Rick Hasen at the Election Law blog lays out the possible charges Donald Trump, Jr. could face for allegedly soliciting "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from a well-connected Russian lawyer. Chiefly, Trump the Younger faces a fairly serious campaign finance charge, by soliciting a contribution "from a foreign individual or entity." And "contribution" doesn't just mean pile of money -- a contribution can be "anything of value," and "some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia" (as Trump the Younger's email contact put it) would qualify. And Mr. Trump isn't going to get off the hook by saying the emails don't actually show him asking for that information -- it's hard to imagine that a Russian official simply emails you with such an offer out of the goodness of his heart, and I doubt he'll convince a judge that "I love it" doesn't mean "I can't wait to see it." Mr. Hasen lists other charges Trump the Younger might face, but n.b. that none of them are "treason," a charge Sen. Kaine (D-VA) floated a few days back. Sorry, folks, that kind of thing really sticks in my craw. Isn't potential lawbreaking enough of a reason to act?
In a strange reversal, Pew finds that a stunning 58 percent of Republicans say that American universities have a "negative effect on the way things are going in this country." That's up from 37% just two years ago! And Democrats' attitude toward higher education has remained fairly constant (they're generally for it), which must mean they're the conservative party in America now. The Pew study (which also has much to say about Democrat/Republican feelings about other institutions) doesn't tell us why Republicans have come to hate college so much, but you could be excused for thinking it's all because of "political correctness," i.e., because right-wingers can't get a "safe space" for their ideas, and by "safe" I mean "safe from criticism." And dig Gov. Walker (E-WI) praising a bill allowing college administrators to expel students who "disrupt" speeches given at the University -- for its "commitment to free speech"! Call me old-fashioned, but I think protestors who are actually disruptive damn themselves in the eyes of all who see them, and that people who actually have something to say can handle criticism from any quarter.