Donald Trump

Donald Jr.'s Trump Tower Meeting Was Not a Crime, and Neither Was Lying About It

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the president's role in writing an ass-covering statement that was misleading but not illegal.

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Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, has taken an interest in a misleading public statement about Donald Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. In particular, The New York Times reports, Mueller wants to know what role President Trump played in writing the statement, which said the meeting was "primarily" about Russian policy on international adoptions. But neither the meeting nor the statement about it violated the law, which illustrates the difficulty that Mueller will have in demonstrating that the collusion and obstruction perceived by many of the president's opponents actually constitute crimes.

The Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya included Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as his son. When the meeting came to light last summer, the White House scrambled to explain it. "It was a short introductory meeting," said a July 8 statement attributed to Donald Jr. but reportedly crafted mainly by his father. "I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up."

The statement was deliberately misleading, since emails showed that Donald Jr. agreed to meet with Veselnitskaya after one of his father's former Russian business partners, who called her a "Russian government attorney," said she had documents that "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." The intermediary described the information as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Donald Jr.'s reply suggested he was eager to see what Veselnitskaya had. "If it's what you say," he wrote, "I love it." Veselnitskaya, it appears, was bluffing and did not have any useful information.

This episode was embarrassing, but that does not mean it was criminal. When former White House strategist Stephen Bannon called the meeting "treasonous," he was speaking loosely. The legal definition of treason requires waging war against the United States or giving "aid and comfort" to its enemies, defined as nations or organizations with which it is at war.

Donald Jr. did not do either of those things by talking to a Russian lawyer in the hope of obtaining information that could be used against his father's opponent in the presidential election. The fact that Veselnitskaya had ties to the Russian government, which preferred Trump to Clinton, does not transform opposition research into treason. If the meeting with Veselnitskaya provided "aid and comfort" to an enemy of the United States, so did any action aimed at electing Trump. In any case, Russia does not legally qualify as an enemy, since it is not at war with the United States.

Even if the meeting was perfectly legal, lying about it could be a crime. But not in this context. As the Times notes, "Lying to federal investigators is a crime; lying to the news media is not." Even if the elder Trump wrote the statement attributed to his son with the intent of deceiving the press and the public about the motivation for the meeting with Veselnitskaya, that would not be illegal.

Since Trump has agreed to answer questions from Mueller, he still has an opportunity to commit an actual crime by lying about the meeting or about the genesis of the statement attributed to his son. Lying to Mueller would violate 18 USC 1001, which criminalizes deliberately false statements "in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States." Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to that offense, as did former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Both cases involved lies to the FBI about direct or indirect contacts with Russians—contacts that were not in themselves illegal.

It is still possible, in other words, that Trump will commit a felony by lying about a nonexistent crime. Whether he could be indicted for that offense without being impeached first is a matter of dispute. So is the question of whether the president can obstruct justice by doing things (such as firing the FBI director) that he has the undisputed authority to do. In practice, a president's obstruction of justice, which figured in the impeachments of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, is whatever Congress says it is. The current Congress, controlled by the president's party, has little interest in exploring the matter.

No doubt things would be different, as New York Times columnist Bret Stephens argues, if Hillary Clinton had been elected president and proceeded to do what Trump has done. But it seems unlikely that Mueller will change Republicans' minds by focusing on Trump's efforts to mislead the public about his campaign's Russian contacts. If lying to the public were a crime, Trump would be eligible for a life sentence.

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  1. My prog roommate brought up impeachment again last night, and I’m convinced the entire left have lost their minds. There’s literally no evidence of anything, but “they are working on it!” and “people didn’t think Nixon would have to resign.” He rattled off some policy things he didn’t like and I told him too damn bad, you can’t impeach the President because you don’t like his tax plan. Holy Hell.

    He is so unhinged every comparison is to Nixon or White Supremacy or Hitler… jesus christ. He talked about Trump is having ICE agent go arrest and deport parents while their kids are at school, the horror! When told that was legal and we have a right to enforce our own laws… well what Hitler did was legal too! (Seriously).

    Religion is a hell of a drug. These are basically cult members. Racism / Privilege is in the ether, people are both with original sin, etc…

    1. They cannot even connect their own dots for any logical reasoning to reach a conclusion where Trump should be impeached.

