Speed Reads


Bush ethics lawyer says Donald Trump Jr.'s behavior 'borders on treason'

The 2016 meeting between a Kremlin-linked lawyer and Donald Trump Jr. — as well as President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort — "borders on treason," said Richard Painter, a George W. Bush administration ethics lawyer, in an appearance on MSNBC.

Trump Jr. said he took the meeting because he was promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton and left when the conversation turned to adoption policy instead. "This was an effort to get opposition research on an opponent in an American political campaign from the Russians, who were known to be engaged in spying inside the United States," Painter said. "We do not get our opposition research from spies; we do not collaborate with Russian spies, unless we want to be accused of treason."

"The Bush administration never would have tolerated this," he continued, "and if this story is true, we'd have one of them if not both of them in custody by now, and we'd be asking them a lot of questions, because this is unacceptable. This borders on treason, if it is not itself treason."

Watch Painter's comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian