Rep Collins Digs At Mueller’s Character After He Finds A Contradiction
During the hearing on Wednesday Mueller gave testimony claiming that there was a difference between collusion and conspiracy. However during his report, according to Rep Collins, Mueller claimed they were synonymous.
“Is that indeed true, your investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in election interference activity?” Collins asked.
“Thank you, yes,” Mueller responded.
“Although your report states collusion is not a specific offense, and you said that this morning, or a term of art in federal criminal law, conspiracy is. In the colloquial context, are collusion and conspiracy essentially synonymous terms?” Collins questioned.
Collins repeated the question, Mueller answered, “No.”
“If no, on page 180 of volume one of your report you wrote, ‘As defined in legal dictionaries, collusion is largely synonymous with conspiracy as that crime is set forth in the general federal conspiracy statute,’” Collins read.
“You said at your May 29 press conference and here today you choose your words carefully. Are you sitting here today testifying something different than what your report states?” Collins asked thinking he has caught Mueller in a lie.
Mueller struggled to answer and then said: “leave it with the report.”
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“Another potential reason for Mueller’s confused answer to the question of whether “conspiracy” and “collusion” are synonymous is that an earlier section of his report has a slightly different take on the use of the terms.
In that section, the report says that in looking at whether something “constituted a crime” investigators “applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of ‘collusion.'” But it explains that in other contexts, investigators chose to use the word “coordination” rather than collusion.
“Like collusion, ‘coordination’ does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law,” the report says. “We understood coordination to require an agreement – tacit or express – between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.
“We applied the term coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Whatever the term, Mueller’s report said, “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”