Just to jump on the bandwagon – Donald Trump Jr, in the wake of the furor over him possibly meeting with a Russian agent to discuss getting dirt on Hillary Clinton, decided to blast the e-mail trail out via Twitter. I think his intent was to demonstrate that there was nothing there. The effect may have been quite the opposite.
As many are already pointing out, his attempt to gather this information from a foreign entity may be a violation of 11 CFR 110.20 – Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510).
This statute prohibits a foreign national from making “a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.” Some legal experts argue that opposition information constitutes a “thing of value” under this statute.
Junior says that this doesn’t count, because he didn’t receive anything. But, the statute goes on to state that, “No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.” This makes the point of whether anything was received moot. And, based on the e-mails he shared, Junior appears to have met the definition of solicitation.
It seems there could be a case against Trump Jr., and others in the campaign and on the staff currently. The questions is, will anyone litigate this?