President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Monday that he’s not sure collusion with Russia would be considered a crime, marking a sharp advancement of the President’s longtime defense that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow.
Asked about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s upcoming trial, Giuliani told CNN “New Day” co-anchor Alisyn Camerota that Manafort “was not involved with intimate business relationships with Donald Trump.”
“Four months, they’re not going to be colluding with Russia, which I don’t even know if that’s a crime, colluding about Russians,” Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, continued. “You start analyzing the crime — the hacking is the crime. … The President didn’t hack.”
At a CNN town hall in April, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired, said collusion “is not actually a thing that exists under the federal laws of the United States.”
Instead, Comey continued, the question is whether any Americans conspired with a foreign government to commit crimes against the US, which is a crime.
No evidence has publicly emerged that the Trump campaign has engaged in these activities, though special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is ongoing.
Since Mueller’s investigation began in spring 2017, the probe has resulted in criminal charges against several Russian nationals, five Americans and one Dutch citizen and three corporate entities. One of those people has already been sentenced and served a month in prison, while three others pleaded guilty and await sentencing.