Weld: Trump Guilty Of Treason

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is running against President Trump in the Republican primaries, drew headlines on Monday by declaring that Trump’s call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asking for an investigation of Joe Biden and his son constitutes treason. Indeed, the normally circumspect Weld, said that Trump could be executed for his conversation. The claim is wildly off base. The call could theoretically be criminal if, as I have written recently, there were a quid pro quo or suffice as an impeachable offense. That will depend on the facts that unfold in the coming weeks. However, it achieves nothing to escalate the debate far beyond the reasonable interpretation of the criminal code.

Weld stated on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that “Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election, it couldn’t be clearer. And that’s not just undermining democratic institutions, that is treason. It’s treason pure and simple. And the penalty for treason under the U.S. Code is death. That’s the only penalty.”

I have been defense counsel in treason-related cases that this is not a plausible charge on the existing evidence. 18 U.S.C. §2381 states:

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.

There is no claim here that Trump was levying war or given aid and comfort to enemies.

This type of hyperbole is not helpful in a very serious moment for the country.

73 thoughts on “Weld: Trump Guilty Of Treason”

  1. “What we know about the whistleblower complaint: CNN had earlier reported, citing a source familiar with the case, that the complaint was prompted by concerns over communications between the President and a foreign leader. The alleged whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications that partly prompted the complaint to the inspector general, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Thursday. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said”

    *************************************************
    This paragraph quoted above was from CNN’s website. I don’t know if this has been mentioned in any comments, but the lack of “direct knowledge of the communications” seems to be very significant.

  2. Where does this silly game of hyperbole end? So far, every ad hominum attack imaginable has been thrown at President Trump; all have just slid off our teflon Don. But seriously folks what is left to throw at him? I suppose the next thing is to allege that he is actually Satan but then the left would have to explain theology to their illiterate base.

    1. Yes, Brian, that is the Trumpster narrative: he’s a poor widdle victim of abuse by those who are sore that he “won the victory” fair and square, so they just keep making stuff up to accuse him with. Nothing has slid off “Teflon Don” (interesting that you’d use a Mafia analogy). There is no “hyperbole” here. By his own admissions, backed up by the notes of one of the 8 calls released this morning, he tried to leverage aid to Ukraine by repeatedly (8 phone calls) asking Ukraine’s President to “investigate” Hunter and Joe Biden. Ukraine had already investigated them and found no wrongdoing, so what he was really doing was trying to get him to manufacture some fake charges he could use to his political advantage. Yet another violation of his oath to support and defend the Constitution, which now requires Congress to act.

      Nancy Pelosi, a true patriot and savvy politician, knowing how divisive an impeachment inquiry will be, held off as long as she could, but this was simply a bridge too far. Momentum is building. Citizens have told their Congressional Representatives that they’ve had enough.

      One other error you Trumpsters keep making: you keep referring to “the left”, “libs” and “Dems” to describe those who are opposed to Trump. Most Americans: didn’t vote for him, don’t like him, don’t approve of him, and want him gone. Most Americans cannot be described as “the left”, “libs” or “Dems”. We are just American patriots. So, your “us vs. them” narrative relies on the faulty assumption that your pro-Trumpsterism is a mainstream view, which it is not.

      1. Screeching harridan man-haters like Natch dominate the Democratic party of today.

        The party that once fielded such greats as Thomas Jefferson, FDR, and Truman —
        the party that elected the first black president Obama, a man —
        the party that in recent memory looked past the foibles of the womanizer, Bill Clinton–
        the party that looked past the foibles of womanizer JFK-

        now is run by the likes of “Changing her mind is a woman’s prerogative” Pelosi

        Who comes on the heels of “Hillary”

        Whose heir is now “Liz”

        Democratic men: GET TO THE BACK OF THE BUS!
        We know who wears the Pantsuit in the Democratic party.
        you will now get to work quietly and diligently on your “honeydos” or be “cut off” !
        Fork over your salary, now!
        Henceforth, if they want a man’s opinion, they will ask Mayor Pete for his!

  3. I’m sure Bill Weld is contemplating some sort of political gratuity for trying to stab Trump in the back. The Russian collusion thing didn’t work, so maybe this BS might stick to the wall. The Dems know Trump will probably win the election so they will keep coming up with this kind of crap to derail him.

    1. The only thing getting stabbed in the back is the US Constitution. You keep repeating the Hannity narrative that someone Mueller’s Report didn’t “work”. It worked fine–read what Mueller found. There were dozens of indictments and guilty pleas. But for the questionable and legally-indefensible DOJ memo about not indicting a sitting President and Barr actually defending a law breaker, Trump would be gone already.

      Trump knows he can’t win an election fairly because most Americans do not like him. He knew it in 2016 and he knows it now, so he has to cheat. Again. Just yesterday, he said he was leading in the polls, which is a total lie.

      If you are so enamored with Trump that you think his solicitation of campaign assistance from a foreign country by trying to leverage military aid funds is just “BS”, then you have Trump Derangement Syndrome and are not a patriot.

    2. Does Weld– whomever he is, never heard of him– you say he’s Republican?
      Does he have a vote in the House or Senate? No?

      Then his opinion is as significant as yours or mine.

      The last loser who the Republicans put up to fail in a pres election, Mitt Romney: same

      These goofs aren’t fit to hold Donald’s coat!

        1. When that time comes, I don’t plan on challenging an incumbent president for the nomination in a 1000 to 1 longshot as a publicity stunt.

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