Roper’s Resolve: Critics Seek Dangerous Extensions Of Treason and Other Crimes To Prosecute The Trumps

A_Man_for_All_Seasons_(1966_movie_poster)Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on how critics of Donald Trump have been calling for radical extensions or interpretations of criminal provisions against core figures. The implications for such interpretations of crimes like treason need to be considered by critics.

“So now you’d give the devil benefit of the law!” Those were the words of William Roper in one of the most riveting scenes from “A Man For All Seasons.

He was chastising his father-in-law, Sir Thomas More, for elevating the law above morality. Roper, who was himself a lawyer and member of Parliament, was the face of resolve — and relativism — in the law. When More asked if Roper would “cut a great road through the law to get after the devil,” Roper proudly declared that he would “cut down every law in England to do that.”

After the 50th anniversary of the classic movie, we seem to be living in the “Age of Roper” — and rage. There is a constant drumbeat in the news as experts declare prima facie cases for indictment and impeachment against President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner. Trump has been denounced as threatening free speech, the free press, and even the democratic process.

However, the push for criminal charges could well create the very dangers that critics associate with Trump. Few have considered the implications of broadening the scope of the criminal code and handing the government wider discretion in criminalizing speech and associations. Once you declare someone to be the devil, there is no cost too great to combat him or his spawn.

Trump has certainly become a diabolic figure for many (though his popularity among Republicans remains above 80 percent). This hatred has blinded many to the implications of pulling up the roots of our criminal laws “to get after the Donald.” In particular, they should consider the cost to free speech and the political process if they hand the government the power to criminalize some of this conduct.


In the chorus of criminal charges following the disclosure of the Russia meeting, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was not to be outdone. Where others were arguing election fraud, Kaine declared that the case has moved to a potential treason charge. Likewise, Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, has said that, while rarely charged without a declaration of war, “the dictionary definition” of treason and the “common understanding” is “a betrayal of one’s country, and in particular, the helping of a foreign adversary against one’s own country.”

Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman declared the emails to be “almost a smoking cannon” and added that “there’s almost no question this is treason.” Even if there is a reluctance to bring a direct treason charge, Painter insists that “we just use other statutes because most of what is treason would have violated another statute anyway.”

Article III of the Constitution defines this crime as consisting “only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” With neither a declaration of war nor an act of levying of war, such a charge is both absurd and dangerous. Many countries like China routinely charge communications with foreign organizations to be treason.

Indeed, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip President Erdogan this week pledged to “chop off the heads” of some of the thousands of Turks arrested as supporting the failed coup last year, including political opponents. That is precisely why the Framers, and later courts, have narrowly defined this crime and why relatively few treason cases have been brought and even fewer have succeeded in this country.


Some lawmakers, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have suggested that if the Russians were hacking or spying on the Democrats, Trump Jr. and others participated in the crime of espionage. Like treason, the effort to construe this meeting as espionage would rip the crime from its statutory roots. There is no evidence that Trump Jr. gave any sensitive information to Russian officials or sought to hurt U.S. national security. If this were espionage, a host of campaigns and citizens could be investigated as traitors or spies for using information from a foreign source.


Cornell Law School Vice Dean Jens David Ohlin has declared the Trump Jr. emails to be “a shocking admission of a criminal conspiracy.” However, the crime itself requires a showing that Trump Jr. sought to “conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States.”

MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler identified the crime as “conspiring with the U.S.’ sworn enemy to take over and subvert our democracy,” and declared it is now clear that “what Donald Trump Jr. is alleged to have done is a federal crime.” The suggestion that acquiring opposition research is an effort to “defraud” an election would, again, criminalize a host of political speech and associations.

It would allow the government to call campaigns into grand juries to answer for discussions of how they obtained information or who they consulted. We live in a global marketplace of ideas and exchanges. The line between information given as part of political speech and information given to defraud could vanish… with a great deal of our political discourse.


I have previously discussed how the firing of former FBI Director James Comey has prompted many to declare a prima facie case of obstruction. Like many others, Akerman declared the matter resolved, saying, “Our president is guilty of obstruction of justice for endeavoring to obstruct an FBI investigation.”

