08 November 2019 04:44
When news surfaced that the eldest son of President Donald Trump wouldn't face charges from Robert Mueller, following him submitting his final report on the Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr in March, a lot of people were caught off guard. Trump Jr.'s impending indictment was assumed by some pundits to be a given, seeing that he expressed excitement at the prospects of meeting with a Russian lawyer (who had deep ties to Moscow), who promised him dirt on Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 campaign. Surprise abounded across the political world when Trump Jr. wasn't indicted by Mueller following the latter's submission of the Russia report. "Whether the special counsel concluded at the end of the day that someone like Don, Jr. didn't have the mental capacity — and I use that term specifically — because he didn't have the intent, because he didn't understand politics, whatever the basis for saying a crime wasn't committed is important to know," Bash said. (CNN) Robert Mueller's team declined to prosecute Donald Trump Jr. and other members of the campaign for campaign finance violations for their participation in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, in part, because they couldn't prove that they "willfully" violated the law.
"Taking into account the high burden to establish a culpable mental state in a campaign-finance prosecution and the difficulty in establishing the required valuation, the Office decided not to pursue criminal campaign-finance charges against Trump Jr. or other campaign officials for the events culminating in the June 9 meeting," Mueller's team explained. "The Office ultimately concluded that, even if the principal legal questions were resolved favorably to the government, a prosecution would encounter difficulties proving that Campaign officials or individuals connected to the Campaign willfully violated the law," the team continues. On June 9, 2016, Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. According to tweets published by Trump Jr. in July 2017, publicist Rob Goldstone sent Trump Jr. an email on behalf of his client Emin Agalarov to suggest the meeting regarding potential dirt on Clinton. That seems to be the case for Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who managed to avoid being charged for violating campaign finance law by not being smart enough to know that they were engaging in unlawful activity.
Don Jr then asked Veselnitskaya how this could be tied back to the Clintons according to the report, a question that the Russian lawyer dismissed by stating she does not track money once it has entered the United States. The aim of Veselnitskaya, who according to the report appeared to be working on behalf of the Russian government and Aras Agalarov, was to try and overturn the Magnitsky Act. In closing out the reasons why no charges would be pursued, Mueller broke down the potential problems with getting a conviction for the three campaign members. 'Additionally, in light of the unresolved legal questions about whether giving "documents and information" of the sort offered here constitutes a campaign contribution, Trump Jr. could mount a factual defense that he did not believe his response to the offer and the June 9 meeting itself violated the law,' wrote Mueller. On page 59 of the report, Mueller describes interactions that Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, had with WikiLeaks, the organization that helped disseminate the hacked DNC emails. WikiLeaks had been passed the log-in credentials for the website putintrump.org, a website set up by a PAC linking the president to Russia.
She then attended a meeting with Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and the president in the White House residence on or about June 22. Read more: White House counsel Don McGahn refused the president's order to publicly deny that Trump ordered him to fire Mueller Hicks said that Kushner attempted to tell the president about the Trump Tower meeting and related emails, but that Trump "stopped Kushner and said he did not want to know about it, shutting the conversation down," the report found. Mueller wrote that Hicks was "shocked" by the messages because they "looked really bad" and, the next day, privately met with the president to discuss them. Later that same day, Hicks, Kushner, and Ivanka Trump all met with the president. "Hicks warned the President that the emails were 'really bad' and the story would be 'massive' when it broke, but the President was insistent that he did not want to talk about it and they should not go to the press," Mueller wrote in the report.