What is also exceptional about the Trump case, distinguishing it from other forms of national electioneering, is the absence of any question about intent, or state of mind. In the most recent round of revisions to its rules, the FEC went to some lengths to allow a candidate or political committee to establish that it did not reasonably know about the foreign source of the contribution or expenditure or other value received. (11 . § (a)(4),(7) ). This is no help to the Trump campaign which certainly had every reason to know that, as widely reported and declared officially by the US government, Russia was behind the hacking. Trump, on the campaign trail, said as much in inviting Russia to release more. At other times he suggested that perhaps Russia was not behind these activities, that no one could know: but, remarkably, he allowed for the possibility that another foreign power, China, might have been responsible. And once again, there are other parts of the public record bearing on intent that will receive close investigative scrutiny, like Trump’s close confidante Roger Stone’s repeated statements about his communications with Wikileaks and Julian Assange.
Malhama Tactical’s operators have, on occasion, also acted as special forces for different jihadi groups. In September 2016, they embedded with the Turkistan Islamic Party to help it repulse an Assad regime attack in southern Aleppo, according to a rebel activist source familiar with the group. However, Abu Rofiq says his outfit’s primary goal is to train other rebel and jihadi groups in combat, rather than fight on the front lines. Abu Rofiq admitted that Malhama also produces equipment for other jihadi groups as needed. Malhama, for example, manufactures accessories for the PKM, an extremely popular Russian-made mm machine gun. The vests and grips, widely used in Aleppo during the intense fighting there, have become especially sought after among jihadis.