Campaign legal experts on Tuesday said Donald Trump Jr.’s self-published email correspondence that arranged a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer in an attempt to get dirt on Hillary Clinton shows he violated a key campaign law.
In Trump Jr.’s email correspondence, he was told that the crown prosecutor of Russia “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
And it showed the information offered was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” something that prompted him to respond, “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Experts said there was a clear violation of the law in question, 52 USC 30121, 36 USC 510, which prohibits contributions to campaigns from foreign nationals.
“If these emails are not a hoax, they are the smoking gun showing that Donald Trump Jr. illegally solicited a contribution from a foreign national — in the form of opposition research against Hillary Clinton — as our complaints yesterday alleged,” Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, said in a statement after Trump tweeted his emails Tuesday.
Common Cause, a nonpartisan ethics organization, filed a complaint with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday. It came after New York Times stories about the previously unreported meeting of Trump Jr., Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, then-campaign chair Paul Manafort, and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The complaint requested that the Department of Justice investigate whether the Trump campaign and Trump Jr. solicited an illegal campaign contribution from a foreign national, a violation of the law listed above.
The law contains a pair of key passages as it relates to the Trump Jr. meeting.