The New York Times reports: The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
If the future president’s elder son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.
He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Four days later, after a flurry of emails, the intermediary wrote back, proposing a meeting in New York on Thursday with a “Russian government attorney.” [Continue reading…]
Professor Richard L. Hasen, a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation who teaches at the University of California Irvine School of Law, writes:
Hard to see how there is not a serious case here of solicitation. Trump Jr. appears to have knowledge of the foreign source and is asking to see it. As I explained earlier, such information can be considered a “thing of value” for purposes of the campaign finance law.
It is also possible other laws were broken, such as the laws against coordinating with a foreign entity on an expenditure. There could also be related obstruction, racketeering, or conspiracy charges, but these are really outside my area of specialization and I cannot say.
But there’s a lot for prosecutors to sink their teeth into. Pretty close to the smoking gun people were looking for.