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Trump Derangement Syndrome

No, silly Democrats, Trump did not ‘commit treason,’ says . . . the Washington Post?


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By —— Bio and Archives July 18, 2018

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No, silly Democrats, Trump did not ‘commit treason,’ says . . . the Washington Post?
I’ll say this for the Washington Post. They’re a stunningly dishonest newspaper, but they’re more self-aware than, say, the New York Times in the sense that they know when joining in on the fever pitch of the day will make them look and sound like morons.

Few things (although not no things) are more moronic than the current Beltway hyperventilation that President Trump “committed treason” by not embracing the media narrative on “election meddling” during his joint presser with Vladimir Putin on Monday. The media are gleefully running up to Democrats asking if Trump committed treason, and intellectual superstars like Adam Schiff are only too happy to give them the soundbite they want. It started with former Obama intelligence chief John Brennan, and once you’ve got one “respected” Beltway type saying something, the rest will follow in short order.

They just have to know they can get away with it.

So give the Post one cheer for actually going to the trouble of explaining that, whether you liked Trump’s comments at the presser or not, calling them “treason” only makes you look like you don’t have the slightest idea what the word means:

Trump and treason? “No, not at all,” Carlton F.W. Larson, an expert on the subject at the UC Davis School of Law, told The Washington Post.

“It’s funny,” he said, “because people keep asking me if it’s treason yet. He could hand the nuclear codes over to Putin and it wouldn’t be treason. This isn’t anything as bad as that. Groveling in front of a foreign leader, putting the interests of a foreign country ahead of the United States, displaying horrific judgment in foreign policy — none of those things are treason.”

Trump would have to be participating in waging war against the United States or giving “aid and comfort” to the nation’s enemies to be vulnerable to treason charges, either in a court or an impeachment proceeding.

Problem one: The United States is not at war.

Under the treason law, Larson said, “levying war is a situation where people who owe allegiance to the United States are gathering in force, usually to overthrow the government, to shut down the government or make it inoperable in some kind of way.

“There you would need Trump actually being part of that. If you thought that the hacking rose to the level of war — that’s a hard sell. By analogy, suppose Trump had sent burglars over to the DNC to rifle through their files. Nobody would say that’s treason. That’s Watergate.”

“Hacking into a private organization to steal its documents seems most analogous to a burglary,” Larson wrote in an essay on the Take Care blog. “Likewise, hacking into a voting machine to change the results seems most analogous to ballot stuffing or ballot tampering. A crime has clearly been committed, but not the crime of treason.”

Problem two: There must be an enemy to aid and comfort.

While many may think of Russia as an adversary and even an enemy, it has not been declared so. An “enemy,” Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe said in an email to The Post, “arguably” requires a formal state of war.

Now of course there’s plenty of room to debate whether Trump did a bad thing by treating the question about election meddling the way he did. Both the boss and Rob said yesterday they thought it was a mistake for Trump to imply he believed Putin, and Trump himself came out yesterday afternoon with a clarification saying he misspoke and he did not mean to suggest Russia wasn’t responsible.

 

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I realize no one ever believes clarifications (although in some cases they should), but that’s what he said so take it for what it’s worth.

Personally I had a hard time getting worked up about it because I consider the whole “election meddling” business to be a completely phony issue.

But either way, it’s a measure of the president’s most unhinged haters that they can’t limit their expressions to rational thought. They have to take the attacks on Trump to the most extreme level they think they can get away with, regardless of accuracy. So if the fever pitch of the day is to call it treason, then they’re going to call it treason, even if there isn’t even a remotely accurate way you could apply the word.

And there isn’t. In fact, what President Trump said at that presser yesterday was closer to accurate than the claim of his critics that he committed treason.


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Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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