Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Monday that he’s not sure collusion with Russia would be considered a crime.
But legal experts have repeatedly said that anyone found collaborating with Russia on the 2016 election could be charged with other crimes, such as conspiracy – and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is ongoing.
Asked about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s upcoming trial, Giuliani told CNN “New Day” co-anchor Alisyn Camerota that Manafort “was not involved with intimate business relationships with Donald Trump.”
“Four months, they’re not going to be colluding with Russia, which I don’t even know if that’s a crime, colluding about Russians,” Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, continued. “You start analyzing the crime – the hacking is the crime. … The President didn’t hack.”…
The President has repeatedly denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and Moscow. But he has made a similar argument to that of Giuliani’s, telling The New York Times in December that “There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime.”
At a CNN town hall in April, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired, said collusion “is not actually a thing that exists under the federal laws of the United States.”
Instead, Comey continued, the question is whether any Americans conspired with a foreign government to commit crimes against the US, which is a crime.
And speaking to CNN in May, Carrie Cordero, a CNN legal analyst and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said collusion isn’t a crime “in the literal sense” but that there could be related criminal violations in colluding, such as receiving foreign money in a political campaign or assisting with or being an accessory to computer hacking.