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.

75 thoughts on “Weld: Trump Guilty Of Treason”

  1. The fact that Bill Weld, who graduated with a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, thinks that a charge based on 18 U.S.C. §2381 applies to the alleged facts in this purported case doesn’t speak well of a Harvard “education.”

    1. Einstein received a PhD from the University of Zurich.

      Who could imagine him as president, mayor or even dog catcher?

  2. Glenn Reynolds noted he was once in charge of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney in Boston, and that the explanation is that either those bureaucracies have been in worse shape than he could have imagined or that Weld is disappearing into dementia.

    The amusing thing about Trump is that he provokes those who fancy themselves the adults-in-the-room into clownish displays like this. That tells us something about our governing elite.

  3. “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Mr. Weld, the American Founders challenged the authority of the King and were under threat of imminent death.

    They won.

    One may only ponder what their fate would have been had they lost.

  4. hmm tulsi gabbard against impeachment interesting

    hmm dems in trump leaning districts against impeachment

    impeachment fails, dems look dumb, trump triumphs?

    let’s wait and see~!

  5. Slightly off topic but a very good read:

    In any event, and whatever one thinks about the specific issues that are so hotly debated today, Trump’s approach to politics actually functions as an antidote to the conditions that permit despotism to emerge within a democracy. According to Tocqueville, the danger of democratic despotism arises from democracy’s excessive spirit of individualism. Unlike the inhabitants of an aristocracy, who are bound together by all kinds of unchosen obligations, democratic men mostly have to look out for themselves and are therefore in danger of getting accustomed to looking out only for themselves. This leads them to focusing all their attention on their private pursuits and to neglecting the political life of the nation. Trump, however, uses his massive rallies and enormous Twitter presence to make politics seem both urgent and, dare I say it, fun to millions of Americans, many of whom had previously found it hardly worth bothering about. Moreover, Trump, to the consternation of some of his conventional conservative critics, is not a preacher of individualism. He instead emphasizes citizen solidarity, reminding Americans of their duty to look out for each other’s interests and to take care of their country. Although Trump’s mode of expression is sometimes crass, he is here doing exactly what a responsible Tocquevillian statesman would do.

  6. Trump’s behavior was shady. He brought up Biden’s involvement as a way to throw shade on Biden the leading Dem candidate. Unethical?….yes.

    But there is no clear line defining campaign or candidate illegal behavior in soliciting foreign help in waging campaign infowarfare. The FEC rule is clear as far as foreign money donations to campaigns being illegal. Everyone agrees that money contributes something of value to a campaign, and to the extent money is traceable through transactions, there is a bright line.

    But the rules surrounding the info-space couldn’t be murkier. Is there any agreement that the Clinton campaign violated the FEC laws is indirectly hiring a foreign ex-spy, and him going to Russian operatives to dig up dirt on Trump? Can we agree that hiding this oppo-research adventure as a law firm billing was illegal?

    All we have as a red line at this point is: “If the other side did it, they’re guilty of a crime”. So, the interpretation of the law is 100% subjective based on its desired impact to either benefit “us” or disadvantage “them” — how can such a flimsy standard be the basis for impeachment?

    1. He brought up Biden’s involvement as a way to throw shade on Biden the leading Dem candidate.

      Unless there has been a full investigation into what Biden did, then what Trump has done is shine a bright light on something that has been kept in the dark.

      Our tax dollars are being spent on aid to a country known to be rife with corruption. It would be proper for Biden to threaten to withhold those funds until he was certain they wouldn’t be funding corrupt entities. It would be proper for Trump to withhold funds for exactly the same reason. And the fact Biden happens to be vying for the Democrat nomination should not disqualify the president from his due diligence any more than VP Biden’s due diligence just because of Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma.

      I see 4 possible scenarios:
      1. Trump and Biden did the right thing.
      2. Trump did the right thing and Biden did not.
      3. Trump did the wrong thing and Biden did the right thing.
      4. Both Trump and Biden did the wrong thing.

