One of the main reasons Democrats and their pals in the leftmdedia are dog-piling on Donald, Jr. and the Russian collusion story is that there’s at least a decent legal argument to be made that he violated federal law.
And if that argument could be made in court, they see his prosecution as the beginning of a second Watergate which might bring down the Trump administration.
All obvious duplicity regarding their silence on Hillary’s similar culpability aside, it’s easy to see what they’re after here.
But three simple words could save Donald, Jr., much in the same way they saved Hillary, albeit with no small amount of assistance from James Comey and Loretta Lynch.
In order to prove he broke federal law, a prosecutor must demonstrate that he ‘knowingly and willfully’ did so.
But proving in the courtroom what someone knew and intended is nearly impossible.
So this is, for the Dems, an uphill battle…one they’re going to fight nonetheless because it’s the only knife in the drawer.
Here’s more from Redstate…
In the legal world, words can mean just as much actions, and sometimes more. Law is determined by words, phrasing, and interpretation (moreso the latter if you disagree with the law you’re fighting at the time).
In the case of Donald Trump, Jr., the law is simple: you cannot solicit any aid from a foreign nation for election purposes. The statute in question is
(a)Prohibition It shall be unlawful for—
(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or(C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.
There is a plethora of legal opinion out there that suggests Don Jr. can indeed go down for breaking election law, and it’s not difficult to see why.
However, LawNewz dug up a counterpoint that could get Don Jr. off the hook, and it just comes down to three little words that can have a big impact on law:
Most of FECA’s prohibitions, including those related to the solicitation of contributions/donations from foreign nationals, create criminal consequences only when a person “knowingly and willfully” commits a violation of the statute…
This heightened mens rea standard means that a person must know that he is breaking the law to trigger a criminal prosecution, and must know about the relevant statute duty: The “words [‘knowingly and willingly’] of specific criminal intent require proof that the offender was aware of what the law required, and that he or she violated that law notwithstanding that knowledge…