Donald Trump on Tuesday embraced a line of defense that was retorted by his adjunct attorney, Rudy Giuliani. That line? “Collusion is not a crime.” Trump continues to deny any ties between his administration and Russian intervention in the 2016 election cycle. Instead, Trump tried to pin the allegations of collusion to the Democratic Party.
Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
For months now, Trump has insisted that there is no collusion. But his early-morning tweet hints at his anxiety amid the ongoing special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller. Trump told the New York Times in December that “collusion is not a crime.”
No matter how many times Trump says that collusion is not a crime, it certainly is. It disrespects the presidency, our democracy, and our election. It is entirely unheard of to have a foreign power directly influence the election cycle, and we are supposed to sit back and take it.
Former FBI Chief of Staff Chuck Rosenberg reiterated on MSNBC that collusion is “absolutely a crime.” While the word “collusion” may not be found in any specific criminal statutes, the act of involving cooperation with a hostile foreign actor to harm the nation, individuals, or groups, can be described as a form of collusion. Rosenberg had this to add:
Collusion is a crime. We just happen to call it something else, we call it conspiracy, but it is absolutely a crime. You probably won’t find the crime bank heist in the criminal code but bank robbery is a crime too and so I am sort of perplexed that it has come down to synonyms.”
Rosenberg is pointing at the fact that even though “collusion” isn’t the poison word that official criminal statutes use to define potential crimes, the acts that create the actual colluding would very well be a crime — and it is further defined as a conspiracy.
Trump may have violated several criminal statutes that involve conspiracy, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, the conspiracy to commit fraud, and related activity in connection with computers that could fall under the category of actual collusion.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons