SPECIAL NOTE: I am still working on the development of an application which is taking all of my creative time and energy. But I just had to get this out...
When the Mueller report came out a few months ago, I had an acquaintance totally believe and repeatedly tell me there was actual evidence that President Trump "committed collusion with the Russians." I asked him to quote the page, paragraph and passage in that 448-page report that supported his position. He just kept repeating "IT'S IN THE REPORT! READ IT!!!" Yet, he couldn't point to anything that support his position. Yet, in my perusal of that same report I found (page 10, paragraph 1 of the document, pg 2 of the "Introduction to Volume I"):
"...the [Muller] investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
In case you didn't know it, in this country the bedrock of our legal system is the concept that a person is "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." The lack of evidence (to prove or disprove) is not proof of guilt or a reason to keep digging. Investigations also do not "exonerate" the people being investigated. If there is no evidence that a crime was committed, how could there be a possibility that the investigated person committed a crime that didn't happen, or "prove" that the accused didn't commit the crime? It would be like investigating someone for robbing a bank in a specific city on a specific date, when no bank was robbed in that city on that date. Expecting an exoneration in such a case is trying to prove a negative (e.g., at Noon on a sunny day, prove the sun rose in the East and/or sets in the West. You can't, because at that moment, it's overhead.). I can't lay out evidence that you didn't do something that didn't happen.
Now, let's compare that to James Comey's July 5th 2016 press conference, where he outlined the actions of Clinton and her team:
Yes, it does not include his overreach from the realm of investigator to prosecutor, "no prosecutor would move forward with this." As the investigator, he has no input on the decision to file charges or not. That is the job of the prosecutor. His reaching that conclusion as the investigator clearly exceeded his authority. But that's a discussion for another time.
"Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive and highly classified information..."
Whereupon he details about seven email chains that Clinton sent and received,
"There is evidence that to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation."
Now, I can point to the laws concerning the handling of classified information, namely 18 U.S.C. § 798 - U.S. Code, section (a),
"Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information--"
Sending and receiving unencrypted emails over the Internet is like sending a post card through the US Mail. Anyone who handles it can read the information written on it. Let me also say, "intent" is not part of the code to determine if the law was broken. If I had during my time in the Navy when I handled classified documents, left one unguarded in a place where people without the proper clearance would have had access to it, it didn't matter if I had left it out by accident or on purpose. I did it and that's all the prosecutor has to prove to convict me. I would have gone to Fort Leavenworth for a very long stay.
You also have some degree of mens rea, which is Latin for "guilty mind." There are 4 levels of mens rea,
- acting purposely - the defendant had an underlying conscious object to act
- acting knowingly - the defendant is practically certain that the conduct will cause a particular result
- acting recklessly - The defendant consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustified risk
- acting negligently - The defendant was not aware of the risk, but should have been aware of the risk
As Comey detailed above, Clinton and whom she was emailing with unquestioningly met #4, and considering how persnickety the government IT people are about setting up their systems to prevent incidents like this, plus the constant training of workers on this subject, I'd say Clinton & Co. hit #3 as well.
I covered all that to show you the difference between a credible accusation, versus a bullshit accusation.
Credible == definable act, the specific law violated and some level of mens rea.
Bullshit == no definable act, no specific law, just an ambiguous word that implies improper behavior and no mens rea (since no law was being violated).
To illustrate, let's say I have a friend with a birthday approaching. I collude with his wife to throw him a party for the occasion. Did his wife and I break a law if we "colluded" on this project? Also, "quid pro quo" is Latin for "I give you something, you give me something that we both benefit from." If I do work for my employer and he pays me in cash, then I take that cash to the supermarket and buy food, I have engaged in two separate "quid pro quo's." I spent time and effort for my employer and he paid me for that work product, then I paid the grocery to receive food.
Now we have this "Ukrainian scandal" where Trump, during a recorded and transcribed phone call, Trump is accused of offering a "quid pro quo." Please show me in the transcript where that happened. Don't say "It's in there! Read it!" quote me the parts that support your accusation.
With all that being said, can anyone tell me what act did Trump perform, what section of the US code did he violate and did he meet any level of mens rea?
Last point. Biden and his boast about "getting a prosecutor fired" (1:20 point of the video below) was not a quid pro quo. That was extortion. I have to ask, why is the Vice President of the United States, threatening the withholding of a Billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine unless this internal state prosecutor is fired? Why does the United States seriously have an interest in any specific official in another country, unless that person somehow posed a threat to the United States, a high-ranking US government official or a person directly or indirectly related to said official?