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Noah Feldman

Mueller's Definition of 'Collusion' Will Be Clear

Trying to convict Trump aides of a crime based on what we know now would be a mistake.
This isn't an ordinary job.

This isn't an ordinary job.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

One legal question looms larger than others over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and its possible Russia connections: What laws, exactly, would be violated by collusion if it could be shown?

Remember that the word “collusion” itself has no formal legal status in this investigation. No relevant federal criminal statute that I know of makes “collusion” -- as opposed to conspiracy -- a crime. The letter appointing Mueller directs him to investigate “links and/or coordination” between Russia and the campaign, with no mention of “collusion.”