Will Trump Be Charged With Conspiracy to Violate Federal Election Law?

In addition to the case for Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey, evidence is mounting that the president participated in a conspiracy to violate the federal election law. Mueller could either ask a grand jury to indict Trump as a co-conspirator or to name the president as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Federal Election Law

Trump’s August 5 tweet that the purpose of the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Russian operative Natalia Veselnitskaya “was to get information on an opponent” was tantamount to an admission of a conspiracy to violate federal election law.

Although the president added it was “totally legal and done all the time in politics,” he was mistaken about the “totally legal” part.

The federal election law says it is unlawful for “a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value … in connection with a Federal, State, or local election.” Providing the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton to discredit her in the election constitutes a “thing of value.” It is also illegal for “a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation … from a foreign national.”

Conspiracy Law

Another federal law makes it a crime for two or more persons to conspire to commit an offense or defraud the United States. The defraud clause criminalizes “any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful function of any department of government.”

Trump also tweeted that “it went nowhere.” But there is legal liability for conspiracy even if the purpose of the conspiracy is not accomplished.

A conspiracy is complete upon an agreement by two or more people to commit a crime followed by at least one overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, even if that crime is…

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