Tag Archives: Donald Trump Jr. emails

Jonathan Turley Throws Legal Cold Water on Latest Russian Claims | July 12, 2017

Liberal Legal Scholar Scoffs At Claims Donald Trump Jr. Guilty Of Treason

  || Daily Caller
Turley notes the specificity of Article III of the Constitution’s delineation of what exactly constitutes treason — “levying war against [the United States], and “providing aid and comfort to the enemy.”
“Liberal constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley laid to rest many of the claims Tuesday from the media and politicos of illegality and collusion surrounding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a “Kremlin-connected” lawyer.
Turley, a legal scholar at George Washington University, batted away claims of criminality, asking “does any of this constitute a clear crime or even a vague inkblot image of a crime?” His answer: no, not on the facts.
Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration, said on MSNBC Sunday that the meeting “borders on treason.” Turley notes the specificity of Article III of the Constitution’s delineation of what exactly constitutes treason — “levying war against [the United States], and “providing aid and comfort to the enemy.” Aside from the fact that the details discussed at the meeting — if any at all —regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are unknown, the encounter does not amount to treason.
Politico reported Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics attorney, claimed that Donald Trump Jr. violated the Logan Act, a law Turley notes “has never been used to convict a single U.S. citizen and is widely viewed as facially unconstitutional.”
The Independent raised the question of a Donald Trump Jr. “conspiracy” to “defraud the United States.” No evidence is offered says Turley, and no further actions are known to have occurred. There has never been a case under the law cited that “even remotely resembles such a distortive claim.”

…..Continue reading more @ DailyCaller

 

 

New York Times: ‘Trump Jr. Told In Advance That Anti-Clinton Information Was Coming From Russian Government To Help His Dad’

|| JonathanTurley.org

“All FBI agents sign a statement affirming that “all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties with the FBI and all official material to which I have access remain the property of the United States of America” and that an agent “will not reveal, by any means, any information or material from or related to FBI files or any other information acquired by virtue of my official employment to any unauthorized recipient without prior official written authorization by the FBI.”

 

The New York Times is reporting that “Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy.”  That would be a significant development in supporting allegations of “collusion.”  I am still skeptical of the alleged crime of collusion and even more skeptical of the alleged crime related to this meeting.  I am also confused by the NYT story which says that the email from publicist Rob Goldstone acknowledged that the information was coming from the Kremlin but the article quotes Goldstone in saying that he had no knowledge of any such connection to the Russian government.

The newspaper says that three people said that the memo from Goldstone was described to it by three people and indicated that the source of the information was the Russian government and that it wanted to pass along damaging information against Hillary Clinton.

I have previously questioned the basis for claiming that Trump Jr. committed a crime in holding this meeting in the hopes of finding dirt on Clinton.  Some have argued that receiving intelligence from the Russian would be akin to an illegal campaign contribution.

However, the article raises more questions than answers. If the Kremlin was behind this information, why didn’t this mysterious Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually pass along such information? Instead, she is described by various people as stating some generalities about possible Russian support for Clinton without any support or documentation. If the Russians were making such a play to influence the election in favor of Clinton, this is a curious way to going about it.  First, they arrange a bizarrely high-profile meeting (when real spies tend to find third parties to get or transmit information).  Second, they secure the meeting but do not bring even a detailed account, let alone documents, to support the allegation.  Finally, if Trump had acted on that information, it would have been a disaster since it would have been baseless and unsupported.  To this day, there has been no evidence of Russian financial support to the Clinton campaign or Democratic National Committee.

It is also weird that Goldstone admitted that he spoke with the Trump team before speaking with the New York Times.  He then categorically denied the allegation and said that he was merely passing along a request from the father of his client  pop star Emin Agalarov.  Mr. Agalarov was an associated of Trump Sr. in the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.  He said that he was told that Veselnitskaya had information of possible illegal campaign contributions from Russia for Clinton.  He told the NYT that he “never, never, ever “thought (or presumably said) that the information was coming from the Russian government.”  That leaves us in a rather weird position.  It is hard to believe that this man (or the Trump team) is so stupid as to go over the memo and then tell the media something diametrically opposite of what the memo actually says.  Obviously the memo is going to be reviewed and eventually released.

So where does that leave us?  In a word, confused.  The NYT article itself seems conflicted on what the memo actually said.  If the memo did state that the Russian government wanted to pass damaging information on Clinton, why didn’t it?  If such information was going to be fed to the Trump campaign, it would still leave us with the legal question of whether information can now be treated as a thing of value under federal campaign laws.  However, it would be good to understand what is being specifically represented as to the pre-meeting communications from Goldstone.”

….Continue reading more @ Jonathan Turley

 

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Printing The Legend: The Growing Gap Between Comey’s Image and Actions

|| JonathanTurley.org | theHill.com

Read the column @ theHill

 

FBI’s James Comey Talks About Sony Hack and ‘Privacy’ in the USA | Mar 09, 2017

– James Comey, “even our memories are not absolutely private….”

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