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Expert: Trump Didn't Commit Treason With Russia Remark

Image: Expert: Trump Didn't Commit Treason With Russia Remark

By    |   Thursday, 28 Jul 2016 04:21 PM

Republican nominee Donald Trump made comments on Wednesday about Russia and Hillary Clinton's emails that some called treason, although experts told NBC News that Trump committed no crime.

"They probably have her 33,000 e-mails that she lost and deleted," the GOP candidate said. "If Russia or China or any other country has those e-mails, I mean, to be honest with you, I'd love to see them…. Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing."

Trump later said he was just joking. And his campaign has repeatedly dismissed claims that Russia is behind the hack that led to Democratic National Committee emails and documents leaking online late last week.

Democrats have heavily criticized his remarks on Wednesday and have come close to accusing the billionaire New Yorker of treason. But according to Carlton Larson, University of California at Davis law school professor and expert on treason, "what Donald Trump said does not amount to treason."

The law stipulates that a person who gives "aid or comfort" to a country that is currently at war with the U.S., or who wages war against the nation personally, is guilty of treason. Trump's words, though encouraging, didn't provide anything material that would aid or comfort an enemy of America, and Russia is not a country that is currently at war with the U.S.

"Putting the interest of another country ahead of the United States, though a bad thing to do, is just not adhering to an enemy," Larson told NBC News. But Democrats still called Trump to account.

"He is inviting an aggressive country that we are really worried about to invade us," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said on MSNBC, according to The Hill. "This is — this is ridiculous, and, frankly, it borders on treasonous."

"It's terrifying he's doing as well as he is," she continued. "I don't think this is a man who has any interest in understanding the complexity of foreign policy."

"I just think that's beyond the pale," Leon Panetta, a former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense told CNN. "I think that kind of statement reflects that he is truly not qualified to be president of the United States."

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Republican nominee Donald Trump made comments on Wednesday about Russia and Hillary Clinton's emails that some called treason, although experts told NBC News that Trump committed no crime.
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2016-21-28
Thursday, 28 Jul 2016 04:21 PM
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