The crime? You really think you could meet with a foreign government with the intent of receiving helpful dirt on your opponent? You really think that would be ok under the law? Here is the legal analysis.https://www.vox.com/world/2017/7/10/159 ... es-illegal
There are two routes for the Russian connection:
The first route goes through contacts Trump made through doing Miss Universe in Moscow in 2013. Ron Goldstone was the guy who suggested the meeting to Donald, Jr. It was Emin Agaralov, the Russian pop star with the 2 billion dollar developer father who sponsored the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow who suggested the meeting to Goldstone. Goldstone manages Emin Agaralov. Which means it was the developer father who is close to Putin who suggested it. Which in essence means the suggestion for the meeting came from Putin.
The second route goes through the lawyer. Natalia Veselnitskaya has been a vocal opponent of the Magnitsky Act and has represented Russian state owned companies. She has attacked that law that Russia hates so much they stopped American adoptions for Russian children. There was no indication that Ms Veselnotskaya had a prior connection to Goldstone.
And both Trump, Jr. and Goldman lied about the meeting being about adoptions. And Trump, Jr. admits that he and Kushner and Manafort--basically all of the important people in the Trump campaign--met with this Russian-connected lawyer to get dirt on Hillary. He "claims" he got nothing but we don't know that. That Trump would agree for Donald, Jr. to meet someone who is so closely connected to the Russian government to get dirt on Hillary is pretty darn concerning.
At best now Trump could say that the campaign only attempted to collude with the Russians. So that's fire. I don't care how you want to spin it. The fact that Donald, Jr got an email telling him that the Russian government wanted to help the campaign and still went to the meeting speaks volumes. The idea that Trump did not know about the meeting is laughable.
Here is a timeline:
2013 Trump and Agaralov put on Miss Universe beauty contest. Emin Agaralov, Agaralov's son,performs. Agaralov is close to Putin.
Late May, 2016--Trump clinches nomination.
June 9, 2016--Donald, Jr meets with Russian lawyer at request of Ronald Goldstone who represents Emin Agaraov, the person who asked him to set up meeting.
July 22, 2016--Wikileaks dumps DNC emails.
October 7, 2016--Access Hollywood tape comes out.
October 7, 2016 (1 hour later!)--Wikileaks releases Podesta emails.
Hmm...you just won the nomination. We're going to help you. Maybe you can do something about those sanctions....
More data points:
March 29 Paul Manafort hired as convention manager.
May 16, 2016--Manafort promoted to campaign chairman and chief strategist.
June 20 2016--Manafort promoted to campaign manager. Wins power struggle with Lewandowski who had been campaign manager since the beginning. This happened 11 days after Donald, Jr met with Russian lawyer.
August--Manafort gets plank calling for arming Ukraine taken out of Republican Convention platform.
So somewhere around the time Russia is hacking into the DNC and Podesta emails...Manafort gets hired by Trump. Shortly after this meeting with the Russian lawyer he muscles his way into control of the campaign...over a guy--Lewandowski--who got Trump there. Where the heck did he get that kind of pull from? He then gets plank regarding Ukraine that Russia wanted out of the Republican Party platform--out.
I would be very, very interested to know how Manafort got hired. If you were cynical you might suspect that he got put there due to Russian influence. He just shows up and three months later he is campaign manager?
The fake news press (according to Trump)...is about to get Trump.