Robert Mueller’s Big Mistake: Letting Donald Trump Jr. Off The Hook, Experts Say He Should Have Been Indicted

Mueller made serious legal errors when he decided not to prosecute Donald Trump Jr., according to legal experts' reading of the Mueller Report.

Robert Mueller testifies.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Mueller made serious legal errors when he decided not to prosecute Donald Trump Jr., according to legal experts' reading of the Mueller Report.

In one of the major surprises contained in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the conclusions reached in his Russia election interference investigation, was his decision not to prosecute Donald Trump’s oldest son, 41-year-old Donald Trump Jr. The younger Trump appeared to be in legal jeopardy over a June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower in New York when he met with a group of Kremlin-linked Russians who promised “incriminating” information about Democrat Hillary Clinton, as The Inquisitr has earlier described.

But now, legal experts have said that Mueller made serious mistakes arriving at the decision to let Trump Jr. off the hook — a decision Mueller explains in detail in the report posted online by The New York Times.

In the report, Mueller says that while federal law indicates that soliciting valuable campaign help from foreigners is a felony, the total value of that help must be at least $25,000, or at least $2,000 to simply constitute a crime. But on page 188, volume I of the report, Mueller explains that he would “encounter difficulty proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of the promised documents and information exceeds the $2,000 threshold for a criminal violation, as well as the $25,000 threshold for felony punishment.”

Writing for the online magazine Slate, University of California–Irvine Law Professor Richard Hasen calls Mueller’s argument that the “incriminating” information on the Democratic nominee offered by the Russians may not exceed $25,000 in value “ridiculous.”

Donald Trump Jr. frowns
Donald Trump Jr. (pictured) was lucky to be spared an indictment by Robert Mueller, experts say. Alec Tabak / Getty Images

Trump Jr. also could have been charged with illegally “coordinating” with the Russians to get their illegal offer of “dirt” on Clinton, Hasen says. But the way Mueller defined the legal term “coordination” was wrong. The actual federal law against “coordination” with a foreign entity in a political campaign should have rendered Trump Jr.’s actions in the Trump Tower meeting a crime, Hasen says.

Mueller defined “coordination” as an “agreement” between the campaign and the Russians. But according to the litigation director of the advocacy group Common Cause, writing on Twitter, “NONE of the FEC’s multiple coordination regulations require an agreement.”

Loading...

“Coordination” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law,” Mueller wrote on page 2 of his report. But according to Paul Seamus Ryan of Common Cause, Mueller’s claim about “coordination” is simply incorrect. In fact, Ryan said it was “inconceivable” that Mueller then proceeded to “make up a definition contrary to longstanding federal campaign finance law.”

Finally, as The Inquisitr reported, prior to the release of the Mueller Report, former CIA official Jeremy Nash predicted that Mueller would find that Trump Jr. lacked the “mental capacity” to understand that taking the meeting with the Russians was a crime.

According to the Mueller Report, that is exactly what Mueller concluded, writing that it was impossible to say for sure that Trump Jr. was in a “culpable mental state” when he arranged and attended the Trump Tower meeting with Russians offering “dirt” on his father’s political opponent, as CNN reported.