NBC

Trump Campaign Meeting Raises Question: Is Collusion Even a Crime?

Even if the lawyer was somehow representing Russia, and even if she passed on national security information, it would be difficult to see a prosecutable case, legal practitioners say

As details of the meeting with a Russian lawyer and top members of the Trump campaign emerge, a talking point among some right-wing pundits has been that collusion, in and of itself, would not be a crime.

Some experts disagree, arguing that assistance by the Russian government to the Trump campaign could amount to an illegal campaign contribution by a foreign principal, NBC News reported.

But even if the lawyer was somehow representing Russia, and even if she passed on national security information, it would be difficult to see a prosecutable case, legal practitioners say.

"I just don't see an easy crime to prove here," said Amy Jeffress, a former top Justice Department national security lawyer in the Obama administration. "Collusion is wrong, but I'm not sure it's a crime."

Other legal experts — who tend to be professors, not practitioners — have argued that collusion itself could run afoul of some anti-corruption statutes.

Still, some say it may be more likely that crimes could have been committed in covering up alleged collusion.

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