      Only a full investigation into both with bring the American people the transparency we need.

  7. The question is not what offense the President, or any civil officer, committed that is an impeachable offense before a person can be impeached and removed by a trial in the Senate? The only question is if the States as they are assembled in Congress consider the offenses to be egregious enough for them to remove said person from serving the United States through their position in the Government!

    Article 2 Section. 4.

    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.

    Who then determines what constitutes Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors, or what a High Crime or Misdemeanor is?

    Then again we need to consider what Impeachment is and how it is used by the States as they are assembled in Congress?

    It’s easier to answer the second question first and the conclusion of The examination of the Executive Department by Hamilton in Federalist #77 is the best resource for that answer;

    Federalist #77, Hamilton
    * We have now completed a survey of the structure and powers of the executive department, which, I have endeavored to show, combines, as far as republican principles will admit, all the requisites to energy. The remaining inquiry is: Does it also combine the requisites to safety, in a republican sense, a due dependence on the people, a due responsibility? The answer to this question has been anticipated in the investigation of its other characteristics, and is satisfactorily deducible from these circumstances; from the election of the President once in four years by persons immediately chosen by the people for that purpose; and from his being at all times liable to impeachment, trial, dismission from office, incapacity to serve in any other, and to forfeiture of life and estate by subsequent prosecution in the common course of law. But these precautions, great as they are, are not the only ones which the plan of the convention has provided in favor of the public security. In the only instances in which the abuse of the executive authority was materially to be feared, the Chief Magistrate of the United States would, by that plan, be subjected to the control of a branch of the legislative body. What more could be desired by an enlightened and reasonable people? PUBLIUS

    What this conclusion points out is that their must be a a due dependence and responsibility to the people, in a republican sense, that is protected by authority over the President, and that impeachment is only one of the tools the people have been empowered with to assure the President does in fact adhere to, and comply with, the authority of the People! Therefore the threat of impeachment is a tool to assure Compliance and subordination of Government Officials to the Authority of the States as they are assembled in Congress as the Union, the People in their Collective Capacity!

    So to answer the first question, only the States as they are assembled in in Congress as the Union have the Right and Authority to determine what constitutes a condition of noncompliance and insubordination to their authority as they are assembled in Congress as the Union!

    This makes the case for impeachment and subsequent removal very simple, because as the Supreme Legislative and Governing Authority, the Union has only to consider if there has been a breach of compliance and insubordination to their authority by failure to take care to faithfully execute the Laws and policies, they themselves legislated, to remove any Government Official, up to and including the President of the United States!

    Since Impeachment and removal is not a criminal proceeding, no investigation or legal justification needs to be made before the States as they are assembled in Congress, the Union, proceed to impeach and remove the Officer, or what the details of the Process of impeachment and removal are, the Constitution only provides for impeachment to be performed as a process in the House where Concurrence is by a Proportional Majority Consensus of the States, and that the person once impeach will be remanded over for trial in the Senate where the States have Equal Suffrage and concurrence for removal is by 2/3 Majority Consensus of the States Present, a quorum for which purpose is constituted by 2/3 of the States!

    Notice there are no political, or Party Affiliation, qualifications on the Impeachment or removal processes, due to the fact that these Affiliations Based Upon Party affiliations are by nature conflicts of interest which would impede, or otherwise obstruct, Legislative Processes by interfering with the ability to properly reach a Majority Consensus of the States according to the Mode of Assembly, Proportional in the House and as Equals in the Senate. Furthermore the Parties are not Members of Congress and therefore have no Rights of Representation, Assembly, or Suffrage in Congress, therefore cannot participate in any Legislative functions or processes!

    Impeachment is not a political tool to use against your political adversaries, it’s a tool of the People in their Collective Capacity to enforce compliance and subordination of all Government Officials serving the United States, to the Authority of the People in their Collective Capacity, The Union!

