After 13 Russians and 3 Russian organizations were indicted Donald Trump declared "No collusion!"
Hold on Donald, the indictment just doesn't mean what you say it means. Allen Bradford, a lawyer and contributor to this blog, put together the following facts on the indictments showing the fallacy behind Trump's tweets on several levels (we only address the indictment here...)
Notes from review of Mueller indictment:
We’ve read Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Indictment of 13 Russian individuals and 3 Russian organizations, and rounded up a few points and perspectives you may not be seeing elsewhere:
By the Numbers: The Russians Clearly Targeted Hillary, Supported Trump
The indictment clearly alleges that the Russians’ efforts were aimed primarily at undercutting Hillary Clinton and supporting Donald Trump. For example: it alleges (paragraph 43.b) an “account specialist … was told ‘it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton’ in future posts.”
Out of 99 total paragraphs in the indictment, 38 detail 57 specific activities undertaken to undermine the Clinton campaign and/or to support Trump’s election. But only one paragraph (57) describes just two activities undertaken to oppose Trump—and that was after the election.
Specific acts the Russians allegedly conducted in support of Trump include:
An Unsavory Chef
Among the 13 individual Russians named in the indictment is Yevgeny Prigozhin, charged with funding the election interference operation. Known as “Putin’s chef” because he owns restaurants frequented by Russian president Vladimir Putin, this great guy also served 9 years in Russian prisons for robbery and fraud involving teenage prostitutes and has also been accused of selling rotten food to school kids.
The “Collusion” Issue Remains Wide Open
The indictment alleges (para 6) that Russians “posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities” and (para 45) “used false U.S. personas to communicate with unwitting members, volunteers, and supporters of the Trump Campaign involved in local community outreach, as well as grassroots groups that supported then-candidate Trump.” This suggests no conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign regarding the specific activities detailed in the indictment, but does NOT conclude that there was “no collusion” regarding interference in our 2016 election in other ways. In fact, the language suggests Mueller’s team specifically investigated whether there was such collusion, and will surely do so in regard to later charges still to come. This becomes clearer at paragraph 87, charging that certain of the Russians “together with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly and intentionally conspired to commit certain offenses against the United States.” This signals there’s more to come regarding the “others known” and perhaps those as yet “unknown.”
Did it Work?
The indictment doesn’t address whether any of this influenced the outcome of the 2016 election one way or the other.