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Live: U.S. Politics

  • Jens David Ohlin, a professor of criminal law at Cornell Law School, said it is not clearly a crime for Trump to direct his transition team to communicate with the Russian government. “There is a sense that when you are president-elect you are creating a government in waiting,” he said. “Some contacts during the transition period would not be so damaging.”

    A crucial political question is whether the Trump administration sought to reward the Russian government for assistance during the election, Ohlin said. “That would of course not only be treasonous but would rise to the level of impeachment,” Ohlin said. “This is a more of an impeachment issue than an issue of the federal criminal code.”

    But Trump could face criminal liability he directed Flynn to lie to the FBI, Ohlin said. “If you conspire with someone to lie to the FBI you ae liable as a co-conspirator,” he said. “That would be a major source of liability.”
    Reporting by Jan Wolfe
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