Fox News legal expert Judge Andrew Napolitano said Tuesday that there may be grounds to accuse those involved in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with criminal conspiracy.
Judge Napolitano explained during an interview on “Fox & Friends” that there are federal statutes that make it illegal for candidates to “receive something of value” from a foreign national, entity or government.
In the months leading up to the presidential election, Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials met with a lawyer connected to the Russian government. The eldest Trump son testified that his father did not know about the meeting in advance.
On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that the meeting was “totally legal” and was set to obtain information on his campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
“So, was the purpose of this meeting to receive something of value?” Judge Napolitano said. “That’s something Bob Mueller will have to look at.”
The legal analyst said these statues are crafted to make convictions easier to get. He explained that if there was an agreement to receive damaging information on Mrs. Clinton from the Russians, it would be grounds for criminal action, even if nothing ever came of it.
“If those who agreed, at least one of them, took some step in the furtherance of the agreement, then there is the potential crime for conspiracy,” he said.
Judge Napolitano argued it didn’t seem that the president is one of those in danger of criminal charges because he didn’t know about the meeting in advance.
However, he emphasized that Mr. Trump should steer clear of interviewing with special counsel Robert Mueller. It is expected that the president’s counsel and Mr. Mueller’s team will announce whether or not Mr. Trump will speak with the special counsel soon.
“This is not the forum for him to tell his story,” Judge Napolitano said.
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