    1. So Einstein here is saying that Obongo should have been summarily impeached, convicted and penalized for fraud, usurpation, abuse of power and treason against the Constitution which requires the president to be a “natural born citizen” while Obongo was, at best, simply a “citizen.”

      Obongo will NEVER be eligible to be U.S. president.

      Obongo’s parents were foreign citizens at the time of his birth.

      – A “citizen” could only have been President at the time of the adoption of the Constitution – not after.

      – The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, requires the President to be a “natural born citizen,” which, by definition in the Law of Nations, requires “parents who are citizens” at the time of birth of the candidate and that he be “…born of a father who is a citizen;…”

      – Ben Franklin thanked Charles Dumas for copies of the Law of Nations which “…has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting,…”

      – The Jay/Washington letter of July, 1787, raised the presidential requirement from citizen to “natural born citizen” to place a “strong check” against foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief.

      – Every American President before Obama had two parents who were American citizens.

      – The Constitution is not a dictionary and does not define words or phrases like “natural born citizen” as a dictionary, while the Law of Nations,1758, did.


      Law of Nations, Vattel, 1758

      Book 1, Ch. 19

      § 212. Citizens and natives.

      “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”


      Ben Franklin letter December 9, 1775, thanking Charles Dumas for 3 copies of the Law of Nations:

      “…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”


      To George Washington from John Jay, 25 July 1787

      From John Jay

      New York 25 July 1787

      Dear Sir

      I was this morning honored with your Excellency’s Favor of the 22d

      Inst: & immediately delivered the Letter it enclosed to Commodore

      Jones, who being detained by Business, did not go in the french Packet,

      which sailed Yesterday.

      Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to

      provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the

      administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief

      of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.

      Mrs Jay is obliged by your attention, and assures You of her perfect

      Esteem & Regard—with similar Sentiments the most cordial and sincere

      I remain Dear Sir Your faithful Friend & Servt

      John Jay

      1. Wow George, maybe you have plenty of time to copy and paste, but no one will take time to read this ignorant diatribe.

        Take some time to learn something, you might start with reading and comprehension!

        You are a waste of space George! Get a life!

        1. Thanks for reading.

          America needs to see the failed inutile product of its investment in “Generational Welfare” and “Affirmative Action Privilege.”

          You go, boy!

  8. Yeah, and you know another hilarious thing??? The Democrats are accusing Trump of treason, too – and they are the party that says the United States should have no borders! That borders are raaaacisssst! How ironic!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. This is getting so scary. Trump is a war criminal and he has been committing treason by violating our Constitution throughout his term of office. He is also in progress with his false flag to get our military wounded and killed on behalf of the socialist state oil corporation of Saudi Arabia. He should be impeached and he should be in prison.

    That said, running around calling for other people’s death is disgusting. We have a courts system and we have jails. We do not need capital punishment for anyone, including Trump.

    The deep state appears to be splintering. They are out to get each other. Trump will be doubling down on his false flag to attach Iran so no one will notice the Biden illegalities. Many Iranians will die over this, in addition to our own soldiers. The deep state is so far out of control and passt normal behavior that it is just freakish.

    No part of the deep state worried about Nazis, real ones, not neo-nazis, in the Ukraine. They most certainly don’t mind working with an oil rich murderous MBS. This administration is covering up the Saudi government’s involvement in 9/11 with Bill Barr working overtime to screw over the 9/11 families and first responders. Meanwhile they are busy covering up the pedophilia they ALL engage in. Barr is hard at work on this as well. These are the people running the entire world into the ground.

    They are all pedophile, murderous thugs. If you have a difficult time understanding this as accurate information please read Whitney Webb’s 5 part article on Epstein with everything documented for you to check out on your own. It is at Mint Press News.

