Below is my column in USA Today on the increasing talk of treason by both Democrats and Trump in recent weeks. President Donald Trump has indicated that his comments about Democrats being traitors was only a joke. That is hardly compelling in a speech that also denounced the Democrats as “unAmerican.” Clearly, many in the audience do not take such comments as a joke. At the same time, many Democrats have been calling Trump or his family traitors in the actual rather than rhetorical sense. There is no basis on the existing evidence to charge Trump with treason. These comments are equally reckless and unfounded. The Framers sought to remove this charge from the political discourse by not just adopting a narrow definition but incorporating that definition into the Constitution.
Here is the column:
Suddenly Washington appears to be a den of traitors. For months, various Democratic politicians and commentators have all but accused President Trump or his family of treason. Now Trump has said Democratic lawmakers who failed to clap at his State of the Union address are “un-American” and traitors.
These accusations reflect the distemper that has taken hold of our politics. Calling opponents traitors has a long and dark history in our country — a history we would be wise not to repeat.
Not long after the president’s inauguration, Democrats began alleging more and more serious crimes committed by Trump and his family. For months, commentators and lawmakers referred incorrectly to the crime of collusion with Russians — despite the absence of such a crime in the federal code. It then became allegations of obstruction or loosely defined conspiracies or election fraud.
Soon, politicians like Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said “treason” might potentially be the appropriate crime to investigate in relation to Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russianswho said they had evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation. Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for former president George W. Bush, agreed that “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 that Don Jr.’s emails about the meeting were “almost a smoking cannon” and added that “there’s almost no question this is treason.”
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Even former Trump adviser Steve Bannon called the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians “treasonous.” And Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., declared of Don Jr.’s eagerness to get the Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, “If this isn’t treasonous, I’m not sure what is.”
Indeed, there is a lot of that confusion going around, Rep. Moulton. In speaking with workers at a Sheffer factory in Cincinnati, Trump at first described the Democrats as emanating “bad energy” but then racheted up to “un-American” and, as with the Democrats, had only one place to go from there: “Somebody said treasonous,” he said. “I mean, yeah, I guess, why not. Can we call that treason? Why not?”
“Why not” is precisely the question that seems to motivate many in playing the politics of treason.
At the start of our Republic, the Federalists and Jeffersonians were not just acting like they wanted to kill each other, they were actually trying to kill each other. John Adams was more than eager to use the Alien and Sedition Acts to arrest his opponents and subject them to possible death penalties for political speech. Russian collusion was not a thing but collusion with England (by Federalists) and France (by Jeffersonians) was all the rage as treasonous associations. Indeed, some Federalists referred to the Jeffersonians as “Jacobins” — a reference to French radicals that the English often used as synonymous with traitors.
It is not as if real treason was nowhere to be found in those days. There was of course the infamous Benedict Arnold who sought to give the plans to West Point to the British during the war (and then led troops against his countrymen). Former Vice President Aaron Burr was accused of planning to carve out parts of the Southwest and Mexico for a new nation. He was arrested for treason under former president Thomas Jefferson, but was acquitted.
James Madison was worried that our politicians would follow the European abuses in labeling their adversaries as traitors as a way of arresting them and seizing their property. Madison believed that he could deter such abuse with a formal constitutional definition. In Federalist 43, he wrote that “new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free governments, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other.” He noted that the Framers “with great judgment opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger by inserting a Constitutional definition of the crime.”
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This language, part of Article III, Section 3, says “treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” The framers went even further to limit the use of this charge by stipulating that “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.”
So with such a clear constitutional definition and intent from the framers, why do we still have so much talk of treason? The answer is that some politicians cannot resist labeling opponents threats to the nation. Democrats like Kaine are using treason to mean an actual criminal charge while Trump is using it more in a rhetorical sense, but both uses are reckless.
From the Sedition period to the Joe McCarthy period to civil rights marchers and Vietnam protects, our history is replete with politicians who showed the same “why not?” attitude toward treason. The answer should not be simply that it does not fit with our definition; it does not fit with our values.
Politicians who traffic in the rhetoric of treason are betraying more than their oaths to uphold the Constitution, they are betraying us — a pluralistic people bonded to each other by a common constitutional covenant. We have learned from painful experience that those who are the first to cry “treason” are the last to support our freedoms. We are all Jacobins when we defy our government or our neighbors, but that defiance is what defines us as a free people.
Jonathan Turley, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, where he teaches constitutional and tort law. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley
244 thoughts on “The Politics of Treason: Both Trump and The Democrats Are Reckless In Calling Each Other Traitors”
I went to the local Democratic Party headquarters and the clerk at the front desk was singing this song into a tape recorder. So I recorded it too.
