President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday dismissed the investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying that collusion is “not a crime.”
“I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime,” Giuliani said on “Fox & Friends.”
“Collusion is not a crime.”
The president’s attorney maintained that his client is “absolutely innocent” and said that the recently released tapes of conversations between Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen prove that the president “didn’t do anything wrong.”
Trump, who has not been formally accused of anything in special counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into Russian election interference, has repeatedly dismissed the probe as a “witch hunt.”
He has also maintained that there was “no collusion.”
In a separate appearance Monday on CNN, Giuliani doubled down on his assertion that collusion is not a “crime.”
“I don’t even know if that’s a crime, colluding about Russians,” Giuliani said. “You start analyzing the crime — the hacking is the crime. The president didn’t hack. He didn’t pay them for hacking.”
Mueller has indicted a number of Russian nationals and organizations on charges of conspiring to hack into U.S. systems and wage social media campaigns intended to boost Trump’s campaign and sow discord.
Mueller is reportedly investigating whether Trump obstructed justice and has looked at the president’s tweets as a focus of that investigation.
Multiple former Trump campaign officials have been indicted in the investigation. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been hit with charges of money laundering, fraud and conspiracy against the United States and others in relation to work he did before joining the Trump campaign. His trial is set to begin this week.
Cohen himself is under criminal investigation in New York for alleged financial crimes and campaign finance violations. Prosecutors are also looking at the $130,000 payment Cohen arranged for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump.
Giuliani on “Fox and Friends” focused his conversation on recently released tapes between Cohen and Trump and between Cohen and CNN host Chris Cuomo, which Cohen secretly recorded.
“That might be a punishable offense, for all those morons out there,” Giuliani said, referring to members of the media who have reported on the tapes.
Cohen reportedly has more than 150 recorded conversations. Giuliani said Sunday that Trump is discussed at any length in about a dozen of them.
Cohen has reportedly claimed that Trump knew in advance about the 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer, despite the president’s repeated claims that he did not know about the get together.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who was present at the meeting, testified before Congress that his father was not aware of the meeting in advance.
BY AVERY ANAPOL – 07/30/18