      Nevermind the fact that that the left doesn’t even control the House or Senate to be able to to impeach a president.

      Just let him know that random impeachments go both ways and the USA is more conservative than lefty. No lefty president would ever make it to 1 year as president.

      1. Thing is the DNC knows all this. But they need their rabid mob in 2018. They will continue to stoke the flames hoping it will win them the House and Senate.

        1. Yes, they do need their rabid mob. But more than that, they need the “no party affiliation” crowd which is, at last check, some 40% of all voters. In the short term, shock and outrage over false claims of Russian “collusion” might be a winner. But over time, people get weary of hearing all about the smoke but never seeing any fire. It may well be that, as the economy recovers, the tax cut benefits begin to register, and the leftist media continues to tout conspiracy theories for which there is no evidence, the undecideds will begin to actively resent the looney left. That could mean an even MORE lopsided victory for Republicans in 2018 – especially when the signature achievement of the Schumer squad is to shut down the government over criminal aliens.

          I sometimes wonder if Trump isn’t just baiting the Demoncraps so their heads will explode and they will lash out in uncontrolled hysteria – – – an image that certainly says to undecided voters, “Elect ME!” (not)

          1. Guess what, Bambi– Your hero is going DOWN. You have not seen the beginning of our “rabid mob” yet.

            1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

              This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

          2. Well, I have been expecting a stock market crash for years. The ZIRP policies have to come home to roost at some point. I figured whoever became president would inherit it and get blamed.

      2. I should say at least one thing, and that is that it’s far more common than I thought for random unbalanced congresscritters to attempt to ‘impeach’ the President all on their own. As in it happens at least once per President, it seems, although there are a few that I don’t think had any at all.

        That said, it does seem that the Democrats are losing their shit and angling for that impeachment sans evidence. All they really need are feels, but we should cheer Democrats on in their efforts. There’s essentially zero chance Trump would be removed from office, so really it could be very entertaining to watch.

        Remember Bill Clinton’s ‘it depends what the meaning of ‘is’ is?’ Classic!


        “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

    2. How has this prog roommate not reported you yet to your local Board of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality for wrongthink? You’ve been roommates for over a year yeah?

    3. well what Hitler did was legal too!

      Jumping to Hitler is usually pretty obnoxious. But I do agree that “it’s the law” is a completely valueless statement as well.

      1. The Rule of Law is not a valueless statement. In a Constitutional Democratic Republic, you can petition government to change laws.

        In Hitler’s Germany after he seized power in 1933 (The Nazis were not a majority party at that time), Germans had no right to petition government to change the laws. Laws were dictated by the Nazis.

        1. you can petition government to change laws.

          And look how well that turns out!

          1. Yeah, I tried that for a while. The shitty laws are all still in place.

            There is such a thing as the tyranny of the majority (or as often can happen in republics a tyranny of a significant minority). And it’s no less tyrannical and oppressive than the tyranny of an authoritarian autocrat when you are on the receiving end.

        2. Just because the law allows you to do a thing doesn’t mean you ought to or that doing it is morally acceptable. Example: taking away the parents of minor children while the kids are at school. If that’s the end of the story, it’s pretty sick.

    4. You don’t think it’s horrific for children to have their parents taken away from them?

      1. The Nanny-State sure is a stinker.

      2. And the resident deranged imbecile chimes in.

        1. One of them anyway.

      3. I agree Tony. We shouldn’t allow any criminal to be sent off to prison if they have kids. Think of their children! Wait, this would apply to US Citizens, can’t give them any handouts, only those here illegally. Nevermind.

        1. Do you people even acknowledge children exist in your political worldview, or is it just grown men jerking off in basements + Mexicans?

          1. Tony|2.1.18 @ 3:34PM|#
            “Do you people even acknowledge children exist in your political worldview,…”

            You pathetic excuse for humanity, do you ever acknowledge an argument in front of you instead of your imagined strawman.
            Fuck off, asshole

        2. The fact that their parents are being taken away for legally legitimate reasons doesn’t make it any less horrific to have your parents hauled off.