“It’s my Party and I’ll cry if I want to…
Cry if I want to…
You would cry too if it happened to you!.”
TRump and Pence were dancing around..
Each one holding his tail…”
I am no longer a Dem and not yet a RepubliCon. Rand Paul made some sense tonight about the deficit.
Is Ayn Rand related to Rand Paul?
As for your last question, no.
Nonsense about the deficit. Read an elementary economics text by Stiglitz or Krugman.
“Democrats like Kaine are using treason to mean an actual criminal charge while Trump is using it more in a rhetorical sense, but both uses are reckless.” Trump sounds like a dictator demanding loyalty, and the Kaine like someone upholding the law.
Kaine sounds like a Gay psychopathic serial killer to me. I get strong John Wayne Gacy vibes off him. I would just that bet he dresses up like a clown sometimes. If him and Hillary had won, I would not like to be the guy who sprays for termites in the White House crawl space after their term was over!
Who is “Kaine”? House member? Senator? Suger cane?
🔹 Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Why does this fossilized Deep State Swamp Creature have your ear? I thought you were supposed to be draining the Swamp, not soliciting its advice.
Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump
I will be meeting with Henry Kissinger at 1:45pm. Will be discussing North Korea, China and the Middle East.
What do the Republicans hope to accomplish by attacking Clinton and Obama continuously…15 months after the presidential election? The same thing they get out of attacking the FBI and DOJ: Divert attention away from the criminal investigation of the Trump administration first, and second, undermine and damage those same people and entities.
The republicans will do and say anything to get their tax cuts and deregulation for the moneyed elites. That’s how they roll. Trump is a dream president for the republican machine. He’ll sign whatever bill the republicans put under his nose and he will not act on a personally held contrary opinion. Paul Ryan can get the long dreamed goals of punishing the poor by implementing his foolish tax cuts and ultimately killing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That’s the first obvious explanation of republican obstruction and attacks. The second explanation is also fairly obvious. Most of the republican leadership have benefited from Putin’s Russia…much in the same way the president has benefited: free campaign propaganda, financial support and oppositional research.
And all the republicans have to do to keep the ball rolling is continue to destroy the instrumentalities of the federal government.
Forget Treason. Look at Trump University–the bait and switch scam that screwed thousands of Americans out of $40 million (this scam ran up until he was elected), Trump’s 2 pinches for tax fraud, Trump’s 106 pinches for money laundering, Sydney’s denial of a gaming license to Trump based on his extensive mafia connections, Trump’s employment of a drug cartel operator as his personal helicopter pilot, Trump’s 19-22 sexual assault allegations…of which he got caught bragging on tape, Trump’s payola to porn stars, Trump’s pinch for violations of the Fair Housing Act, his long association with Mob lawyer Roy Cohn, his close business association with confidant Felix Sater–a Russian mafioso. I could go on and on about Trump’s shadiness.
There seems to be a reasonable basis verified in the public record that Trump has a penchant for fraud, racism, and terrible ties to both the American and Russian mafia as well as Columbian drug dealers.
That’s not wishful thinking. Those are all public record facts. Like this:
“Our boy [Trump] can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” wrote Felix Sater. “I will get all of [Vladimir] Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.… I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.” Echoing a line that would later become Trump’s own description of why he and Putin might get along, Sater wrote that the Russian leader “only wants to deal with a pragmatic leader, and a successful business man is a good candidate for someone who knows how to deal.”
This russian mafioso flipped months ago aka Trump’s right hand confidant: Felix Sater
And true to his own nature, Prof. Turley writes an article couched in the false equivalency of Trump and the Republicans and the democrats and normal people. And for that fecal smear of legal cover, he throws in the history of treason in the USA. Trump lies about his Russia connections, his family admits to inordinate financial beneficence of Russian investors, and he fires the man charged with investigating the Russian sabotage of our election.
What the hell’s going on here Professor? We don’t need a dry recitation of the legal history of treason.
Where’s your article speculating on the crimes that Trump could be charged with? I bet you’ll ‘balance’ it out with more observations about Comey or Clinton.
You waste your talents and your talents will waste you.
Yup = a form of yes or, in this case, a type of agreement
One fool can agree with another fool…yup, I agree and say nothing else. Alternatively, another can surpass the fool with a bit of intelligent discussion.
Alternatively, one could just say, “Please STFU.”
Anonymous, anyone can be vile. But, your vile statement seems to be directed at Darrin Rychlak. How nice.
Allan concludes, “…your vile statement seems to be directed at Darrin Rychlak. How nice.”
If the shoe fits.
I can’t help it if all you can do is quote because when you write as in this case you run into a lot of trouble. I guess that is why you rely on being vile instead of intelligent. You are one of those fools mentioned in my comment.
