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Prosecutors Accuse Trump Of ‘Criminal Scheme’ To ‘Corrupt’ 2016 Election While Russia Hoaxers Walk Free

Prosecutors claim Trump ‘orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt’ the 2016 election. But the perpetrators of the real conspiracy skated.


In opening statements on Monday, Manhattan prosecutors sought to convince a jury that former President Donald Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election.” Meanwhile, the perpetrators of the Russia-collusion hoax — the real criminal scheme that was orchestrated to meddle in that election — walk free.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg claims Trump broke the law after he classified payments made by his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pornographer Stormy Daniels, as “legal fees” rather than campaign expenditures. (It is not illegal to purchase negative press about oneself, and Trump likely would have run afoul of campaign finance laws if he had classified such an expense, which benefitted him personally rather than just his campaign, as a campaign payment.)

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo, who formerly held a top post in President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice, alleged Monday during opening statements that “this was a planned, long-running conspiracy to influence the 2016 election, to help Donald Trump get elected through illegal expenditures to silence people who had something bad to say about his behavior.”

“It was election fraud, pure and simple,” Colangelo continued, according to PBS News. “The defendant, Donald Trump, orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election. Then he covered up that criminal conspiracy by lying in his New York business records over and over and over again.”

[READ NEXT: Trump’s Jury Trial Will Be As ‘Fair’ As The Russia Hoax And 2020 Election]

Manhattan prosecutors seek to put Trump in jail for up to four years. Meanwhile, the operatives who invented a hoax accusing Trump of being a Russian asset in 2016, commissioned a dossier of fake oppo research, and shopped it to the FBI — which then used the shoddy “research” as a basis to illegally spy on the Trump campaign — have received a light tap on the wrist, if any punishment at all.

Marc Elias, the Clinton campaign lawyer who commissioned the discredited dossier, received no punishment. The DNC and the Clinton campaign — which together provided funds for oppo research firm Fusion GPS to hire former British spy Christopher Steele, who put his name on the so-called “Steele dossier” — were fined $105,000 and $8,000, respectively, for labeling the payments as “legal and compliance consulting” and “legal services.” Clinton herself, who personally approved the decision to leak the false accusations to the press, was still suggesting the 2016 election was “stolen” from her as recently as 2022 and has never received any repercussions for the Russia hoax.

Russian national Igor Danchenko, the “primary sub-source” whose testimony Steele relied on in creating the dossier, “fed Steele false information about the Trump campaign, which a Clinton booster had invented.” Danchenko was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham for lying to the FBI about a 2016 phone call he claimed he received from an anonymous person who he thought was Sergei Millian. Danchenko claimed the anonymous caller revealed a “conspiracy of cooperation” between Trump and the Russians. These claims were added to the Steele dossier.

Evidence presented to the jury, as The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland noted at the time, indicated that “Danchenko did not know Millian and had not received any telephone calls during the relevant time frame that might fit the description of the call Danchenko claimed he received.”

Nevertheless, a jury in a deep-blue Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. acquitted Danchenko in 2022.

Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann was also acquitted, despite evidence suggesting he lied to then FBI-General Counsel James Baker in 2016. Sussman “presented Baker with data and whitepapers that supposedly showed the existence of a secret communications network between the Russian-based Alfa Bank and the Trump organization,” Cleveland explained. “According to the indictment [from Special Counsel John Durham], Sussmann was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and tech executive Rodney Joffe when he met with Baker, but falsely told his friend that he was coming on his own behalf to help the FBI.”

The only person who received any sentence was former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty to forging an email to get a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Clinesmith, according to Federalist CEO Sean Davis’ reporting on Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s findings, “altered an email from a separate U.S. federal agency, believed to be the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to falsely state that [Trump campaign affiliate Carter] Page had never worked with the CIA to investigate suspected Russia agents operating within the U.S.”

“In fact,” Davis wrote, “as Clinesmith was told by the operative, Page had worked with the CIA previously, as well as with the FBI.”

Clinesmith was sentenced to 400 hours of community service and one year of probation.

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