“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.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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