Trump lawyer: Collusion is not a crime
One of President Trump’s top lawyers told The New Yorker that it doesn’t matter if members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia as long as no crimes were committed.
“For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated,” Jay Sekulow said in an article published in the December issue of the magazine. “There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion.”
Trump’s attorney told the magazine on multiple occasions that collusion with Russia or another foreign power during a campaign is not illegal, and that no statute would be violated by the campaign working with the Russian government even if such an act is proven by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Mueller’s investigation has the authority to investigate any matters that come up in the course of investigating possible collusion between the campaign and Russia.
That includes possible obstruction of justice, which would be a crime.
Trump could be investigated for obstructing justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this year. He told reporters at the time that the Russia investigation was firmly in his mind when he did so.
Sekulow in the past has claimed that Mueller is not investigating the president himself, despite the scope of Mueller’s authority.
“Let me be clear here,” he said in June. “The president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction.”
Sekulow also denied in August that the president was considering firing Mueller, a move that Trump’s critics have speculated about for months.
“The president is not thinking about firing Robert Mueller,” Sekulow told Fox News. “So the speculation that’s out there is just incorrect.”