52 USC 30121 - It's illegal to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution (opposition research) or donation of money or other thing of value from a foreign national in connection with an election.
But the fact is. STEELE WAS PAID.
The DNC/Clinton Campaign hired FusionGPS for opposition research into Trump and Russia, after the primaries.
They commissioned Steele. NOT a donation or contribution.
Republicans have tried to connect the money trail from Democrats to Russia — to make it appear more shady AND to discredit Steele and the info. They claim sources lied b/c they were paid.
At a minimum, Don Jr. and the Trump Campaign solicited a contribution from a foreign government — in the form of "dirt," a thing of value (they call opposition research).
P.S. - It's in the context of a Quid Pro Quo. Dirt in exchange for lifted Magnitsky Sanctions.