However, an obstruction charge is based on obstructing a grand jury or other pending proceeding. FBI investigations are not generally considered a pending proceeding and case law has rejected such claims. Moreover, it would allow the government to broaden the element of trying to “corruptly” influence to an extent never reached in any prior case.

Under such an ambiguous standard, prosecutors could charge people willy nilly for a host of interactions with witnesses or documents in the earliest stages of an investigation. Prosecutors could force pleas or testimony under constant threats of obstruction charges. That is why courts have narrowed the language of obstruction.

Election fraud

The same chilling results would occur if, as a host of experts have declared, the receiving information from any foreigner would violate the Federal Election Campaign Act. The law makes it illegal to “solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation… of money or other thing of value” from a foreign national in connection with a federal election. Experts have declared the law as all but satisfied as a basis to charge Trump’s son.

Nick Akerman, a former Watergate assistant special prosecutor, declared, “It’s illegal campaign contributions. It would be conspiring to commit campaign violations.”   Likewise, Ryan Goodman, a former Defense Department special counsel, has declared, “There is now a clear case that Donald Trump Jr. has met all the elements of the law.”

Of course, no court has ever reached such a conclusion and hopefully would never do so. If the receipt of opposition research from a foreigner is now equivalent to receiving illegal campaign funds, the law would extend to foreign academics, public interest groups, nongovernment organizations, and journalists supplying information to a campaign.

An environmental group might have given Hillary Clinton’s campaign a dossier on Trump’s business practices. All of those interactions could be investigated and prosecuted — sweeping a wide array of political speech into the criminal code. If successful, these experts and advocates would hand the next administration the ability to harass and pursue political opponents and groups.

During the Obama administration, Democrats tossed aside the principles of separation of powers and supported President Obama’s use of unilateral authority to circumvent Congress. The Democrats acted as if Obama would be our last president in abandoning core constitutional principles. Trump is now enjoying the very unilateral powers that the Democrats so unwisely embraced.

Trump will not be our last president — just as Obama was not. These laws will be left to the next president to use in the same broad fashion against others. Democrats have simply replaced blind loyalty under Obama with blind rage under Trump.

In the movie scene with Roper, More cautions those who too willingly discard or twist laws to achieve desired ends, saying, “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”

More shows the recklessness of Roper’s resolve — the dangerous tendency to make the law bend to your will in the name of a higher cause like Roper’s desire “to get after the devil.”

As satisfying as it may be to “get after the Donald” or his progeny, the engorged criminal code that would be left would then be handed to the next president. That president would then have a less obstructed range for the investigation of opponents and critics. If that day should come, we must ask ourselves how we will “stand upright in the wind that would blow.” As More noted, it is a question worth asking not for Trump’s sake, but for our own.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University.

93 thoughts on “Roper’s Resolve: Critics Seek Dangerous Extensions Of Treason and Other Crimes To Prosecute The Trumps”

  1. If anyone is interested. Apparently Mueller’s team has reached the size of the whole AG’s office for the state of Rhode Island.

    Money Quote:”Why does special counsel Mueller need 14 lawyers (and more coming) for a counterintelligence investigation, as to which the intelligence professionals—agents, not lawyers—have found no “collusion with Russia” evidence after over a year of hard work? What will those lawyers be doing with no limits on their jurisdiction, with nothing but all the time and funding they need to examine one target, Donald Trump?”.

    1. Financial transactions are well within the wide purview Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein laid out in his May memo appointing Mueller as special counsel. Supposedly they are getting the tax returns, too.

          1. OK, could you please provide a factual statement supporting what you claim or are you just guessing.
            I don’t mind people speculating but you make your statement with such conviction that it must be factual supported by data of some sort.
            Do you have an actual quote from Mr. Rosenstein?
            Just curious.

              1. Can you show me just one quote that backs up the part about “They are getting tax returns too”.
                You seem to be either clairvoyant or a little ahead of the game in a wishful thinking kind of way.

          2. That’s the exact letter i referenced. Could you please show me where it supports your distinct assertion that financial transactions and tax returns will be well within his jurisdiction.
            I don’t see your assertion any where in that letter.

            1. “any matters related” ” “any links” “other matters related” In any case the investigation appears to be headed there whether you want to believe it or not. They are following the money as they say.

