The Trump-Ukraine “scandal” has hit a new low. Not only are Democrats accusing the President of breaking the law by allegedly encouraging Ukraine to investigate the well-documented evidence of Biden family corruption, but now a Republican is accusing President Trump of committing Treason.
No, that is not an exaggeration. Bill Weld, who is challenging Donald Trump in the GOP Primary, accused the President of committing treason against the United States of America during an appearance on MSNBC.
"Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election. That's not just undermining democratic institutions. That is treason. It's treason pure and simple, and the penalty for treason under the U.S. code is death. That’s the only penalty,” Weld declared.
This sound byte spread like wildfire, with practically every news outlet running headlines accusing the President of treason.
The Founders knew a day like this would come. When the Constitution was being debated, the Founders chose their words carefully. After fighting a war for independence against the most powerful empire on earth, and personally suffering under that tyrannical regime, they took great care to make sure the American government would never devolve into tyranny. The Bill of Rights primarily served that purpose.
As we all know, the Article 1 of the Constitution affords Congress with the power to define crimes and prescribe punishments for violators. But the Founders knew that there was one crime that the government should not have the authority to easily redefine: Treason.
"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.” (Article 3, Section 3)
In order to be guilty of treason, an American needs to either fight against the United States or give our enemies aid or comfort. And a treason conviction requires not one, but two witnesses who can attest to the act.
This was by design. James Madison writes in Federalist No. 43 that the Constitution defined treason this way to prevent partisans and tyrannical governments from using "new-fangled and artificial" definitions of treason to take down their political opponents.
"As treason may be committed against the United States, the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free government, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it, and restraining the Congress, even in punishing it, from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author."
Definitionally, Donald Trump did not commit treason. No one is claiming that levied war against the United States and he certainly did not give aid or comfort to the enemy. Not only is Ukraine a recipient of US aid, but they also deployed troops to Afghanistan and Iraq alongside US forces. Ukraine is not our enemy.
On top of that, there are not two witnesses claiming that the President of the United States committed treason. In fact, there is not even one witness making that allegation. The whistleblower accusing the President of misconduct was not a witness to the call. He or she reportedly learned about Trump's call with Ukraine second-hand.
By all definitions, what Donald Trump did is not treason. And yet, there are people in this country who are actually giddy at the thought that President Trump could be put to death over this.
It was just three weeks ago that the Left accused the President of committing an impeachable high crime by allegedly drawing on an outdated hurricane forecast map with a marker. Today, commentators and politicians are debating the merits of putting the President to death over a phone call with an ally…
Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. There are people out there who are so consumed by hatred that they actually think it is reasonable to put the President of the United States in front of a firing squad for what even they admit would be, at the absolute worst, a Federal Elections Commission violation.
Political opponents aren’t just evil in their eyes, anymore. They want political opposition to be a death penalty offense.
God help us if these people ever gain control of the government again…