Blah & blather below.
You are correct. Those people are not very attentive. The don’t know the law and they don’t know the facts. But here they are making fools of themselves for all the public to see. They are afraid and they let the fear run their lives.
The Trump Administration is under criminal investigation but it’s really Obama and Hillary that should be worried.
Here is why they entertain the foolishness they entertain: They are Right Wing Authoritarian followers. Here are some defining traits:
We know a lot about authoritarian followers, but unfortunately most of what we know indicates it will be almost impossible to change their minds…. Here are a dozen things established by research.
They are highly ethnocentric, highly inclined to see the world as their in-group versus everyone else. Because they are so committed to their in-group, they are very zealous in its cause.
They are highly fearful of a dangerous world. Their parents taught them, more than parents usually do, that the world is dangerous. They may also be genetically predisposed to experiencing stronger fear than most people do.
They are highly self-righteous. They believe they are the “good people” and this unlocks a lot of hostile impulses against those they consider bad.
They are aggressive. Given the chance to attack someone with the approval of an authority, they will lower the boom.
They are highly prejudiced against racial and ethnic majorities, non-heterosexuals, and women in general.
Their beliefs are a mass of contradictions. They have highly compartmentalized minds, in which opposite beliefs exist side-by-side in adjacent boxes. As a result, their thinking is full of double-standards.
They reason poorly. If they like the conclusion of an argument, they don’t pay much attention to whether the evidence is valid or the argument is consistent.
They are highly dogmatic. Because they have gotten their beliefs mainly from the authorities in their lives, rather than think things out for themselves, they have no real defense when facts or events indicate they are wrong. So they just dig in their heels and refuse to change.
They are very dependent on social reinforcement of their beliefs. They think they are right because almost everyone they know, almost every news broadcast they see, almost every radio commentator they listen to, tells them they are. That is, they screen out the sources that will suggest that they are wrong.
Because they severely limit their exposure to different people and ideas, they vastly overestimate the extent to which other people agree with them. And thinking they are “the moral majority” supports their attacks on the “evil minorities” they see in the country.
They are easily duped by manipulators who pretend to espouse their causes when all the con-artists really want is personal gain.
They are largely blind to themselves. They have little self-understanding and insight into why they think and do what they do.
–Dr. Robert Altemeyer, an Authority on Right Wing Authoritarianism
On January 29, 2018, at 10:24 AM, I spanked your a$$ after you made this same comment. In riposte:
Needless to say, you responded not.
Squeeky is dead wrong, as usual.
You can rub some aloe on his butt if you like! But, no. I just totally clobbered him, again! I suspect he will run and hide like last time. if you think I am dead wrong, then address my points!
Certainly doesn’t describe the Democratic Party or its leaders. The latter have their own collection of problems.
I recall that epic butt smackdown. One of the treasures of the blog. We need a HOF or an Xleague!
…about the chest-thumpers who engage in so much blather and blah, blah, blah…
If it is treason to take a meeting with a Russian who claimed to have opposition research on a political opponent…then Hillary Clinton would be guilty. She not only took a meeting, she paid a lot of money for the information.
For the record, meeting about, asking about, talking about, or receiving opposition research from a foreign source is not treason.
However, if the Democrats want to forge that sword, they can fall on it, as the DNC paid that bill, too.
Jon Turley is technically correct. “Treason” is, perhaps, too strong a word to apply to the conduct of the DOJ, the FBI, and members of the Democratic Party.
Here’s the actual legal definition of treason:
18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason
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 acts of the DOJ, the FBI, and the members of the Democratic Party to attempt to rig the election against Donald Trump would probably not be characterized as levying war or adhering to the enemies of the USA.
However, the heinous acts of the DOJ, the FBI, and members of the Democratic Party do constitute a rebellion against the laws of the USA, and the parties have conspired by force to “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.”
Accordingly, members of the DOJ, the FBI, and the Democratic Party are guilty of violating 18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection and 18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy, as defined below:
18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
“18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States…”
Seven Days in Maay Movie
“Traitor”, “unAmerican”, etc have been so overused and abused as to be meaningless.
Yes, of course, these terms should be used in very serious circumstances.
This persistent meme that Trump is a traitor working for the Russians defies all logic, as it blithely ignores that it was Hillary Clinton and the DNC who actually paid Russian spies for a false document on a political rival in order to cheat voters at the last minute before the election, and then they used that document to get the FBI to spy on that opponent.
This stubborn refusal of the media and the Left to acknowledge this fact necessitates the suspension of critical thinking and all reason.
The law should apply equally, but clearly it doesn’t.
Does anybody remember what people were called when they were openly skeptical of war in Iraq, 2002?
Such rhetoric is used inappropriately.
