Let's put the term "collusion" aside for a moment.
I would like to encourage the GOP talking heads who continue to chant the mantra "What is the crime?" familiarize themselves with the following offenses:
- Accessory Before (or After) the Fact: Someone who assists another 1) who has committed a felony, 2) after the person has committed the felony, 3) with knowledge that the person committed the felony, and 4) with the intent to help the person avoid arrest or punishment. An accessory after the fact may be held liable for, inter alia, obstruction of justice.
- Aiding and abetting is a legal doctrine related to the guilt of someone who aids or abets in the commission of a crime. It exists in a number of different countries and generally allows a court to pronounce someone guilty for aiding and abetting in a crime even if they are not the principal offender.
A person charged with aiding and abetting or accessory is usually not present when the crime itself is committed, but he or she has knowledge of the crime before or after the fact, and may assist in its commission through advice, actions, or financial support.
For the record, I am not convinced President Trump is not the principal offender. I am not an attorney, but I would be willing to bet that as we get further in the weeds, at a minimum, we will find Trump is guilty of one of the crimes addressed in this article.
Now, I have seen these terms tossed around since I was a child when a suspect's family or friends were suspected of harboring or assisting a criminal. I just don't understand why our GOP lawmakers seem not to be familiar with these terms.