          Of course, I don’t think that happens too much. I believe young children are usually deported with their parents, even if they are citizens, unless there is someone else who they can stay with.

          1. if BOTH parents are being deported for illegal entry, they are not citizens, and neither is the child. Happenstance of location of one’s birth is NOT a determinor of citizenship. READ that 14th Article of Ammendment. It clearly states that those born here AND SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF RESIDENCE are citizens. Note that pesky word “subject”. If they were “subject” to the jurisdiction of the US, they’d not BE here because their very presence is illegal,

            1. And why are you a citizen ? There is nothing special about you – except likely that you were born here ?

              When you cross into the US – you are “subject to the jurisdiction of the united states” – legal, illegal, martian – still subject.

              What determines citizenship is set by the constitution and the law. I would tend to agree the constitution does not with absolute clarity create Birth Right Citizenship – though it is pretty close.
              But the law finishes the job.

              If you do not like that – do something very “rule of law” – change the law, and possibly the constitution.

              I would argue that is a bad idea – if you want to understand why – look at europe.

    5. He is so unhinged every comparison is to Nixon or White Supremacy or Hitler.

      We learn more on a daily basis about the criminality of Barry’s admin., giving credence to calling him Caramel Nixon. And proggie ideas of governance are WAY closer to actual fascism (in some case, literally fascist…) than virtually everyone they accuse of being fascist. Leftists/proggies project. It’s what they do.

      1. You must get your information from all the best sources.

        1. You must get your information from all the best sources.

          That’s how I know what fascism is.

          1. Now, now, Merriam-Webster sounds awfully white and awfully privileged.

        2. e.g. Breibart & InfoWars

      2. HornDog Bill, Shrub #2 & Obummy make Nixon look like a Boy Scout!!!

    6. Give him a Tide pod and say it’s for his own good.

      1. Hasn’t P&G been forced to discontinue those by now?

    7. Ask where his outrage was when Obama was literally assassinating citizens with robots.

      1. … as opposed to Nixon literally assassinating Vietnamese via CARPET BOMBING?

    8. Really helpful how it says “log in to reply” and then when you log in it brings you to a totally different page.

      ICE agents are arresting and deporting parents while their kids are at school. That is happening. Parents are also being deported when they go to pick up their kids from school. Little girls being treated in the hospital are being deported. Families are being torn apart. Your defense of “that was legal and we have a right to enforce our own laws” is totally insane and shows a total lack of decency.

      ICE isn’t going after those rapists and drug dealers Trump was yammering about. They’re going after the harmless people who aren’t hurting anybody. Except for conservatives who get their feelings but hurt because a little girl is getting medical treatment.

    9. I’ve got many FB friends like this. One wishes for a magic red pill that will stop the breathless histrionics and calls to sign petitions to impeach Trump, like that’s going to do a damn thing. After they swallow it, a film clears from their eyes, and they say, “Oh, yeah, it wasn’t Bernie or Russia, we lost because we tried to shove the shittiest, most corrupt candidate since Boss Tweed down everyone’s throat, and we demanded that everyone vote for her because she’s got tits.”

      1. At first I read that as “FBI” friends …..

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    11. When Trump implemented his travel ban from 6 countries with jihadist movements and no records on who are terrorists, all my neighbors that hate Trump put up “No Home for Hate Here” signs. It seems they don’t see their hypocrisy.

  2. So far two guys plead guilty to lying to investigators. Their motives for lying are not being revealed yet but even powerful business types don’t know what is legal and not. Saying you didn’t do something tends to be a human reaction.

    Never speak with police and you can avoid this entire charge of lying purposefully or accidentally.

    The other two indictments are for tax fraud and various other charges that seem like stacking to me.

    These are not regular DOJ indictments but came from a Grand Jury that Mueller convenes.

    One year and this is the result even with all Democrats on board and even most Republicans partly cooperating. Seems like a political circus.

    1. Not to mention 90 percent of the media outlets that are salivating for the chance to consider themselves the next Woodward and Bernstein.

