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News Posted on February 16, 2017

Professor Larson Interviewed by Vice on Trump Administration and Russians

Professor Carlton Larson was interviewed by Vice regarding revelations that Trump administration National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had conversations with Russian government officials, including intelligence agents, prior to Trump’s inauguration.  Whether or not those contacts would be grounds for prosecution probably depends upon the content of the conversations, Larson said.

“Our intelligence officers, I assume, talk to foreign intelligence officers all the time, sometimes deliberately giving them misinformation,” said Larson. “So if Michael Flynn was talking to Russian intelligence, maybe that could be part of his job—that he's trying to get something from them. Where it crosses the line is when he would be actually revealing classified information, which would violate an independent statute against government officers doing so.”

Even if it were possible to establish grounds for criminal prosecution, “then you have the question: Would a Justice Department headed by Jeff Sessions want to bring these cases? And I don't know he would have any great enthusiasm for doing that,” Larson said.

Carlton Larson's research interests focus on constitutional law and legal history, with a strong emphasis on the 18th century.