              1. They are following the money.
                Where can you point to a specific quote from anyone involved in this investigation that has stated what you say?
                If you can’t hen I assume you are either leaking confidential material from the investigation or you are talking out of your ass.
                Try saying “I think” before you make your your statements or back up your assertions with facts.

                  1. If Mueller gets only one scalp from the Trump team, it will be Manafort. Who will the Democrat scalp be?

            2. frankly is doing what Turley references in the post. He wants Mueller to broaden the authorization to include anything they need it to mean to bag them a Trump.

    2. the republican party spent 10’s of millions of taxpayer dollars and I have lost count of how many investigations, with everything they could throw against the wall and stick ending with HRC under the lights on TV for 12 hours, and got nothing. No indictment, no conviction, and no more hearings. Can you say that Trump can go thru the same process and come out the same way?

  2. Pick your poison.

    The points Professor Turley makes about stretching the definitions of crimes to fit the blood lust to “get” Trump at any cost are excellent, but what’s actually happening is that both conservatives and liberals are like two business; each one plumbing ever greater depths of corruption to defeat the other. Neither one realizing, or caring, that the effect of their “bending” and “tearing” at the fabric of our system today will be to establish that level of corruption as the new normal. If the DNC, or more accurately, the powers behind it, don’t manage to get their way, the conservatives – and the powers behind them – will, and the real looser will still be the public.Conservatives are just as set to corruptly redefine laws for their perceived benefit and future security as the liberals are to prevent Trump from governing:

    Healthcare, Military expansion, voting laws (this whole business about getting states to give up state information about voters is a red herring to “discover irregularities” and subsequently pass legislation makeing voting for non conservative parties more difficult all in some bogus name such as “voter consent”), wholesale re appropriation of wealth upward to the .01%, attacks on the social safety net, wholesale privitization, toll booths springing up on every road, monitors in every car, getting rid of cash in order for banks and credit card firms to have the same killer profits that health insurers now do under Obama-Snare, the list goes on and on.

    It called Empire Collapse, and it will continue regardless of which Tribe gets the upper hand over the other. Indeed, one of the only things preventing either side from running with the ball is the fact that they are thwarted by the struggle they are having with each other. So the struggle Trump is now having with Democrats can be seen as all that is protecting the rest of us from Trump going wild, just as the Republican obstructionism during the Obama years protected us from untold damage to the social safety net as well as preventing Obama from selling out our national sovereignty via the toxic trade deals (which Trump will do under a different name the minute he can get a free hand).

    1. “empire collapse” – Research that studied advanced society collapse throughout history shows concentration of wealth as the determinant. The level of concentrated wealth in the U.S., e.g. six Walton heirs have wealth equivalent to 40% of Americans combined, indicates the tipping point is at hand.

    2. Well said, BB. A pox on both their houses.

      The lunatic ravings of those cited in JT’s piece are truly jaw-dropping.
      Is there anyone who hasn’t been bought off?

      1. It’s just wonderful, but here’s the best speech in the movie, Gary, that likely cinched the Oscar. Scofield and McKern are fabulous:

  3. Trump is aware of Special Council’s “mission creep”. Now Trump’s legal team is investigating Muller’s legal team for collusion, conspiracy, obstruction & conflicts of interest.

  4. My question to all you legal eagles is: if the Trump kid who was a nobody in government committed treason based on meeting with this Russian broad who claimed to have dirt on Hilly, Did Hilly commit treason by approving the sale of Uranium One which allegedly saw money going to the Clinton Foundation and Bill C for speeches in Russia. How many others in and out of government profited from that sale and did they all commit treason. Isn’t uranium considered an item of national security? Why is she skating free?

    1. I am not a fan of Clinton but she had no role in the uranium deal. It was handled by all of the major government agencies and received unanimous consent to proceed. Russia had no interest in our uranium. They acquired it as part of the entire deal but were in reality seeking huge deposits in other parts of the world. The United States prohibits Russia from taking the uranium out of the country except for one purpose. It can be sent to Canada and processed as yellowcake and then returned only to the United States. There is no evidence that anything has been done with this uranium. You need to stop beating this dead horse.

  5. I did not vote for Donald Trump in a Republican primary. During the primary process I felt any of(the republicans) would be better than The Donald. But he won, and a lot of people just can’t accept the fact that he won. This process is nothing more than a concerted effort to remove him from office, going around the fact that he won the election. This is an establishment move to remove an outsider from elected office.