I disagree that the Constitution gives a clear, robust definition. “Giving aid and comfort” and “overt act” in this century, where warfare is carried out in the information space, is as murky as it gets. Would it be wrong to assume that actual violence to harm people (or taking planning steps to do so) is a threshold element? What if the traitor(s) plan is to destroy the U.S. gold reserves as Auric Goldfinger tried to do? Would destroying the nation’s credit rating be de facto traitorous?…..could Congress be brought up as co-conspirators? What about cyberattack? Would it be traitorous to work to lower the security fence guarding federal databases long enough for a foreign power to steal them? How about just failing to maintain the fence against an escalating cyberthreat? Mrs. Archuleta did that when director of OPM…was she a traitor?
I’m with JT that accusations of treason should not be part on the political dialog. Israel found out the hard way about where these strident, accusatory patterns of thinking and dialog lead to (the assassination of Yitzak Rabin in 1995).
The other part of treason that is hard to define is “the enemy”. There has to be a legal definition, but one will be hopelessly vague, since in modern guerilla warfare the warrior maintains an ability to repudiate association through deceptive means. Or, the enemy may be a faction within a nation, but not the entire nation.
The redistributionist liberals, as democrats, have betrayed and committed treason against the Sovereign,
the U.S. Constitution, commencing more than 100 years ago.
The Constitution omits and, thereby, excludes the power of Congress to tax for individual welfare.
The redistributionist liberals as democrats have forcibly imposed confiscatory taxation for the purposes of
“redistribution of wealth” as individual welfare without authority and against the fundamental law which is the
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes,…to…provide for the…general Welfare,…”
The Supreme Court of the judicial branch has been criminally complicit.
Colloquial treason, by definition, omits specific qualification.
President Trump’s unqualified treason is closer to the truth.
“Petty treason or petit treason was an offence under the common law of England which involved the betrayal (including murder) of a superior by a subordinate. It differed from the better-known high treason in that high treason can only be committed against the Sovereign. In England and Wales, petty treason ceased to be a distinct offence from murder by virtue of the Offences against the Person Act 1828. It was abolished in Ireland in 1829. It never existed in Scotland. It has also been abolished in other common-law countries.
The element of betrayal is the reason why this crime was considered worse than an ordinary murder; medieval and post-medieval society rested on a framework in which each person had his or her appointed place and such murders were seen as threatening this framework. Many people had somebody subordinate to them and feared the consequences if the murder of superiors was not punished harshly.
The common law offence was codified in the Treason Act 1351. Under that Act, petty treason was an aggravated form of murder. It consisted of:
a wife killing her husband,
a clergyman killing his prelate
a servant killing his master or mistress, or his master’s wife.
The Act abolished three other forms of petty treason which had existed under common law:
a wife attempting to kill her husband,
a servant forging his master’s seal, or
a servant committing adultery with his master’s wife or daughter.
Counterfeiting gold or silver coin was also petty treason before the 1351 Act elevated this to high treason.However the method of execution was not changed.
The punishment for a man convicted of petty treason was to be drawn to the place of execution and hanged, but not quartered as in the case of high treason. The punishment for a woman was to be burned at the stake without being drawn there (the penalty for high treason was drawing and burning). In later years the law offered a modicum of mercy to women who were to be executed in this fashion: the executioner was equipped with a cord passed around the victim’s throat and, standing outside of the fire, would pull it tight, strangling her before the flames could reach her. In a few instances, however, this could go wrong, with the cord burning through and the victim burning alive; the ensuing scandals contributed to the abolition of this punishment and its replacement by hanging in 1790.
The common law defence of provocation, by which a verdict of murder could be reduced to manslaughter, was also available in petty treason trials.
The rules of evidence and procedure in petty treason trials were the same as in high treason trials, except that the Treason Act 1695 did not apply to petty treason. Petty treason also differed from high treason in that the legal defence of benefit of clergy was available for petty treason until 1496, whereas it was never available for high treason.”
Is the following a good start to make a case of Treason?
Russians Sent $$$ to Clinton Global Init Through Dossier Figure’s Firm
Kudos to John Solomon and Jordan Schachtel for being on this story.
It’s back to Uranium One. And despite Washington Post efforts to get John Solomon fired, he’s still keeping up his reporting on Uranium One. And the Clintons.
An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in written testimony that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton’s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in US-Russian relations.
The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the testimony obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.
Campbell said Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clinton’s Global Initiative,” he added in the testimony.
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement. “
While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were selling out America’s Uranium to Putin, the slush fund for the woman who has turned her post-election career into one long Russian conspiracy theory, was meant to benefit from the sellout.
And Jordan Schachtel makes a crucial connection.
