Alan Dershowitz Doesn't See Any Legal Jeopardy for Trump Jr.
Legal expert Alan Dershowitz doesn't believe Donald Trump Jr. committed a crime by meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father's presidential campaign.
Trump Jr. was informed in a series of emails that attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton in the June 2016 meeting.
Trump Jr. said nothing came from the meeting and he was unaware that Veselnitskaya was possibly Kremlin-connected.
On Fox Business Network, Dershowitz explained that even if Trump Jr. received and used material that was obtained illegally, he's not in legal jeopardy as long as he had nothing to do with the illegal nature of obtaining the information.
"There's a big difference between the act of stealing or the act of hacking and the act of using it," Dershowitz said. "There's really no difference under the First Amendment between a campaigner using information from somebody who obtained it illegally and a newspaper doing it."
He said that's why The New York Times could safely publish the Pentagon Papers, while the man who copied and leaked the documents, Daniel Ellsburg, faced charges under the Espionage Act.
He acknowledged that Trump Jr. should have handled the situation differently, as this looks "awful politically" for the Trump administration.
"But we have to distinguish between political sins and federal crimes," Dershowitz said.
He added that even if Trump Jr. misrepresented or lied about the meeting, it would only be a crime if he lied to an FBI or law enforcement official or lied under oath.
"We just have to not broaden and expand criminal law by focusing [on] and targeting our enemies."
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