    1. Indy Bob-How true and well put. One thing more it’s an attack on every American who voted for Trump and change.

    2. It’s as simple as that, nothing more and nothing less. Well, with the exception of not allowing Trump to unwind the damage progressives have done to this country.

      1. Barring a major attack on the homeland or a major military confrontation with N. Korea the damage being done is to the integrity of all things Democrat. Rachel Maddow and her little group of psychophantic,(my word), cheerleaders are all ready shooting holes in how Trump might defend himself as if impeachment was a done deal!
        I guess we’ll have to see how well mid-term elections turn out.
        I can’t wait til another SCOTUS retires then their heads will definitely explode.
        Hope they think this sore loser vengence without a congressional majority thing thru a few more steps or it could be really depressing for them to infinity and beyond.

        1. I know the constitution disallows a president from the discretion of avoiding impeachment.
          And that would be irrespective of whether he could/would pardon himself.

  6. It is truly astounding how little of the law these “legal” analysts know.

  7. “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    So, what is the definition of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”?

    From Constitution Society:

    “Whether an offense could qualify as punishable depended largely on the obligations of the offender, and the obligations of a person holding a high position meant that some actions, or inactions, could be punishable if he did them, even though they would not be if done by an ordinary person.Offenses of this kind survive today in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It recognizes as punishable offenses such things as perjury of oath, refusal to obey orders, abuse of authority, dereliction of duty, failure to supervise, moral turpitude, and conduct unbecoming. These would not be offenses if committed by a civilian with no official position, but they are offenses which bear on the subject’s fitness for the duties he holds, which he is bound by oath or affirmation to perform.”

    Therefore, as impeachment involves merely removal from office, not imprisonment or a civil fine, it does not require a violation of the criminal code, merely conduct unbecoming or a violation of the oath of office. Congress has a lot more latitude as far as what constitutes an impeachable offense. The most important factor being do they have the votes to back it up.

    1. Correct. That’s why they made Maxine Waters the defacto head of the Democrat Party and book her to appear on TV once every week or two to call for Trump’s impeachment. It’s a strategy to try to win back the House in 2018. They know most people work 8-10 hours a day and don’t follow this stuff closely. They read the headlines and occasionally watch a cable “news” channel in the evening if they are not busy with more important things. So those people will hear the word “impeachment” thrown around and think there must be some sort of wrongdoing to justify using that word.

      It’s a strategy to win back the House. And if they win back the House Trump WILL be impeached. I don’t think the people who cooked up this strategy think he will be convicted in the Senate. I don’t think even the mob-like Democrat Party would convict him in the Senate on a purely partisan vote, but then I never thought they would ram through a society changing law like Obamacare on a one party vote, so maybe they will if they have the votes. But that will require picking up 19 Senate seats, net, on a map that favors Republicans. Almost impossible. And Democrats may pay a price for impeaching him in 2020. Republicans lost five House seats after impeaching Clinton. Or it may benefit them if they can turn Trump into another Nixon – which Democrats are frequently trying to do with their rhetoric now.

  8. Trump may not be guilty of treason, but he is certainly guilty of buffoonery, incompetence, megalomania, and a host of other maladies that render him not Presidential material. Trump is a mindless knee jerk reaction to unrealized ambition and ignorance among too many.

  9. The best defense is a good offense. Indict Comey, Daniel C.Richman, and every other leaker of classified information. Sessions should be convening Grand Juries, and try to indict, not remove. Criminal prosecutions, long prison sentences!

    1. “Just Say No” Jeff is too busy waging a war on “evil Mary Jane” to do anything that might help secure the future of our republic.

    2. This truly is the proper answer to the improper witch hunt that has begun.
      It is only when he have some “Trump” cards to play back with, will they begin to re-think whether they want to really play this game down into mutually assured destruction.

  10. Since The Donald is a congenital liar can some fraud case be made?

    Cries of treason are overblown.

  11. Dear Professor Turley,

    Has it not yet occurred to you that the Democrats are simply a rabid, power mad mob, and their current aim is simply to lynch Donald Trump???

    You keep talking ethics, and right and wrong, and legal consistencies, etc., like you expect the Democrats and their shills to experience some kind of epiphany of rationality or something. You are wasting your breath.

