Judge Nap: Manafort Giving Polling Data to Russian Associate Fits Into 'Collusion' Category
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano joined Shepard Smith to react to a bombshell New York Times report that Paul Manafort shared internal Trump campaign data with a Russian associate.
The story revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller claimed Manafort had "lied about sharing polling data ... related to the 2016 presidential campaign" with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian businessman who the U.S. claims to have links to Russian intelligence and was charged last year with tampering with potential witnesses.
Manafort, former chair of the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia, though none of the charges are directly concerned with the alleged collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.
"This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court, without the testimony of Paul Manafort, that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians," Napolitano said. "The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it?”
He said that agreement would be a "conspiracy," whether or not the Trump campaign actually got anything of value from the Russians.
"If this is collusion -- though collusion isn't a crime -- this would be collusion,” Smith said.
Napolitano said collusion is a nonlegal term and the crime would be conspiracy, but he acknowledged this "would probably fit into that kind of a category."
In remarks Thursday morning before he departed to the Texas border, President Trump repeated there was "no collusion" and he did not know "anything" about Manafort sharing the data.
Watch the clip above, and see the judge weigh in on House Democrats' looming investigations of the Trump administration below.