CNN legal analyst Ross Garber said on Monday that Donald Trump Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting with Russians was probably not illegal.
Some analysts have argued the Trump Tower meeting is a violation of election law, which prevents campaigns from accepting any “thing of value” from a foreign national.
“I think there’s actually a fairly good argument that it’s not illegal, that information would not be considered by the courts to be a ‘thing of value,’ largely because of the First Amendment,” Garber explained.
Garber also compared the meeting to the Clinton campaign paying for the infamous Steele dossier, which was at least in part compiled with the help of Russian nationals.
“Then the other thing the president points out, fairly, is if information is a thing of value, well then what about the information that came from Russian nationals and to the Clinton campaign and the DNC through Steele?That’s a fair point,” Garber asserted.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tried to pivot away from Garber’s point about Clinton, but the legal analyst brought it up again later in the panel discussion.
“In the Clinton situation there is information coming from Russian nationals to the Clinton campaign through somebody else,” Garber reiterated.
CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger tried to corner Garber, pressing him to admit the meeting was a bad idea.
Garber had no qualms admitting he would not advise a client to take the meeting, calling it a “terrible idea,” but stated again that he does not think it was illegal.