TO INDICT OR NOT TO INDICT – My old blogging friend John Hinderaker at Powerline blog explains a little – big? – mystery about the recent indictment of Russian election meddlers: namely why they have not been indicted precisely for the election meddling:
I don’t doubt that election lawyers could come up with defenses for Christopher Steele, were he to be charged with violating §30121. But that is a can of worms that Mueller didn’t want to open. Too many people know the facts behind the Steele dossier, and if he had charged the Russians with meddling in the presidential election under §30121, he soon would have faced questions about why he didn’t indict Steele–and Glenn Simpson, Perkins, Coie, Clinton campaign officials, and perhaps Clinton–for the same offense.
It was in order to avoid that pitfall, I suspect, that Mueller overlooked the most relevant federal offense that the Russians committed, and instead charged them with a vague “conspiracy to defraud,” along with wire fraud, bank fraud and identity theft. The first charge is entirely discretionary on Mueller’s part, and Steele didn’t commit wire fraud, bank fraud or identity theft.
If true, mind continues to boggle.