So we’ve got a key Steele dossier figure involved in what looks like actual Russian collusion. And considering the role that Fusion GPS played in these shenanigans, and its own Russian employment, it looks a lot like the colluders built a conspiracy theory accusing President Trump of their own crimes.
APCO contracted by Kremlin to lobby Obama admin (& pay Clintons) on Uranium1 deal
Now get this:
Who was APCO Sr VP at the time? Hillary confidant Jonathan Winer
Who was the StateDept official who moved Trump-Russia dossier into govt? SAME PERSON.http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372861-uranium-one-informant-makes-clinton-allegations-in-testimony#.WnuqP6_8q5s.twitter …
Petty Treason at a minimum.
Absolutely criminal racketeering.
“And despite Washington Post efforts to get John Solomon fired,…”
Look what they did to Rago (he won the Pulitzer for negative analysis of Obamacare) when he was hot on the trail of Abbot Labs and Hillary Clinton. Rago hasn’t reported on Abbot and Hillary for some time now. He spontaneously developed “Sarcoidosis” a few hours before meeting a Russian involved in the Veropharm deal approved by Hillary during sanctions which actually precluded the deal. Oops! The pharma-manufacturing facility was going to produce drugs for mandatory purchase under Obamacare which would be burgeoning if Hillary had won in 2016.
Joseph Rago –
“Wall Street Journal Reporter Asks Russia For “Clinton Information” —-Turns Up DEAD 2 Days Later”
“A Wall Street Journal Editor who was investigating how a Russian
Pharmaceutical firm could have been purchased in 2014 by an American
Pharmaceutical firm while Sanctions against Russia existed against such
business transactions, has been found dead in his New York City
apartment. The crux of the dead journalists investigation was how
then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the transaction to be
finalized, but only AFTER her husband Bill was paid $500,000 for giving
a speech in Moscow.
The Russia Consulate General’s office in New York City was contacted
by Wall Street Journal reporter/editor Joseph Rago who requested a
Thursday (20 July) in person interview with consular officials regarding
an upcoming article he was preparing on Hillary Clinton and her links
to Russia. Rago failed to attend the meeting and was later discovered
dead in his apartment of as yet “unknown causes” just hours prior to
this meeting occurring.”
OT but amusing – “Little Rocket Man” is sending his sister to the Olympics – accused of using the charm offensive
Kim Jong Un’s Sister Will Attend PyeongChang Games, Angering US
Kim Jong Un’s sister’s pocket book needs to be checked for treats.
That would be VX nerve agent, Anthrax & Sarin mixed up with the lipstick & makeup.
The following should be emphasized:
Jonathan Turley: “We have learned from painful experience that those who are the first to cry “treason” are the last to support our freedoms. “
“The following should be emphasized:
“We have learned from painful experience that those who are the first to cry “treason” are the last to support our freedoms.“”
…And that is seen in leftists that march violently trying to prohibit freedom of speech. Or by leftist academia that imposes costs only on those that disagree with them. Or by a President, Obama, that weaponizes the IRS and DOJ to attack his enemies.
The words “the first to cry treason” remind me of how long that Trump was accused of “treason” by a number of people, before throwing that word back.
Trump wasn’t “the first” by a long shot.
I think he would have been better off narrowing his accusations of treason to people like Richard Painter and Citizen Kaine, the ones who started/ promoted the “Trump/ treason” charge.
And Trump could have taken the “high road” and continue to ignore those charges.
That isn’t actually Trump’s style, and I think he finally decided that if people were going to sloppily throw around a word like “treason” he’d start throwing it back.
Trump isn’t wrong to do so. The left is too intellectually deficient to recognize the high road when it is taken while his supporters are able to read through the lines. Trump apparently knows what he is doing so I permit him a lot of leeway and so far the left hasn’t even provided any evidence to make me believe otherwise.
Shoot the messenger?
“Democrats like Kaine are using treason to mean an actual criminal charge while Trump is using it more in a rhetorical sense, but both uses are reckless.”
However, some are more reckless than others. Accusations of criminality vs rhetorical overreach should lead one to recognize the former being quite dangerous while the latter a bit bombastic or perhaps even funny, certainly not in the same category as the former which is what Turley errantly seems to believe.
“FBI Informant Testifies: Moscow Routed Millions To Clinton Foundation In “Russian Uranium Dominance Strategy”
Undercover FBI informant William Campbell has given written testimony to Congressional investigators after an “iron clad” gag order was lifted in October
Campbell was a highly valued CIA and FBI asset deeply embedded in the Russian nuclear industry while Robert Mueller was the Director of the FBI
Campbell was required by the Russians, under threat, to launder large sums of money – which allowed the FBI to uncover a massive Russian “nuclear money laundering apparatus”
He collected over 5,000 documents and briefs over a six year period, some of which detail efforts by Moscow to route money to the Clinton Foundation
Campbell claims to have video evidence of bribe money related to the Uranium One deal being stuffed into suitcases.
