Trump Campaign Meeting Raises Question: Is Collusion Even a Crime? - NBC 7 San Diego
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Trump Campaign Meeting Raises Question: Is Collusion Even a Crime?

Even if the lawyer was somehow representing Russia, and even if she passed on national security information, it would be difficult to see a prosecutable case, legal practitioners say

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    Trump Campaign Meeting Raises Question: Is Collusion Even a Crime?
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    In this file photo, Donald Trump Jr. delivers a speech during a ceremony for the official opening of the Trump International Tower and Hotel on February 28, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.

    As details of the meeting with a Russian lawyer and top members of the Trump campaign emerge, a talking point among some right-wing pundits has been that collusion, in and of itself, would not be a crime.

    Some experts disagree, arguing that assistance by the Russian government to the Trump campaign could amount to an illegal campaign contribution by a foreign principal, NBC News reported.

    But even if the lawyer was somehow representing Russia, and even if she passed on national security information, it would be difficult to see a prosecutable case, legal practitioners say.

    "I just don't see an easy crime to prove here," said Amy Jeffress, a former top Justice Department national security lawyer in the Obama administration. "Collusion is wrong, but I'm not sure it's a crime."

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    Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota clashed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a Senate hearing on possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, on Oct. 18, 2017.  

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017)

    Other legal experts — who tend to be professors, not practitioners — have argued that collusion itself could run afoul of some anti-corruption statutes.

    Still, some say it may be more likely that crimes could have been committed in covering up alleged collusion.