On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin cautioned that Donald Trump Jr.’s emails are a small piece of information and aren’t proof of any crimes by themselves.
Toobin said that, from a legal perspective, the emails are “very serious, but it’s also important to say, there is a long way to go, and these emails in and of themselves are not proof of any crimes.”
Toobin continued that there are two issues, “One is, it is a crime for campaign officials to solicit anything of value from a foreign government. So the question is, was anything solicited here of value? Were emails solicited, was hacking solicited? That is a question investigators will want to explore. The other issue is that Jared Kushner, who is now a very high White House official, he’s copied on these emails. The question is, did he disclose these — this meeting to — when he filled out his form applying for a security clearance? If he intentionally left it off, that’s a crime. It’s not a crime if he simply forgot or made a mistake. This meeting, though, certainly seems pretty dramatic, even in the context of a dramatic campaign, the idea that he simply forgot about it, which strikes me as probably a little hard to believe.”
He added that getting opposition research from a foreign national would be a crime “if a court agreed that it was something of value. I’m not aware of any criminal cases yet where something — anything of value is defined as research. But, it’s not out of the question, and again, it’s always important in this — in these circumstances to remember we have a very important but small slice of information. What do the other emails show? What do the witnesses say? Was there any surveillance? I mean, all of this in — is — you would have to have inspector — Director Mueller accumulate, and then he would make a decision. You don’t make a decision based on these very provocative emails.”
Toobin concluded that going to the FBI would have been “a much more prudent” thing for the Trump campaign to do and that sending top members of the campaign to the meeting was “the craziest thing to do.”
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