The Obama FBI knew about the bribery scheme, yet the administration still approved the Uranium One deal.
To thank him for his service, Campbell was paid $51,000 by FBI officials at a 2016 celebration dinner in Chrystal City
When it emerged that Campbell had evidence against the Clinton Foundation, a Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff (of FISA warrant application fame) slammed Campbell as a “disaster” potential witness
An undercover FBI informant embedded in the Russian nuclear industry who was made to sign an “illegal NDA” by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has finally given his testimony to three Congressional committees.
For all the people who only listen to Fox News, you should google Rob Porter and John Kelly so you can catch up on what passes for leadership in the WH.
Findings from new research- Trump supporters shared junk news sites at a 95% rate. Conservatives are much more likely to limit their info. gathering to fake news sites, creating an echo chamber.
The left’s receipt of and dissemination of info. is more organic and less steered by on-line manipulators.
You got that right, but since they don’t read from other sources, it falls on deaf ears.
The sources they would read if they strayed from fake news are the Oxford Internet Institute’s Computational Propaganda Project. It confirmed an earlier report from Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center
Good catch, Linda:
Abstract from the article linked above:
What kinds of social media users read junk news? We examine the distribution of the most significant sources of junk news in the three months before President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address. Drawing on a list of sources that consistently publish political news and information that is extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked commentary, fake news and other forms of junk news, we find that the distribution of such content is unevenly spread across the ideological spectrum. We demonstrate that (1) on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of known junk news sources and circulates more junk news than all the other groups put together; (2) on Facebook, extreme hard right pages—distinct from Republican pages—share the widest range of known junk news sources and circulate more junk news than all the other audiences put together; (3) on average, the audiences for junk news on Twitter share a wider range of known junk news sources than audiences on Facebook’s public pages.
There are numerous studies from numerous sources on the subject of “fake news”.
Anyone interested in this topic can also look to their own experiences on comment sites like this, or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
I find that there is pretty much of an equal amount of BS; i.e., fake news, distorted news, one-sided news….from the left and the right.
Those individual impressions, like the one I mentioned are anecdotal but not useless.
Among the articles, studies, “institutes”, etc. that one can refer to are:
“The rise of liberal anti-Trump fake news” from – THE BBC, APRIL 15, 2017
” Fake news tricks liberals and conservatives the same” -from FORTUNE, FEB. 11, 2017
Without much effort, one can find a myriad of “dueling studies” or “dueling articles”.
I’m not able to clock in four 4-6 hours at a time on this thread to provide a longer list of sources…so I just cited a couple of examples.
I’m also reluctant to post the conclusions of only one study, especially a limited three month study, and pretend that this is “THE proof”.
I’ll leave that to others who have no such reluctance, and far more time to “glean and selectively post” dozen of links.
Linda – please post the link to these “research findings”
re: “The left’s receipt of and dissemination of info. is more organic and less steered by on-line manipulators”
WTF? “organic”? There is also a big difference between Liberals (Hilbots, partisan Dims) and Progressives.
The latter group, which used to listen to news via NPR, BBC, PBS, read NYT, Wash Post, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Mother Jones, Salon, etc. is now completely turned off – we had our eyes opened during the Primaries when they continually plumped for HRC and trashed Bernie. Now she’s lost all they have is thumping on Trump. Really tiresome and a bore. It’s a shame as their are some really fine reporters and writers who work for them – but they have been muzzled by the corporate controllers.
Shoot the messenger?
T rump wants to turn the country into a kleptocratic banana republic. He and his billionaire pals are sucking the money out of the middle class and giving it to da corporations. Da media needs to be more to expose T rump and his bankster and oligarch cronies. One was another sex abuser, Stevie Wynn.
T rump wants to turn the country into a kleptocratic banana republic.
He can’t do that, Ken. Bill and Hillary already did it!
Mespo, music suggestion:
Paul Desmond Black Orpheus
It’s such the cerebral laxative I need from reading all of this tripe.
So good, Johnny U! Thanks.
Curious about Wynn being called out after all these years… My mom thinks Adelson was behind it. Major rivalry between the two — and Wynn had just announced he was building a new property several weeks ago.
It was Wynn’s wife. Lotta of da old pervs are gettin caught. When will T rump’s accusers get their day. His wife abusin aide is leaving. Hope was his new girl. Family values are big over there. Assaultin and beating women is somethin MAGAS think is okay.
Wynn’s wife was made Nevada’s Secretary of Education by its Republican Governor. Junk hauling junk.