    The Democrats do not care about such things. They are simply in it to win, and if you have not realized that, then you need to have a good sit down with yourself, and go over the evidence. Let’s take one thing you said above, “During the Obama administration, Democrats tossed aside the principles of separation of powers and supported President Obama’s use of unilateral authority to circumvent Congress.”

    No. The Democrats did not “toss away” any principles during Obama’s reign. They simply haven’t had any “principles” to toss away for over 20 years, and probably over 40 years. The Democrats are simply in it for the power and the money. Now that Trump is President, they will take the opposite view, and try to rein him in. The next time a Democrat wins the White House, it will be back to supporting the President’s unilateral power again. If you don’t understand that simple fact, then you need a refresher course in what is called Realpolitik.

    What I have been saying for years now:

    Expecting from, or trying to explain to, Democrats- “principles”, or “right vs. wrong”,
    or “rules”, or “logical consistency”, is like trying to explain to a bad, cheating, folding metal
    chair-using wrestler why he didn’t win the WWF Belt fairly. He is simply not able to comprehend what
    you are complaining about.

    All he knows is, that he won the match and the belt! The fact that his girl friend jumped into the ring
    when the referee wasn’t looking, and whomped the good wrestler over the head with a folding metal chair,
    knocking him unconscious- – -well, really what difference at this point does that make???
    After all, he won! He has the championship belt! Isn’t that all that matters??? Frankly, he just doesn’t
    give a hoot about the morality of the whole thing. All he cares about, is getting what he wants. Period.

    I appreciate all the things you said above, and you are right in the things you said. But you are just wasting your time if you think you are going to change any Democrat’s mind about any of this. And when it comes to the legal ethics of the Mueller thing, you are like someone who is watching a lynch mob in action, who hollers out, “Hey Rufus! You can’t hang that man from the lamppost! It ain’t ethical! Because you prepared his tax return, and you have a fiduciary responsibility to him!”

    Geeesh! It’s a lynch mob. If they cared about ethics, they wouldn’t be in a lynch mob.

    The only thing you can do to stop the Democrats, is to simply stop voting for them. And stop pretending that they are anything other than a rabid lynch mob.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I totally agree with you, but most of what you say would be true of the Republicans if the circumstances were reversed.
      The problem is the power they are allowed to wield in the first place.

  12. Amazing, absolutely amazing. Since all of the Trump supporters want to talk about Hillary, so will I. Pardon me for doing so.

    Did we ever see any articles like this on Hillary when Trey Gowdy was running amok or when Trump discussed prosecuting Hillary during the Presidential debates? It seems that Prof Turley’s “tendency” to view things as a “criminal defense attorney” seemingly happened to take a vacation whenever he wrote an article or blog post on Hillary.

    My own “tendency” is to dislike Hillary and Trump, for different reasons. But they both deserve fair trials if either or both ever get charged criminally. And while I will gladly criticize Trump for many different things, I’m loathe to try to rig the jury pool like Prof Turley does here. None of us has access to all of the evidence. Lining up the so-called potential crimes and knocking them down right now is utterly absurd.

    Better to generically discuss the elements of crimes that might be of interest to prosecutors, a discussion which comes from the DOJ’s US Attorney’s Manual:

    18 USC section 1001:

    908. Elements of 18 U.S.C. § 1001

    Section 1001’s statutory terms are violated if someone:

    “falsifies, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme or device a material fact,”
    “makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations,”
    “makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry”
    and, for cases arising after the 1996 amendments, the item at issue was material.

    Whether the above acts are criminal depends on whether there is an affirmative response to each of the following questions:

    Was the act or statement material?
    Was the act within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of the United States? and
    Was the act done knowingly and willfully?

    [cited in USAM 9-42.001]

    18 USC 1341

    940. 18 U.S.C. Section 1341—Elements of Mail Fraud

    “There are two elements in mail fraud: (1) having devised or intending to devise a scheme to defraud (or to perform specified fraudulent acts), and (2) use of the mail for the purpose of executing, or attempting to execute, the scheme (or specified fraudulent acts).” Schmuck v. United States, 489 U.S. 705, 721 n. 10 (1989); see also Pereira v. United States, 347 U.S. 1, 8 (1954) (“The elements of the offense of mail fraud under . . . § 1341 are (1) a scheme to defraud, and (2) the mailing of a letter, etc., for the purpose of executing the scheme.”); Laura A. Eilers & Harvey B. Silikovitz, Mail and Wire Fraud, 31 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 703, 704 (1994) (cases cited).

