Did Donald Trump Jr. betrayal

Russia affairDid Donald Trump Jr. commit treason?

Has the eldest son of US President Donald Trump made himself a criminal offense when he met a Russian lawyer? Must be the 39 year old Donald Trump Junior expect treason charges? Answers to the most important legal questions surrounding the latest revelations in the Russia affair:

What law could Trump Junior have broken?

Experts rate the emails that Trump Junior published under increasing public pressure on the online service Twitter as quite burdensome: The exchange of emails proves that the publicist Robert Goldstone A meeting of the Trump son with the Russian lawyer during the election campaign Natalia Veselnitskaya arranged. Goldstone put incriminating material about the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in prospect. Trump Junior responded to the offer by saying, "If that's what you say, I love it."

According to the law professor Brandon Garrett from the University of Virginia, Trump Junior could have violated US electoral law, which prohibits direct or indirect foreign support in the election campaign. According to Garrett, the prohibition on donations or "anything of value" could extend to information.

According to this interpretation, Trump Junior could have made himself a criminal offense - at least because of the criminal offense of conspiracy. "You don't have to have committed a crime, just try it," explains Garrett. The mere fact that the Trump son attended a meeting to get information about Clinton could therefore be enough to imply intent.

The electoral law expert Daniel Tokaji of Ohio State University, on the other hand, considers it "worrying" to interpret the acquisition of information as prohibited campaign aid. In his opinion, the Trump son's exchange of emails is also covered by his right to freedom of expression.

The law professor too Susan Klein of the University of Texas does not believe that Trump Junior can be prosecuted for the meeting - "unless they may have paid for it or received some other consideration". So far there is no evidence of this.

Who could initiate proceedings?

Voting rights violations are punished by the US electoral authority FEC, which includes three representatives each from Republicans and Democrats. Suffrage expert Tokaji believes this stalemate makes it "very unlikely that they will file a lawsuit".

In theory, the prosecution in Manhattan, where the meeting took place, could also initiate proceedings. However, Tokaji thinks it is more likely that the former FBI chief Robert Mueller, who as a special investigator investigates possible illegal agreements between Trump's campaign team and Moscow, decides on it.

Has Trump Junior committed treason?

Democratic MPs have already spoken of treason following the latest revelations. The experts reject this accusation against the Trump son: mere contact with another country or even with a hostile country "does not turn it into espionage or treason," says the law professor Joshua Dressler from Ohio State University. In this case, the accused had to be proven that "they wanted to harm their own country". In his assessment, however, the allegations against the Trump son are "less serious"

Trump Senior: "A Witch Hunt"

US President Donald Trump has taken his son under protection. Donald Trump Jr. is innocent, wrote Trump on Twitter on Wednesday. He behaved openly and transparently and "did a good job". The President reiterated earlier allegations, most of which were directed against media coverage: "This is the biggest witch hunt in political history. Sad!"

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