The Russia connections may yet bring Trump down. But right now critics are crying wolf.


Some of the responses to the news that Donald Trump Jr. met with a slew of Russians seem a tad unhinged. We should reject the outlandish claim that the meeting “borders on treason,” as former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter put it. Moreover, it is far from evident that the meeting even violates campaign finance laws, as a number of legal scholars have asserted.

But we should also dismiss those who argue that the meeting is “such a nothing” (in the words of Trump Jr.). We can do so because that runs counter to months of insistent denial that there was any connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. It now seems clear that several members of that campaign were willing to make a connection.

Moreover, depending on how deep the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia turn out to be, it’s conceivable we will begin to hear serious — as opposed to silly — talk of impeachment. But we are not there yet.

We can dismiss the charge of treason quickly. The Constitution supplies a careful definition of that odious crime, one designed to make it more difficult to charge someone with the offense: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

Trump Jr. has not taken up arms against the United States, and, despite the uproar over Putin’s electoral interference, we are not at war with Russia. Hence Trump Jr., even if he is somehow assisting Russia, cannot be giving aid and comfort to an enemy. Asserting that Trump’s actions border on treason is akin to insisting that the United States borders on Myanmar.

There’s less to the argument about an “illegal campaign contribution” than meets the eye

Because the first …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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