      1. Woodward has publicly said there is nothing here against Trump!!!…The real kicker is that elements within the DOJ & FBI tried to make certain HildaBeast would win & once she lost those same elements tried to foment a coup against a duly elected president!…Horse-Face Mueller, Comey The Clown, Loretta Lynch-Mob, Obummy & others should be tried for treason & hung by their petards!!!…In HildaBeast’s case, she should be hung by her double-wide pantsuit!

        1. Are you a wagering man, Teddy?

    2. So… tell me more about that that whole “human reaction” thing and how that makes it all okay?

      “I did not have sex with that intern!” Okay? Not Okay? Impeachable offense?

      1. I think you’re missing his point.

  3. A misleading explanation would disguise the content of what was discussed. Got any proof of that?

    The fact they got duped into taking the meeting is a different question. You conflate the two, but you knew that.

    So misleading.

  4. This, like all others of these types of investigations, has the air of something that’s gotten away from the special prosecutor and his mandate. It feels like the best way to end these things is a sacrificial lamb. Find your Scooter, Trump.

    1. He may have kicked Bannon out too soon. If ever a dude was born to get blamed for all of the shit, it was Steve Bannon.

      1. Come on, Steven Miller is just begging to go inside the Wicker Man.

        1. But “Fly Like An Eagle” is such a good song!

      2. Steve Bannon is like that one kid in the old Wayside School books. They keep taking off his many, many layers of shirts. And the kid starts insulting them more and more, and smelling worse and worse, then when they finally get down to the core, it just turns out it was a dead rat the whole time.

  5. It’s like Jacob doesn’t enjoy cocktails and shrimp platters.

  6. Everything about this is quintessential Clinton. The entire thing. It is quite amusing.

    Do something unethical but probably not technically illegal.
    Deny any single tiny part of it is true, even though nothing was illegal.
    Have a bunch of your minions get caught lying and face charges.
    Become the focus of obstruction of justice and perjury charges for covering up something that wasn’t even a crime to begin with.

    Trump’s just not as good at faking all this shit as the Clintons are.

    1. Maybe Trump’s next wife will run for president in ten years.

      1. More like Ivanka. I could get behind that.

        1. If you know what I mean…

  7. We know that the meeting was not “primarily about adoption”. However, we don’t know what the meeting was actually about, unless you believe Trump Jr. did come clean. However, if the Russians did offer something of tangible value to the Trump campaign, is it likely that Little Trump would be honest about it? We know that he went into the meeting hoping for information that would compromise Hillary. Such information can be regarded as a campaign contribution. In other words, we know that he went into the meeting hoping to facilitate a crime, because US campaigns are forbidden to accept contributions from foreign nationals. The FEC has made 22 referrals of such cases to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. In fact, Trump, Jr. could easily be prosecuted for conspiracy to violate the campaign laws, based on what we already know.

    1. How many of those 22 related to Al Gore taking money from the Chinese?

    2. Alan, it’s no wonder you are considered about as honest as Tony.
      Let’s start here”
      “Little Trump”
      Ha, ha, Little Dick, how funny. What an asshole

      “Such information can be regarded as a campaign contribution. In other words, we know that he went into the meeting hoping to facilitate a crime, because US campaigns are forbidden to accept contributions from foreign nationals. The FEC has made 22 referrals of such cases to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. In fact, Trump, Jr. could easily be prosecuted for conspiracy to violate the campaign laws, based on what we already know.”
      Little Dick sort of forgot A-1, right Little Dick?

    3. “because US campaigns are forbidden to accept contributions from foreign nationals.”….You mean like when Obummy’s campaign people turned off the Credit Card Verification code section & took millions from the Chinese in 2008 & 2012? & then the FEC said, “Ho-Hum”…Or when HildaBeast took millions from China’s military generals when running for NY senator?

  8. “Obstruction of Justice” is the rich-people version of “Resisting Arrest”.

  9. As Alan notes above, the act of soliciting campaign dirt from Russians is illegal (free stolen emails is a form of campaign contribution). The even bigger underlying crime would be if the Trump campaign, which includes the greasy Trump offspring, coordinated with Russia to participate in the election interference activities that are widely known about.

    1. So it’s only legal if you have your lawyers hire Fusion GPS to solicit campaign dirt from the Russians?

      1. Yep. They paid for it.

        Maybe it’s a good idea for people to know what the fuck they’re doing before they decide to run for president.

