When it comes to the law, who you gonna believe: legal scholars, or Alisyn Camerota, with her American University degree in “broadcast journalism?”

On CNN this morning, co-host Camerota claimed that it was an “open and shut case” that it was a crime for the Trump campaign to meet with Russians for the purpose of taking dirt on Hillary from them. Always one to keep an open mind, Camerota added:

“I don’t want to parse this anymore. The law says you can’t do this. It’s very clear. The law explicitly says you cannot do this.”

Except that, when it comes to accepting information from foreign nationals, the law “explicitly” says no such thing. And that has been made clear by a variety of legal scholars, including CNN’s own Paul Callan, who on CNN’s website wrote:

“The idea that this is some kind of campaign finance law violation doesn’t fly either. The statute requires campaign solicitation of cash or a ‘thing of value from a foreign national. Information about Hillary Clinton is not what the law had in mind.”

Callan is far from alone in opining that taking dirt on Hillary would not be a crime.

For example, Eugene Volokh, writing in the Washington Post, observed that the legal theory of the type that Camerota is advancing:

“would make opposition research on much possible foreign misconduct virtually impossible. Say that Clinton’s campaign heard rumors that the construction of a Trump resort in Turkey might have involved some shenanigans. It’s likely impossible to effectively follow up on that without soliciting some valuable information from foreign nationals.

. . .

“Americans have the right to receive information even from speakers who are entirely abroad. See Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965). Can Americans — whether political candidates or anyone else — really be barred from asking questions of foreigners, just because the answers might be especially important to voters?”

Note: even Camerota had to concede that no crime might have occurred since no actual dirt on Hillary was given or received at the meeting.

CNN’s Camerota: “Open and Shut” that Taking Hillary Dirt from Russia a Crime. Really?
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