Call It What It Is
Picture this: a corrupt and decadent family, professing to be billionaires when in fact their wealth was based on indebtedness to an enemy nation. This family, and the desperate leaders of a political party, conspire with this enemy nation to take over the Presidency of the United States. Through a series of incredible actions, some taken by individuals who were acting in “the best interest of the country,” the family gains control of the executive branch of government, and sets out to “Make America Great Again” for themselves and their foreign sponsors. Tom Clancy couldn’t have written this one, it’s way too far-fetched. Yet here we are, in what looks to be a novel of the 60’s (more like Seven Days in May or Manchurian Candidate.)
Alan Dershowitz, noted Harvard Professor and legal scholar, has argued that much of what the Trump Administration has done, while bad, does not rise to the level of criminal activity. This includes the big “C’s,” contact, cooperation and collusion with Russian Intelligence. Dershowitz does suggest that some of the other activity of Trump might be impeachable, but NOT criminal.
Dershowitz panned the idea that anyone in the Trump campaign might have committed the ultimate offense: treason.
US Code 115 Defines Treason as the following:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
The critical phrases for the Trumps: “…adheres to their enemies giving them aid and comfort within the United States…” If the Trump campaign cooperated and colluded with Russian Intelligence in an effort to win the Presidency, is that not by definition adhering? If the Trump campaign so needed to communicate with Russian Intelligence that it needed to set up a “hotline” using Russian Intelligence communications after the election, isn’t that aid and comfort?
If it is shown that the Trump organization is in fact deeply financially indebted to Russians, and therefore highly influenced and susceptible to financial and political blackmail, doesn’t that also show adherence to an “enemy.”
Mr. Dershowitz is probably concerned that it would be difficult to prove a basic element of any crime – intent. The Trumps would say that their intent was to “make America great again,” and that they “manipulated” the Russians to get that done. Perhaps their real defense will be that they were duped by the Russians, bought and used by them. There will be a real question: were the Trumps so brilliant as to knowingly make their deal with the devil, or were so stupid that they fell for it.
The facts are not yet in. Mueller, the Senate and House Committees, and probably most importantly, the unencumbered free press of the United States, will lead us to the facts, regardless of the political barriers that will be erected along the way. But if and when the facts show “adherence and aid and comfort,” we should not shy away from calling it what it is: treason.