        1. It’s never stopped anyone before.

      2. You are conflating “Russians” with “the Russian government”. Soliciting information from private citizens of other countries is not illegal, working with a foreign government is.

        1. No Delius, campaign contributions are prohibited from “foreign nationals”. The statutes define this to include foreign governments but also corporations, associations, political parties, or just foreign persons.

    2. “As Alan notes above, the act of soliciting campaign dirt from Russians is illegal (free stolen emails is a form of campaign contribution).”
      Bull
      .
      .
      .
      shit.
      A-1, asshole.

    3. So, if I have some advice or information that might help a political campaign, and I give it to them, how do I determine if what I gave is valued in excess of the legal contribution limit? Should I be punished simply for speaking to another person if someone later determines that the information I contributed is worth more than I can legally donate? Should campaign volunteers be limited in how much time they can volunteer based on the fair market value of their time? Can you see how absurd it is to consider speech or information a campaign contribution?

      1. If you are a foreign national you are not supposed to participate in a US election campaign. The rules for citizens and foreigners are different. If as a citizen you give “information” (e.g., a mailing list), yes, that can be considered a campaign contribution. If you read the results of an expensive poll you conducted over the phone to someone, that would be a contribution. Volunteer activity is not considered a contribution, unless, e.g., your employer is paying you a salary and you are volunteering during working hours.

        1. Not a single thing said here is actually true, though.

    4. It only becomes illegal if there was Don Jr left the meeting having agreed to an illegal deal. It’s not unusual for political campaigns to collaborate with foreign sources.

      If the guy who set up the meeting said “A crown jewel prosecutor for the Russian government has information that Clinton sold weapons to terrorists”, the best course of option for Don Jr would be to alert the FBI or his attorney. But if he attended the meeting and told his lawyer about it, that wouldn’t be illegal.

      There was no arrangement or solicitation to obtain information. He never paid Russians to FIND dirt on Clinton. If he paid the Russian government to uncover Clinton affairs or leak her nude photos, then he’d be in trouble.

      1. If he paid the Russian government to … leak her nude photos, then he’d be in trouble.

        Jesus, dude, how about a head’s up? I just ate!

  10. It is still possible, in other words, that Trump will commit a felony by lying about a nonexistent crime.

    This is probably the end game at this point.

    1. Except that, y’know, Bill Clinton committed definitely perjury and got away with it in office soooo…what else you got?

      1. He had a ‘D’ next to his name and Trump is “literally figuratively Hitler”. So…

  11. No one will get in trouble for any of this; whether true or not. Trump may get defeated but any crimes committed whether possibly by Trump or definitely by Clinton will never be met with even a slap on the wrist.

    Don’t you all realize that this is the football to keep the horde distracted for his whole 8 years in office. No one at the FBI will get in trouble for being obvious biased card carrying big gov lefties.
    They trot out these stories and supposed investigations to get you all riled up every few weeks.

    Notice the three things that are never discussed:

    1 The FED is still operating un-checked, manipulating markets and destroying old peoples’ savings
    2. military waste will continue to escalate with never ending wars.
    3. entitlements are NEVER mentioned.

    To address any of those things and to get the idiot Tony’s of the world to read a book would be political suicide so amassing mountains of debt will continue until the herd start paying attention to something with a little more depth than “which politician is more crooked than the next.”

  12. He willingly, and eagerly, sought a conspiracy with the Russians, and was actually excited about what he was offered.
    They played him like the dunce that he is. It’s genetic.

    1. The apples really don’t fall far from that tree. Is there clear evidence that Ivana birthed these people, or might it not make sense that they’re fucked up clone attempts?

    2. Michael Hihn|2.1.18 @ 3:37PM|#
      “He willingly, and eagerly, sought a conspiracy with the Russians, and was actually excited about what he was offered.
      They played him like the dunce that he is. It’s genetic.”

      And along comes Mike to prove he’s still the same demented asshole we’ve all come to despise!
      Mike, go get your meds; your care-giver is looking for you.