She was quoted saying something like she was glad to have something to do to fill her time. Nevada’s schools, victims of the greed of Repubs.
Was Porter, her boyfriend or, was it situation like John Edward’s aide covering for him with Riall Hunter
Porter is her current lover boy. Leeandowsi was her old squeeze. Poor taste eh?
Name just one person in Trump’s orbit that is, or could recognize “good people”.
“Name just one person in Trump’s orbit that is, or could recognize “good people”.”
I can name many. How about John Kelley?
Kelley- who lied about a Black congresswoman… Kelley- who stereotyped a group as lazy based on national origin… Kelley – who called Porter, honorable. And then, there’s Kelley’s military record detailed in an article at Truth Out, at the time Trump appointed him.
Linda, you cast aspersions on everyone that doesn’t agree with you. To you, a conservative crosses in the middle of the street and suddenly he belongs in jail. Your charges either aren’t proven or are insignificant. You are a disgrace.
“He and his billionaire pals are sucking the money out of the middle class and giving it to da corporations.”
If Trump was taking money away from the middle class and giving it to Big Business, then why are 90% of workers seeing more of their paycheck? To take money away from someone, he has to have less.
Who fought so hard against 90% of workers getting more pay? Democrats.
One of the issues that I have with Democratic platforms is that they do not seem to understand how punishing businesses changes their behavior. Increasing the cost of business, in any way, affects hiring, expansion, investment, research, innovation, as well as the loss of jobs overseas. Actions. Consequences. Democrats always complain about any effort to help businesses, whether small, medium, or large. In effect, their platform can get carried away to the point that it is anti-jobs instead of merely being pro-worker.
The Democratic platform, in my own personal experience, has consistently taxed and burdened workers and businesses, in order to elevate the non working to some sort of special status. In my view, the fair approach is for everyone to be equal in the eyes of their politicians. Our representatives are supposed to represent all of us, the white men, the minority women, the rich and successful, the poor, the healthy, and the ill. However, whenever any corporations or other business structures receive any tax relief, the Democrats always raise the hue and cry. Where will it end? It is so very easy to tax other people. You think it won’t affect you. So tax the rich and the corporations always higher, call anyone who provides relief evil, and focus all of your efforts on the benefits to the non working, preferably the non citizens. After all, to their way of thinking, Democrats don’t get elected to represent citizen voters and the US. That’s xenophobic. They get elected to look out for the best interests of illegal aliens and the rest of the world, at the cost of citizens and country. Clearly on the victimhood scale, someone who is a legal citizen, cis gendered, Caucasian, is clearly the bad guy in identity politics.
Corporations are not inherently evil. They are as benign or malicious as the human beings who run them. Stimulating the economy is not a bad thing. Helping workers is not a bad thing.
NPR was promoting Alberto Gonzales as a “legal expert” just a few days ago!
Here’s an excerpt of an article you may be interested in Autumn: “Look at the worldview of the average person who identifies as a liberal and you’ll find adoration of psychopathic authoritarian intelligence agencies like the CIA and the FBI, a significantly warmed opinion of George W Bush and the neocons he ushered into power, a total apathy toward the US war machine and Orwellian surveillance network, a seething hatred of all things Russia and a hysterical McCarthyite beef with anyone who fails to fall in line with approved establishment narratives. They have become the very flag-waving, authority-cheerleading, art-killing oppressive zealots that the counterculture of the 1960s burst free from like a drowning man finally getting his head above water and clawing his way onto the shore.
As to whether the charge of treason fits, yes it does. If you count all the war crimes, financial crimes and illegal surveillance, there’s no doubt treason has been committed by many in congress as well as Trump. If we had a functioning rule of law, these people would be on trial, not in power. We don’t so they just do whatever the heck they want while people everywhere suffer horribly.
The propagandistic nature of the various treason charges is just political theater for various supporters. After yelling “Treason” they meet for dinner and have a laugh. Then, during the beautiful chocolate cake, out of one of the 14 bases the US has plunked down in Syria, comes a bomb. Lots of death from that bomb. Civilian limbs are scattered. That cake was delicious and taxpayer funded thanks to the agreement of so many in Congress. Let’s have a parade!
Yes Jill – I love Caitlin – an immigrant from Australia – wordsmith and keen wit. She gets in trouble for criticising everyone — most recently Berniebots as she had the termerity to criticise his Russia Russia Russia nonsense. I don’t always read her stuff – so much out there – so thanks for posting this =)
Thanks, Jill, as always.
Autumn and Jill,
Stumbled on this and thought it might be of interest:
That was really creepppyyy!
They retweet da Ruskie troll farm.
Interesting there’s no mention by the author regarding the POTUS ignoring congresses overwhelming vote to impose sanctions against Putin.
