Tuesday, July 18, 2017

ONE FOR THE LAWYERS : FINANCIAL VALUE OR ELECTORAL VALUE?

Here is what the US law says about contributions from foreign nationals:
ยง 110.20 Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals
...
(b)Contributions and donations by foreign nationals in connection with elections. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

[source : Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals, Cornell Law School, https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20]

Trump Jr "loved" the idea of the Russian government supplying dirt on Clinton so he arranged a meeting with someone who he thought would supply that information from the Russian government.

But what does "value" mean?

The whole section 110.20 on this seems to regard only financial "value", such as financial donations or paying for offices, etc.

Is there such a legal thing as "electoral value"?

Or does "benefit" = "value"?

That's one for the lawyers: 10 lawyers = 27 opinions.

But there is also this:
(g)Solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of contributions and donations from foreign nationals. No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.

So, in legalese, did Trump Jr knowingly solicit from a foreign national a contribution of "value" as defined in (b) above and elsewhere in section 110.20?

It comes back to that one word, "value".

Or is the word to focus on "contribution"?

Whatever. Trump Jr went to that meeting hoping to solicit dirt on Clinton from a foreign national. It's up to you which word you use, "value" or "contribution".

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