Saturday, October 26, 2019

Can We Stop Throwing Around the Word "Treason" So Lightly?

The left kept saying Trump's non-existent collusion with Russia was treason, and people on our side keep saying that this attempt to overthrow Trump is treason.    "Treason" is defined in the Constitution (Article III, sec. 3) quite narrowly:
1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Now, if the Russians had tried to help Trump get elected, it would be bad, but even if Trump had sought their aid, this would not be treason.  We are not at war with Russia.  Trump would have to have given aid to the Russians for his actions to qualify as treason, and this is assuming that Russia is an enemy.  We are not at war with Russia; not even close.

The attempts to overthrow Trump likely involve some crimes, which the Department of Justice is now investigating, but treason it is not.  Why is treason so narrowly defined?  Because having sex with the king's mistress ("violating the royal blood line") was one of the many acts define as "treason" under English law.  The Framers wanted to avoid that gaming of the system.


  1. I'd say the ongoing attempt to overthrow the duly elected president, this attempted coup, is more accurately defined as sedition: incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.

    It was instigated by the ex-president, his Secretary of State, many in his administration, and elements & agencies of our government. These rogue elements requested the aid of foreign governments, including our allies in the 5 Eyes; UK, Australia, NZ, Canada. This required a criminal conspiracy whose aim was to topple the elected president and overthrow his administration.

    The dictionary definition of treason is the attempted overthrow of the government of one's country; this differs from the Constitutional definition, but it seems to me to be a difference without much of a distinction. Some so-called Americans are trying to illegally overthrow our government by illicit means. None of this has anything to do with Russia, that's just the MacGuffin.

    Personally, I'd like to see all these miscreants hanged; whether for sedition or treason is immaterial.

  2. I'd say that, while we are not at war with Russia, they are certainly our enemies.

    So, had Trump conspired with the Russians to steal the election, and it was observed by two witnesses, he'd have committed treason.

    And, since the dems are so quick to use the term, let's use it against those who conspired against the President of the United States... oh wait, that's just sedition. Still...