya pivoted to talking about the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 statute imposing sanctions on Russia resulting in Russia retaliating with a ban on US adoptions.
9/ Jr. suggested that talk about the Magnitsky Act could be revisited when and if Trump was elected. Meanwhile, Trump was still just a private citizen.
After the election, Veselnitskaya tried to follow up with the Trump campaign, but the Trump Transition Team did not engage.
10/ When the meeting became public, participants communicated about what they should say (implying that they could have coordinated their stories.)
Trump Jr. refused to voluntarily speak to the Special Counsel, which limited their fact-gathering.
11/ Notice how the Trump campaign got played by the Russians.
The Russians lured senior campaign folks into a meeting with promises in writing that they had dirt on HRC as part of Russia’s on-going campaign to help elect Trump.
12/ Then they all go to the meeting . . . and no dirt. Empty.
The Trump campaign got nothing.
But Russia got a lot. Kompromat.
The Russians got evidence, in writing, that top Trump campaign officials eagerly met with them, expecting derogatory information against HRC . . .
13/ . . . from the Russian government as part of Russia’s attempts to get Trump elected.
Such good deal makers! (sarcasm)
Russia walks out with Kompromat. The campaign walks out with nothing.
Remember that one goal of Active Measures is to cause chaos in the U.S.
14/ What lovely chaos if Trump wins and the details of the meeting are leaked and Jr. and his father squirm with embarrassment.
Plus the Trumps need the Russians to stay quiet. Obviously it doesn't look good for the Jr. & Trump campaign to respond so eagerly to that offer.
15/ Time for some IRAC (See Part III)
Issue: Did Jr. and pals commit a financial campaign violation when they eagerly sought help with their campaign from Russia?
16/ Rule: 52 U.S.C. § 3012 makes it illegal for a campaign to take foreign gifts or help.
💠A person receives, accepts or solicits
💠A contribution of money or other thing of value
💠in connection with an election
💠From a foreign national
17/ § 30121 requires a showing that the violation was “knowing and willful violation” (d)(1)(A)— a high standard (p 185)
Analysis: They didn’t accept or receive anything of value (apparently because they thought it had no value) . . .
18/ They eagerly accepted the meeting, but they didn’t “solicit” the help.
SC concluded that the “admissible evidence will probably” be insufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction.” (p. 184)
SC also considered whether to charge conspiracy to violate 52 U.S.C. § 30121.
19/Conspiracy requires showing beyond a reasonable doubt that 2 people agreed to commit a crime and that they took a positive step toward that crime.
While SC thought a reasonable argument could be made that the dirt they were seeking had some value. .
20/ They felt they didn’t have “admissible evidence that it was likely to establish” the "willful" portion beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Trump Jr. could mount a factual defense that he didn’t believe his response to the offer and the June 9 meeting itself violated the law.”(188)
21/ SC therefore declined to charge crimes arising from the June 9th meeting.
However, from the redactions there do appear to be matters arising from the June 9 meeting that are still under investigation with other prosecution offices.⤵️
Those redactions fill a few pages.
22/ So they may not be out of the woods yet.
Volume II, Section IIG discusses these events in light of obstruction of justice.
I will leave that for a later thread.
Part IV/ end
That typo in the "IRAC" tweet, Part III, is driving me nuts.
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