Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Trump says collusion is not a crime as first Russia probe trial begins

By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump stepped up his onslaught on federal Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia and the 2016 U.S. election on Tuesday, saying that his campaign did not collude with Moscow but that collusion is not a crime anyway.

Trump launched his new attack hours before his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was due to go on trial on tax and bank fraud charges in Virginia. As the first trial in the 14-month Russia probe, the case throws a fresh spotlight on an investigation that has dogged Trump's presidency.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump campaign officials worked with Moscow to try to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election, something commonly referred to as collusion by the media and public officials.

"Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

While collusion is not a technical legal charge, Mueller is probing any coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, and could bring conspiracy charges if he finds that any campaign member worked with Russia to break U.S. law.

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Rudy & POTUS are laying the ground to fight back against a Meuller charge of collusion against either Donald Jr. and/or Kushner. - Minuteman

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