It’s not really JT’s thing to point out Republicans messes.
Got s contract.
And the GOP members of congress seem not the least bit interested in doing anything about it.
Since the president uses projection all the time when he speaks and tweets, the fact that he accused Democrats of treason makes me think this was just projection once again.
This essay, written by a Never Trump neocon, says that charge is not fair.
The Russians are not our enemy. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck. Must be a giraffe!
Nikki Haley said “Russians are not our friends”. That understatement belongs in the same category as “The Kremlin’s a benign organization.”
Nikki Haley is a fool. Adelson’s gal.
What makes Nikki Haley a fool?
Autumn, I ask again, what makes Nikki Haley a fool. When you make a statement like that one would think you had some sort of answer prepared. I don’t know Nikki Haley though from a distance she seems smart. Does it have to do with her support of a sovereign democracies rights to protect itself?
“The Cold War has been over for 20 years”.
– Barack Obama, in a 2012 debate with Mitt Romney.
Obama’s point was that Romney was overstating the threat from Russia, and he went on to say that some want to resurrect the old-style Cold War mentality.
I didn’t think that either candidate’s position was “right on the mark”, but in this case I think Obama’s position ( at the time) was more realistic.
A big catalyst in the move to classify Russia as an enemy was the surprise loss of Hillary in the 2016 election.
There’s a seemingly endless number of theories about why she lost, but those who had (and have) the most hysterical reactions to that loss are the ones most interested in “restarting the Cold War”.
That mentality presents some real dangers, as does a total lack of recognition that Russia is an adversary capable of undermining U.S. interests.
But it is the former mentality, the Cold War mentality, that presents the far greater danger.
Having Russians identify for the U.S., its “far greater danger”, isn’t very reassuring.
I missed seeing that Putin said that….I doubt that he did, but if he did, I missed that news.
No argue here, I have no doubt you missed that.
If Fishbrain has ever had any information, any knowledge, or any real ideas, he conceals it very well.
His bitchy, 1-3 sentence posts probably demonstrate that she is capable of little else.
How are Fish’s posts different from PCS’s? Can you contrast and compare, or do you need Allen for this?
A couple of diffeneces….PCS does not merely post a 10-20 bitchy comment to respond to other comments.
The bitchiness factor is not there, whereas in Fishfin’s posts that is ALL that is there.
So, basically, differences in content and tone.
Do you even read all of the comments, and, if so, how long have you followed the comments section of the JT columns?
Falling apart quick, Tommy.
“PCS does not merely post a 10-20 bitchy comment to respond to other comments.”
I don’t know what “a 10-20 bitchy comment” is; but PCS is bitchy, demands links, yet gives none.
“Do you even read all of the comments, and, if so, how long have you followed the comments section of the JT columns?”
Yes, I do, and have, for a very, very, long time. Do you think the sun rose when you first showed up?
Rolf – I cannot be bitchy, I am male. I do ask for cites and very rarely get them, I am still waiting for some from two years ago. I ask and move on. I am not like some who make a cause celebre about a particular missing cite. Do certain comments or commenters annoy me from time to time, yes they do. Do I respond to those? Sometimes. However, even when you think I am being “bitchy” I am very even-tempered. My response is calculated to get just the right response from them. I am in full control of my faculties.
Puzzling this …
Do authoritarian cultures discourage the initiative to search the internet, based on a key word? Or, is there a prohibition against trolls searching the internet, which limits them to opening a provided link?
Welcome Rolf. I’m so very pleased to meet you. Keep it coming.
Rolf – I am funnier. 😉
Too bad that fool hasn’t been paying attention, but I don’t think that jumping into a thread without knowing what the hell he’s talking about bothers woof.
Is compare and contrast in Allan’s skill set?
Is compare and contrast in Allan’s skill set?”
It certainly is part of my skill set and that is why you look so bad when we debate.
But, I don’t know how this comment pertains to the questions Rolf is asking, do you? Probably not since seldom do your responses match the topic.
Rolf, Tom doesn’t need Allan, but Fish needs a lot of help in better understanding the world it lives in. I am glad you are here to supplement Fish because if you do a good job we might be able to make some sense out of Fish.
Woof is goong to need a lot of addition support, and he’s already got some on board to prop him up.
Ok, Bob, you get your gunny sack, M-5 and re-up in the infantry to lead the assault on Taganrog ! It’ll be lonely but you have the courage of your convictions to tide you over. To the rest of us the Russians are mere rivals. To you — the enemy. Tally ho!
Operation Barbarosa II should not be delayed, as was the case with the 1941 version.
I fairness, those considering a second version need to know that.
And to pack lots of warm clothes.😉
Like his assault on the Sun during nighttime hours, he’ll invade only Russian indoors!
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