    3. seeking information is not conspiraring and getting information about someone is not illegal

      1. It is if the other party is a representative of a foreign government.

        1. So Clinton and Trump should both be in jail, if you’re being consistent anyway.

        2. which we already have learned this Russian individual WAS NOT.

    4. He never “sought out” anything, dude. The information was offered to him. Don Jr didn’t do anything with it. Clinton would have sent a surrogate to listen to Russian source that claimed to know about Trump banging hookers in Putin’s palace. Her campaign was already working with Ukrainian government.

      Opposition research is…. nothing new.

  13. If Trump did nothing wrong, then why was he lying about it? If he was lying about it, he must have at least thought he was doing something wrong. So whether or not he was actually doing something wrong is immaterial – it only matters if he thought it was wrong. See, that establishes his intent and in the law, intent is all that matters. It’s like when you’re really sloshed at a party and squeeze that cute chick’s ass and it turns out to be your wife – you were still playing grab-ass with a stranger. Or let’s say you put your sensitive government e-mail on an unprotected personal home computer, the fact that you’re too stupid to know you’re not supposed to do that even though you’ve been told repeatedly about the proper handling of sensitive government documents allow you to skate by with a winsome pout and a “surely you can’t expect a silly little girl like me to be as smart as a big strong man like you about these sorts of things” excuse.

    1. I’ll tell you why he’s lying about it — because he is afraid the investigation will uncover something else that actually is illegal, i.e. the money-laundering scheme he has been running for the last several decades. Fully a third of the sales at some of Trump’s real estate sites meet the criteria for “possible money laundering” — shell corporations for both buyer and seller, and quick turn-arounds involving huge losses or gains. In at least one case, a property was bought and sold on the same day, and the sell price was about a third of the purchase price. That’s either some staggeringly bad investing, or it is money laundering.

      Gun to my head, I don’t think Trump or his campaign actively colluded with the Russians. Not for lack of trying; but I bet the Russians, no dummies, realized after that meeting that the Trump campaign would not make for reliable partners. But money laundering? There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Trump has been doing it for years.

      1. This is from the BuzzFeed story. I tried twice but Reason would not let me post the link. It’s easy enough to find, though.

        BuzzFeed News examined non-Trump buildings in Manhattan and South Florida and found that roughly the same percentage of units were sold to shell companies in all-cash transactions as in Trump buildings.

    2. -“” in the law, intent is all that matters”‘

      no, its the criminal act that matters.

      some criminal acts ALSO require substantiating intent in order to prosecute them. not all do, but some do.

      Intent is not by itself significant of anything, because you can’t actually *prove* intent without a subsequent act that is the intended crime. by itself its simply an assumed mindstate, and you can’t substantiate a criminal mindstate without evidence of an underlying crime-committed.

      if your comment was parody of retarded-prog-logic, then apologies. if not … seek help.

      1. *in the specific case of the Clinton email thing… Comey claimed he needed to be able to establish intent (but couldn’t) in his explainer on why he was recommending no prosecution.

        the law itself required no such demonstration of intent.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/…..llary-hook

        “in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence. I would point out, moreover, that there are other statutes that criminalize unlawfully removing and transmitting highly classified information with intent to harm the United States. Being not guilty (and, indeed, not even accused) of Offense B does not absolve a person of guilt on Offense A, which she has committed. It is a common tactic of defense lawyers in criminal trials to set up a straw-man for the jury: a crime the defendant has not committed”

    3. Sorry, Jerry, your’e incorrect about “intent is all that matters”. There are several crimes where the mere act is a crime, no intent needed. Here is just one example:

      18 U.S. Code ? 798 – Disclosure of classified information

      (a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information?
      (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
      (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
      (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
      (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes?
      Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

      The word INTENT is nowhere in there.

  14. Lying about a non-crime. Wasn’t that what Bill Clinton did?

    1. there is a difference between telling federal investigors “something never happened”, when it did…

      …and telling them, “here’s why X happened”… when there may have also been ‘other reasons’ for X happening

      the former is a lie

      the latter is ‘incomplete truth’. if the latter was being incomplete for the purpose of concealing an underlying criminal act, it could amount to the same thing – but unfortunately no such criminal act ever took place.

