Treason is a harsh word, and even a harsher accusation. Unfortunately, many supposedly educated men and women are throwing that particular charge about rather cavalierly as of late.
How truly sad none of them understand that the only time a United States citizen could be charged with treason would be if Congress actually approved a declaration of war.
A Few Examples of the Exceptionally Ignorant…
A favored source of Fox News talking head Shepard Smith is the Politico sensational headline, Buzzword emerges as Trump Jr. Russia scandal deepens: Treason
Hot on Politico’s heels is the equally hatin’ Slate.com with the teasing click-bait of a headline, Is Donald Trump Jr. Guilty of Treason?
As Gabby Morrongiello, the Washington Bureau Chief of the New York Post just sent out via Twitter;
Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman says Trump Jr. emails are “almost a smoking cannon.” Told me “there’s no question this is treason.”
— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) July 11, 2017
Like the rest of the Left-leaning establishment media, the Los Angeles Times is already painting a picture of Trump, Jr. as being engaged in junior skullduggery with the Russian government.
But amazingly enough, they fail Journalism 101 by ignoring the obvious. As LA Times reporter David S. Cloud penned in his first three paragraphs;
Donald Trump Jr. was offered “high level and sensitive information” last June as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” according to emails that he released Tuesday.
The emails said that a person described as a Russian government attorney had “official documents and information” that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton “and be very useful to your father.”
“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. responded.
Did anyone else notice the first word quoted of Trump, Jr.? “If”
As it turns out, the Russian lawyer in question (Natalia Veselnitskaya) actually had no information whatsoever that could have been even remotely considered opposition research (aka: getting dirt on the other guy).
As CNBC correctly noted;
“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Trump Jr. said.
But if he was hoping for something of use, he was disappointed.
“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information,” he said.
But back to reporter Cloud of the LA Times, to his shame, he waited until the very end of his article to write;
In an interview Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show, Veselnitskaya said it was the Trump campaign that was eager for information about Clinton.
“It’s quite possible that maybe they were looking for such information. They wanted it so badly,” she said, speaking in Russian from Moscow. “I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton.”
Kushner left the meeting early when it became clear she had no information about Clinton, and Manafort stared at his phone the entire meeting, she said.
Asked if she had connections to the Kremlin, she replied, “Nyet.”
Not once did Cloud note that Veselnitskaya lied to Donald Trump, Jr. about having any information regarding the 2016 presidential election.
But Wait, There’s More…
The New York Times, long known as a leader in the anti-Trump propaganda that passes for news, has found themselves hoisted on their own petard.
In an article published during the War Between the States, The Times correctly cited the Supreme Court majority opinion regarding charge of High Treason against two Americans citizens being held in a Washington, DC prison;
In delivering the opinion of the Court, Chief-Justice MARSHALL said: “To constitute that specific crime for which the prisoners now before the Court have been commuted, war must be actually levied against the United States. However flagitious may be the crime of conspiring to subvert by force the Government of our country, such conspiracy is not treason. To conspire to levy war. and actually to levy war, are distinct offences.
Last time I checked, we haven’t declared war against Russia.
Petard For Two…
A wee bit closer to present day, even the equally vociferous anti-Trump Washington Post published a piece earlier this year entitled “Five myths about treason”.
Myth No. 2
Aiding Russia is treason against the United States.
Stephen Colbert’s recent segment “Michael Flynn’s White House Tenure: It’s Funny ’Cause It’s Treason” was but one of many accusations of treason hurled against Flynn and other White House associates because of their proven or alleged ties to Russia. “Consider the evidence that Trump is a traitor,” exhorted an essay in Salon. It is, in fact, treasonable to aid the “enemies” of the United States.
But enemies are defined very precisely under American treason law. An enemy is a nation or an organization with which the United States is in a declared or open war . Nations with whom we are formally at peace, such as Russia, are not enemies. (Indeed, a treason prosecution naming Russia as an enemy would be tantamount to a declaration of war.) Russia is a strategic adversary whose interests are frequently at odds with those of the United States, but for purposes of treason law it is no different than Canada or France or even the American Red Cross. The details of the alleged connections between Russia and Trump officials are therefore irrelevant to treason law.
Then we come to the king doofus of them all. The former Democratic Party nominee for the vice presidency, and current US Senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine stated today, “This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.”
Remember, America… Tim Kaine was almost a heartbeat away from possibly being the President of the United States.
In the meantime, sleep well in the knowledge that Kaine is still busy making laws on Capitol Hill.