    [cited in USAM 9-43.100]

    18 USC 1843

    The elements of wire fraud under Section 1343 directly parallel those of the mail fraud statute, but require the use of an interstate telephone call or electronic communication made in furtherance of the scheme. United States v. Briscoe, 65 F.3d 576, 583 (7th Cir. 1995) (citing United States v. Ames Sintering Co., 927 F.2d 232, 234 (6th Cir. 1990) (per curiam)); United States v. Frey, 42 F.3d 795, 797 (3d Cir. 1994) (wire fraud is identical to mail fraud statute except that it speaks of communications transmitted by wire); see also, e.g., United States v. Profit, 49 F.3d 404, 406 n. 1 (8th Cir.) (the four essential elements of the crime of wire fraud are: (1) that the defendant voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money; (2) that the defendant did so with the intent to defraud; (3) that it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used; and (4) that interstate wire communications were in fact used) (citing Manual of Model Criminal Jury Instructions for the District Courts of the Eighth Circuit 6.18.1341 (West 1994)), cert. denied, 115 S.Ct. 2289 (1995); United States v. Hanson, 41 F.3d 580, 583 (10th Cir. 1994) (two elements comprise the crime of wire fraud: (1) a scheme or artifice to defraud; and (2) use of interstate wire communication to facilitate that scheme); United States v. Faulkner, 17 F.3d 745, 771 (5th Cir. 1994) (essential elements of wire fraud are: (1) a scheme to defraud and (2) the use of, or causing the use of, interstate wire communications to execute the scheme), cert. denied, 115 S.Ct. 193 (1995); United States v. Cassiere, 4 F.3d 1006 (1st Cir. 1993) (to prove wire fraud government must show (1) scheme to defraud by means of false pretenses, (2) defendant’s knowing and willful participation in scheme with intent to defraud, and (3) use of interstate wire communications in furtherance of scheme); United States v. Maxwell, 920 F.2d 1028, 1035 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (“Wire fraud requires proof of (1) a scheme to defraud; and (2) the use of an interstate wire communication to further the scheme.”).

    18 USC 371 Conspiracy to Defraud the United States

    This discussion is too long to cut and paste. Here is the link to the DOJ’s US Attorney’s Manual:

    1. and a court order took care of broadcast or through the air in two ways. One a blanket order it”s ok to tap tansmissions that originate or end in another jurisdiction or travel through an area outside the USA. Ever here of satellites? Or cell towers connecting to fibe optics?That’s just for starters. Another one deals with lisstening for key words and phrases no matter how transmitted.

  13. Well, here is the thing: the reporting about Mr. Trump exploring ways to pardon himself should be of concern to all–Hope Professor Turley will have a chance to provide guidance to us here in the JT Community and beyond–as I understand the strict legal analysis he’s laid out for all to consider as I wish all a great W-End.

    1. When you see broomsticks flying through the air, cauldrons bubbling, and Newt’s eyes, it’s time to hunt for witches. The evidence justifying the investigation is plentiful.

      1. Oliver Clozoff – have you SEEN any actual evidence? I sure haven’t.

          1. Ken – you have seen actual money trails? Someone is leaking tax returns again.

  14. The Constitution dies not require that a declaration of war be in effect for treason to occur. Here is Article Three, Section 3 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.
    There is no question that some commentators have added the gloss that treason can only be committed during a war but the Constitution does say so.

    One way of committing treason is by waging war against the USA; another is by giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    1. But the defense will say it’s not treason since by virtue of taking allegiance to a foreign ideology they rejected US Citizenship so treason would not apply. I’m just throwing gas on the fire. The next step in that is saying they weren’t working for another country since the USSR doesn’t exist anymore. Lawyer :Logic. Confuse the issue and baffle the jury.

  15. It’s not just an FBI investigation. If leaks that came in the days preceding Comey’s firing are correct, Grand Jury subpoenas had already been issued in the Flynn matter by the date Comey was fired. Therefore the third element of 1505 would be satisfied.

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