  15. 18 USC 1001, which criminalizes deliberately false statements “in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States.”

    so, then, unless the statement was false, and KNOWN to be false, and still deliberately delivered even though false there IS no crime under this statute.

    If the coppers are questioning you demanding “where were you last night”, and you nad been in three different cities, each maybe thjirty miles apart, and you named only one of them, and they said OK, so you were in Poughkeepsie last night, right? A correct and accurate response would be “yes”. Now unless they ALSO ask you if you were anywhere else last night and you say NO< I was not, I was ONLY in Poughkeepsie, KNOWING you were also in Albany and Buffalo, then yuo could be found guilty of lying.

  16. To paraphrase Judge Lerhned Hand
    lying to the federal government about something that is NOT a crime is not a crime, but a civic duty.

    18 USC 1001 is very bad law. Something libertarians should oppose.

    If we are going to use a definition of lie that means anything that is not completely spin free that does nto confess all the weaknesses of our own situation publicly – then ALL of us are in deep trouble.

    At the time Trump Jr. made his statement the press, the people, all had in hand – much of it From Trump Jr. all the evidence that was purported to demonstrate this was a lie.

    It is Self Evident that Trump Jr. was lied to, that he expected from this meeting something he did not get,
    It is also true from what we know that the meeting was as he described, just NOT as he wished.

    We are watching as we discover that Pres. Obama and staff appear to have been deliberately sheilding Clinton from prosecution – maybe to protect Obama’s legacy, possibly to protect Obama himself. We now know that Obama lied publicly about his own knowledge of Clinton’s email server, and that the whitehouse and even DOJ/FBI went out of their way to keep that from becoming public. Obama pronounced Hillary innocent at the start of the investigation. All of this conduct is troubling SOME of it very troubling. But much if not all of it is not illegal.
    Further all of it is worse than anything trump has done thus far.

    1. As libertarians we want the maximum individual liberty, we want the minimum of government. We went the lease laws and crimes necescary to secure our liberty. We do not need to be expanding the law to cover all bad behavior, all spin. We need to shrink government so that the consequences of bad conduct on the part of our leaders are as small as possible.

  17. There’s no reason for Mueller to ask about who wrote the statement because the answer would not be in any way relevant to anything Mueller is charged with investigating. It would however provide an excellent opportunity for a partisan to undermine a President he doesn’t like. There is evidence that Mueller stacked his team with people who are anti-Trump. As such he loses the benefit of doubt with regards to his impartiality. Trump should require a list of questions in advance and the inclusion of a question on this topic would constitute a valid reason for Trump to refuse to testify as it would mean that Mueller was acting as a partisan and not as an investigator.

  18. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.homework5.com

  19. …which figured in the impeachments of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton…

    In our history, only two presidents have been impeached, both of whom were not named “Nixon”.

  20. “If lying to the public were a crime, Trump would be eligible for a life sentence.”

    The more accurate observation is that nearly all politicians would be eligible for life sentences.

  21. The other day, I was critical of articles by two writers I usually enjoy. Today, I applaud Jacob Sullum, whose piece about the Trump-Kushner “Russian meeting,” was eloquent. His reasoning has implications for other controversies; I’m referring to the sexual harrassment and abuse charges and their handling. I’m not an apologist for John Conyers, Roy Moore and especially not Tavis Smiley. But these men have been subjected to “conviction by allegation,” reminiscent of the Salem witch trials. So-called feminists say the accusers are always credible, the men almost always guilty. This view spawned these episodes and kangaroo courts on campus ruining men who never received due process, or faced their accusers or often were not told what their offense was. This is worthy of the KGB and the Gestapo, frightening in the US. The hysteria reminds one of “Reefer Madness” rather than rule of law. The Trump case and the “me, too” movement offer troubling warnings for our future. Ten libertarians will sometimes have ten different opinions. All of us, I think, will agree about these perversions of justice which should never happen here.

  22. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ http://www.homework5.com

  23. Hillary Fucking Clinton will NEVER EVER EVER be president…

    Ah – that makes me so fucking happy.

    Hillary Fucking Clinton will NEVER EVER EVER be president…

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaahahaaaa – fucking forever and ever…

    hahahahahhahahaaa…………………!!!!!!!

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