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Experts: No Evidence Donald Jr Broke Law in WikiLeaks Contact

Image: Experts: No Evidence Donald Jr Broke Law in WikiLeaks Contact
Donald Trump Jr. (Richard Drew/AP)

By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 09:20 PM

It is one thing to make ethically questionable contact with a third-party during a campaign, but another thing to break the law — and it does not appear Donald Trump Jr. did that in reported communications with WikiLeaks, legal experts say.

In remarks to Law & Crime, Paul Ryan of the watchdog group Common Cause said he looked for evidence in The Atlantic report on the contact that Trump Jr. asked for something of value from a foreign national, received something of value from a foreign national, or advised WikiLeaks on how they could spend resources.

"I didn't see strong evidence of any of that going on," he told Law & Crime.

Ryan also downplayed the reported WikiLeaks direct-message to Trump Jr. of the website password for a yet-to-premiere anti-Trump PAC, arguing this password "doesn't scream to me that it is of obvious or significant value."

He also said there are no reports the campaign did anything with it, calling the detail "small potatoes" in terms of campaign finance law.

More of concern, Ryan told Law & Crime, would be Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, saying it struck him as "illicit" because the eldest son of President Donald Trump, as a campaign surrogate, sought out a thing of value from a foreign national.

Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told the outlet one detail of The Atlantic story did stand out: WikiLeaks urged the campaign on election day to reject the results as rigged.

"During the election many of us were very concerned that Trump would not concede if he lost, something which would be very dangerous for American democracy," Hasen told Law & Crime.

"Learning that a foreign agent with ties to Russia was urging Trump to take that course is quite disconcerting."

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Legal experts say it does not appear Donald Trump Jr. broke the law in reported communications with WikiLeaks.
legal experts, wikileaks, donald trump jr, campaign communication
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2017-20-13
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 09:20 PM
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