WASHINGTON — A Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said that Donald Trump Jr. may face prison time if he is criminally charged and convicted for his communication with a Russian lawyer who offered opposition research on the Clinton campaign last year.
“These emails are textbook evidence of criminal intent. It is a bombshell for this investigation because the most difficult element of any crime is criminal intent to prove, and it will lead to numerous other avenues of investigation and probably indicates many other meetings,” Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal told The Daily Caller Wednesday.
“If he is charged and convicted, there certainly is potential for criminal prison time,” added Blumenthal, the former attorney general of his home state.
Blumenthal made this remark one day after Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine claimed that the Russia investigation may be moving toward treason.
“We are now beyond obstruction of justice,” Kaine told CNN Tuesday. “This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.”
Trump Jr. Tuesday tweeted a series of emails between himself and an acquaintance who helped arrange a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr. said the meeting amounted to nothing and that Veselnitskaya, who was not a government official, wanting to talk about the Magnitsky Act.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley stated that Trump Jr.’s emails were a “powerful concrete example of coordination with the with the Russians,” but when asked about possible prison time, Merkley responded he would leave that issue to the “legal side.”
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin told TheDC that it would be “wrong to say that at this point in the investigation” whether Trump Jr. deserves prison time, adding that further investigation is necessary and that there are “a lot more questions” now.
“Well, they confirmed that there was some kind of reception and dialogue between representatives of Russia, either official or unofficial, in the Trump campaign,” Durbin told TheDC.
He went on to say, “Certainly, they put their heads together to try to help the Trump campaign. I mean, that was the purpose of the meeting stated in the emails. So, there’s nothing you would dispute about that, but taking that to the level of criminality, that really takes a lot more. It takes more information and, you know, the prosecutorial decision by Mueller and others.”