This topic is getting a lot of attention, and for good reason.
Was the meeting between Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and several Kremlin-connected Russians at the now infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting illegal?
It was a meeting that was prompted by an email to Trump Jr. promising political “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
Not only did the email promise political dirt, but it specified that the “dirt” was coming from the Russian government, as their part in aiding the Trump campaign.
Donald Trump Jr. sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee and claimed his father knew nothing of the meeting, which he said lasted about 20 minutes and yielded little.
In the past couple of weeks, former Trump attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen has suggested that then-candidate Trump knew about that meeting beforehand and approved.
Former Trump strategist and Svengali, Steve Bannon, has said that the notion that the elder Trump was not fully informed of the meeting was hogwash.
As for the recent narrative from the White House, it has morphed from claiming the meeting was about adoption to saying there’s nothing wrong with gathering oppo-research.
Fox News contributor and senior judicial analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in on the controversy with the “Fox and Friends” hosts on Tuesday morning.
When asked by host, Steve Doocy, on the legality of receiving opposition “dirt” during a campaign, Napolitano pointed out that that was perfectly acceptable.
Then came the “but…”
“There are federal statutes that prohibit receiving something of value from a foreign national, foreign entity, or foreign government,” he continued. “So was the purpose of this meeting to receive something of value? That’s something Bob Mueller’s going to have to look at.”
We’ve seen others argue that “something of value” doesn’t necessarily mean money or some other physical token. It could be anything that served as a benefit.
“Is there a crime here, or conspiracy?” Ainsley Earhardt asked.
“I don’t know the answer to that. But unfortunately, a lot of these statutes are written to make it easier for the government to convict,” Napolitano replied. “So if there was an agreement to receive dirt on Hillary, from the Russians, even if the dirt never came, if those who agreed, at least one of them, took some step in furtherance of the agreement, then there is the potential crime for conspiracy.”
And there has been a lot of talk of the lack of collusion proven in the ongoing Russia probe.
“Collusion” is an umbrella term, meant to encapsulate a series of crimes. One of those crimes that falls under that umbrella is conspiracy.
It looks bad for Donald Trump Jr., who may also be on the hook for perjury, given his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
At least he’s on the hook, if Cohen’s claims can be proven.
So what might the president be facing?
That’s hard to say. Again, it would have to be proven that he knew about the meeting.
Right now, we don’t know what Mueller has that he’s sitting on, but with what we do have is enough to explain why President Trump’s tweets have been more unhinged than normal, lately.