“Collusion Is Not a Crime” Becomes Trump’s Official New Line of Defense

The president has adopted his lawyer’s questionable assertion.

Mark Wilson/ZUMA

President Donald Trump echoed his lawyer’s questionable assertion that “collusion is not a crime” on Tuesday morning, officially ushering in a new line of defense against the special counsel investigation into his campaign and its links to Russian nationals and officials.

For good measure, Trump continued to maintain that he did not collude with the Russians.

The tweet comes one day after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani made three separate television appearances to claim that even if Trump did collude with the Russians, doing so would not have broken any laws. While the claim isn’t exactly new—Trump’s defenders, many of whom work at Fox News, pushed the defense earlier this summer—Giuliani’s Monday remarks appeared to signal a new approach for Trump and his legal team as they attempt to undermine a probe that continues to uncover contacts between Trump campaign officials and the Kremlin. The strategy also arrives during the same week Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is set to begin trial.

Legal experts, however, argue the “collusion is not a crime” defense is tenuous at best, as it’s likely investigators are looking to see if the campaign is guilty of federal crimes of conspiracy, violations of campaign finance law, or other relevant statutes.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.