CNN legal analyst: 'Absurd' to say Trump Jr.'s Russian lawyer meeting 'treason'
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A CNN legal analyst said Tuesday that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE Jr.'s emails setting up a meeting with a Russian lawyer last year would likely be examined as part of the federal probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, but warned against making any conclusions about a possible crime.

"I think this is really going to be one of the most important documents that ... [special counsel Robert] Mueller looks at, who is doing this investigation," said Paul Callan, a former New York homicide prosecutor and media law professor.

"Because it’s the first time we see a clear link to the Russian government in that; the email suggests that this lawyer who’s going to have the meeting has been designated by the Russian government, and that there are official Russian documents," he continued.

Callan, however, warned about simply concluding that "this is criminal as opposed to political stupidity."


"There’s nothing in American law that I’m aware of that would prohibit a candidate from accepting damaging information, even from an enemy foreign government, to use against a political opponent," Callan said.

"And I think it’s absurd to say this could be treason."

Trump Jr. released a chain of emails on Tuesday that detailed his conversations about setting up a campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she had damaging information on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race What's behind Trump's slump? Americans are exhausted, for one thing Trump campaign reserves air time in New Mexico MORE, who had just clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. 

The information “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read one email to Trump Jr. from Rob Goldstone, a music promoter and a former British tabloid journalist who served as an intermediary to set up the meeting.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote.

“If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer," Trump Jr. replied.

Trump Jr. said the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, did not have what he hoped would be opposition research and instead intended to discuss changes on policy affecting American adoption of Russian children.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police Senators aim to limit Trump's ability to remove troops from Germany Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats MORE (D-Va.), Clinton's running mate during the 2016 election, said Tuesday the investigation into Russian meddling is now moving "beyond" obstruction of justice to "even potentially treason."