“Collusion Is Not a Crime” Becomes Trump’s Official New Line of Defense

The president has adopted his lawyer’s questionable assertion.

Mark Wilson/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump echoed his lawyer’s questionable assertion that “collusion is not a crime” on Tuesday morning, officially ushering in a new line of defense against the special counsel investigation into his campaign and its links to Russian nationals and officials.

For good measure, Trump continued to maintain that he did not collude with the Russians.

The tweet comes one day after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani made three separate television appearances to claim that even if Trump did collude with the Russians, doing so would not have broken any laws. While the claim isn’t exactly new—Trump’s defenders, many of whom work at Fox News, pushed the defense earlier this summer—Giuliani’s Monday remarks appeared to signal a new approach for Trump and his legal team as they attempt to undermine a probe that continues to uncover contacts between Trump campaign officials and the Kremlin. The strategy also arrives during the same week Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is set to begin trial.

Legal experts, however, argue the “collusion is not a crime” defense is tenuous at best, as it’s likely investigators are looking to see if the campaign is guilty of federal crimes of conspiracy, violations of campaign finance law, or other relevant statutes.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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