Several legal experts believe that Donald Trump Jr. committed a Crime when he met Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 9 at the Trump Tower. They said that his asking for information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian national lawyer with close Kremlin ties may be considered a federal crime.

Vox cited Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel to the Defense Department, who pointed to 52 USC 30121, 36 USC 510 which is a federal statute that governs foreign contribution to U.S. campaigns. “The law states that no person shall knowingly solicit or accept from a foreign national any contribution to a campaign of an item of value,” Goodman said.

Other thing of value

He said the crucial phrase of the statute is “other thing of value” which goes beyond cash donations. It effectively banned foreigners from providing contributions that, in effect, are equivalent to a campaign donation such as services. The alleged damaging information from the Russian lawyer can be considered services.

Nick Ackerman, an assistant special prosecutor during the Watergate probe, explained that using the resources of a foreign nation to run a campaign is considered an illegal campaign contribution.

The statute also prohibits the solicitation, acceptance, and receipt from a foreign national of any contribution or donation. Even if Trump Jr. failed to get anything from Veselnitskaya because she did not fulfill her promise to provide the Trump campaign with an intelligence report against Clinton, what he did was solicitation which is illegal.

Matthew Miller, an MSNBC justice and security analyst, agreed with what the other legal experts said, The Week reported. He said Donald Jr.’s statement could be considered a potential confession of a crime. He believes special counsel Robert Mueller will look at Donald Jr.’s statement and the other repeated lies and changing of his statement.

Culture of dishonesty

The changing statements of Donald Jr., The New York Times wrote in an editorial, is evidence of how the president and the people around the real estate billionaire contort the truth. The op-ed noted that in six months, President Trump had compiled a record of dishonesty “without precedent in the modern presidency.” It also cited the president’s team which shares in his dishonesty.

For instance, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Fox News the meeting with Veselnitskaya was “a big nothinburger” for the Trump campaign. Despite maintaining the president’s son did nothing wrong, Donald Jr. hired a lawyer, Alan Futerfas, who has a reputation as a top mob defense lawyer, according to Reuters.