  10. (music)
    Here’s to you Mizzes Robinson…
    Jumpin Joe has up and gone away!
    Way hey hey…

  11. We know Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine if they did not fire the prosecutor. That fact is not in question. The reason is in question. Best case scenario for Biden is he did not want the US giving aid to a country so corrupt that the aid would not get to what it was authorized for by Congress. Worst case scenario for Biden is this was a quid pro quo to protect his son from an investigation into corruption involving Burisma and by extension Biden’s VP status influencing Burisma to get Hunter Biden the position.

    Trump had additional funds designated for Ukraine. We should expect the President do his due diligence to make sure we’re not giving aid to a corrupt government. Isn’t that what Biden is claiming he was doing? If the President has concerns previous aid was given to Ukraine aiding in corruption and that was a quid pro quo by the former vice president, he has a duty to confirm with the leader of Ukraine that the previous aid was provided without corrupt motives. If he cannot be provided that certainty, Ukraine should not receive further aid. The fact he released the aid is significant. If it was a quid pro quo, what has the President received in return? If he receives evidence the Biden event was proper, then the funds get released. However, if he receives evidence that a sitting US vice president had corrupt motives and violated the law, should that be ignored because that VP is now a candidate for president?

    Biden should have no problem getting his name cleared if in fact he did nothing wrong. Congress should be demanding that.

      1. the reason Biden – and virtually the entire western world and the IMF – worked to get Shokin fired is not in question.

        Apparently it is. But fortunately for Biden, he will have a bright light put on this issue and he will have his standing enhanced by the outcome.

        1. You’re in Alabama hurricane Dorian territory Olly.

          You have the facts from the WSJ. Use them.

            1. JOHN SOLOMON, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR is a hack, not a reporter. Read a newspaper and a news report Olly. The facts are known.

                  1. And you’ll continue to be wrong about me if you believe my trusted sources need to be right enough. There is not one source that does my thinking for me. Everything Solomon has reported over the last 3 years has all been supported by evidence. The upcoming reports will also bear that out. If that makes him a hack, then I question your motivations.

                  2. Epoch Times is a little rightish, I kind of like them:


                    Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sept. 25 that he didn’t feel pressured by President Donald Trump during a phone call the two had in July.

                    The call has been the focus of an impeachment inquiry by Trump critics who say he acted untoward during the call by asking Zelensky to probe former Vice President Joe Biden for his role in getting a Ukranian prosecutor fired.

                    Biden bragged last year that he pressured then-Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 into firing the prosecutor, who was probing Burisma. Biden’s son Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma from 2014 through 2019.

                    Speaking to reporters at the United Nations before a meeting with Trump, with the American president by his side, Zelensky said it was a “good phone call.”

                    “I don’t want to be involved to democratic open elections of USA [sic],” Zelensky said. “You heard that we had good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things. I think, and you read it, and nobody pushed me.”

                    “No pressure,” Trump added.

                    The transcript was released earlier Wednesday, a decision Trump said was cleared with Ukraine through Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

                    1. That’s BS Kurtz. Shokin wasn’t investigating Burisma or anyone. That’s why he got fired.

                      Look it up and use the WSJ next time.

                    2. Anon, you seem more up on the details than I am.

                      I am a little dense like the average Joe who doesn’t have paid subscriptions to the papers of note.

                      I and Joe will have a hard time understanding how Hunter Biden’s awesome patronage job voting “yes” four times a year for a foreign energy company to the tune of $150,000 a telephone conference is what the grounds for impeaching Trump are.

                      But please do keep on trying to explain. I enjoy our chats!

                      I remember when I was young and I was hoping for some yes man jobs like that too. Ah well, I have to be content with being a nobody. At least I have time to post on the Turley blog!

                    3. Kurtz, Hunter Biden has nothing to do with Trump’s problem except as a prop in his illegal campaign.

                      Sure who wouldn’t want to cash in on a famous relative?

                      Well, probably many have passed that up. I have to go, but I’ll look later for a Bloomberg article that was not behind a fire wall. The WSJ coverage was free, but covered up after one read. I copied much of it here.

