Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post needs either a law degree or a course in logic if she intends to comment intelligently on the legal issues presented in the Mueller probe. In this video commentary, Ms. Marcus, sounding like Edith Bunker, strains the law and principles of logic to argue that Donald Trump, Jr. committed a crime by engaging in a conversation with a Russian lawyer but Hillary Clinton did nothing illegal by concealing campaign expenditures to pay Christopher Steele to reach out to Kremlin sources for dirt on Donald Trump, compiling that foreign-derived information to paper, and then shopping that information throughout the media corps to influence the outcome of the presidential election.
Here's Marcus’ argument:
In one case, Trump’s, an emissary of a foreign government – have I said that enough? – foreign government – came to you to offer you dirt on your opponent because the foreign government, it was said in the emails, wanted to see you elected. In the other case [Clinton’s] a campaign was doing actually, as the President has said, what campaign’s generally do. They investigate their opponents. There is no rule that says if you investigate your opponent you can’t make overseas phone calls, you can’t talk to overseas sources. You are allowed to collect information. You are allowed to pay somebody to do that collection. But asking for it is really very different from being the ‘if it’s what you say I love it, bring it on attitude’ that the Trump campaign had towards information that as far as it knew and was told was being peddled by the Russian government. Big difference!
Where’s the logic in that distinction? If you take a meeting to listen to information being peddled by a foreign government representative you are a criminal, but if you conceal an expenditure to a foreign citizen (Steele) to “make overseas phone calls” to Kremlin-linked sources and then distribute that information to American press outlets like The Washington Post to influence the election, that’s different? Marcus’ argument makes no sense.
Mr. Mueller should listen closely to the logical errors one must commit in order to contrive a crime here. Mere conversations become “things of value.” But one conversation is a crime, because your name is Trump. Other conversations, “overseas phone calls,” are not crimes, because your name is Clinton.
Meanwhile, Ms. Marcus, and presumably Mr. Mueller, will turn a blind eye to Clinton’s knowing and willful concealment of her campaign expenditure to Christopher Steele and Clinton’s knowing and willful peddling of the Steele opposition research report, containing information from Kremlin-linked sources, from American media to the FBI and federal courts.