Ever since being inaugurated as president of the United States, there has been much criticism surrounding Donald Trump. Part of these criticisms are due to allegations of potential communication with Russia about influencing the results of the 2016 election. These allegations were further amplified after the director of the FBI was fired, supposedly for wishing to initiate an investigation into whether this was true. The most recent event sparking suspicion comes from the President’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., who has just recently leaked emails, potentially confirming links to Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Over the past week, several emails were made public via Twitter, confirming that Donald Trump Jr. had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to Trump Jr., these emails were released in the hopes of being more honest with the public, and possibly in the hopes that people would find that, although there were links to the Russian lawyer, they are not as severe as some people have implied. The emails entail that this lawyer from Russia had wanted to meet with Trump Jr., offering information on the Clinton campaign in support of the Trump Campaign. Trump Jr. has stated that although the meeting took place, nothing ever came of it.
Opposition to the Trump organisation responded immediately to these leaked emails. Former running partner to Hillary Clinton, Senator Tim Kaine, did not fail to mention that investigations against the Trump organisation are now potentially at the level of treason against the United States. Congressman Seth Moulton commented on Twitter, “If this isn’t treasonous, I’m not sure what is.” However, even though this might be considered a breach of national security, the United States and Russia are not currently at war, so whether this could even be considered treason is highly unlikely. By the definition found in the United States Constitution, one can only be tried for treason for levying war against the United States. Even if Russia is not considered an ally to the United States, they are not currently considered an enemy nation.
However, this could still be considered a breach of the law. While running for president of the United States, soliciting the help of another nation to aid in your campaign, regardless of whether that nation is an enemy, is strictly forbidden. Even if this help had been coming from Canada, it could still be considered a breach of the law. Therefore, further investigation may be held, as well as discussion of whether discussing potential information about the Clinton campaign is considered soliciting help. This is very discouraging news for the Trump organisation, but it is not the same as being accused of treason.
The only information confirmed thus far is that the Trump campaign and those involved now have a publicly recorded link to Russia. Although this does link the campaign to Russia, Donald Trump Jr. currently has no official role in the White House, so only time will tell what effects this revelation might have on the Trump administration. As of now, Donald Trump is still president, and further investigation will need to take place to determine whether this should be counted as a criminal offence.