  12. What a stuped f—er! He deserves an Irish Poem!

    His Is Not To Treason Why???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was an idiot named Weld!
    Whose legal analysis failed!
    He was sooo hot to trot,
    That he used brain NOT,
    And his hyperbole really smelled!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Why did you crawl out from under whatever rock you’ve been under for the several months we haven’t been graced with you and your racist, stupid remarks and dumb “poetry”?

      1. here’s some poetry that’s dumb yet profound all at once. no charge for this pleasurable service to you Natch

        ““there is a loneliness in this world so great
        that you can see it in the slow movement of
        the hands of a clock.

        people so tired
        either by love or no love.

        people just are not good to each other
        one on one.

        the rich are not good to the rich
        the poor are not good to the poor.

        we are afraid.

        our educational system tells us
        that we can all be
        big-ass winners.

        it hasn’t told us
        about the gutters
        or the suicides.

        or the terror of one person
        aching in one place

        unspoken to

        watering a plant.”

        ― Charles Bukowski, Love Is a Dog from Hell

        1. “it hasn’t told us
          about the gutters
          or the suicides.”

          “It hasn’t told us”…

          about COINTELPRO, or MKUltra, or any or the other things that are done secretly to terrorize American citizens…

  13. And once again JT leaves out the fact that the foreign minister of Ukraine, who is familiar with the conversation, said there was no pressure and the entire conversation was appropriate.

    1. Trump has no character to defame, and any smack to Weld’s face would be considered and aggravated assault, which is punishable by law!

      Have you looked the word Insurrection up? Maybe you should!

  14. Deny, Deflect, Defend…and throw red meat to his adoring supporters. Well done, thy good and faithful servant for the rich…and his voters.

  15. I didn’t think you could have been governor of a state and also be ignorant of the elements of the crime of treason.
    But Bill Weld has been. (feel free to insert dash for desired effect)

  16. An irrelevant man desperate for attention makes a ridiculous statement.

    Just keep ignoring Weld.

  17. Yes, but just what is the complaint here? If a president thinks one of our own citizens has wronged people in another country and, head-of-state to head-of-state so advises, or even encourages an investigation or prosecution of that person by the foreign government, it’s more than a little weird but why should it be a criminal offense?

    1. If there’s a quid pro quo it’s obviously illegal and targeting a political rival for personal gain would seem treasonous. Saying the only punishment for it is death would seem to be incorrect, regardless.

      1. Okay, let’s make it worst case scenario. “Hello, Mr. Head of foreign state. I think this guy that is my political opponent has committed crimes against your country and I think you should look into it. In fact, I’m going to sit on this aid package I have here for you until you do.”

        It’s an abuse of power. But a crime? How so?

    2. Anyone who’s seen “Air Force One” kniws Presidents are allowed to kick some ass now and then.

        1. Gettysburg: 51,000 Americans killed in three days – no slaves harmed.

          “Crazy Abe’s” single greatest achievement:

          “a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,”

          “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom…”

          No nation in history ended slavery through total war.

          Secession was and is fully constitutional.

          Everything “Crazy Abe” and his successors did was and is illegitimate and unconstitutional.

          “Casualties at Gettysburg totaled 23,049 for the Union (3,155 dead, 14,529 wounded, 5,365 missing). Confederate casualties were 28,063 (3,903 dead, 18,735 injured, and 5,425 missing), more than a third of Lee’s army.”

          – HISTORYNET

        2. If Lee had just listened to Longstreet, it would have been POTCS kicking ass. And, admittedly, the bravery of the 20th Maine at Little Round Top saved the day for the Union.

          1. “Crazy Abe” Lincoln was a criminal, treasonous, psychotic tyrannical despot – oh and a homosexual. It wasn’t about the military, it was about the Constitution. Nothing “Crazy Abe” or his successors did was or is legitimate or constitutional. The “Reconstruction Amendments,” improperly ratified and coerced under brutal post-war military occupation, were and are illegitimate and unconstitutional to this day. Nothing accomplished through criminal acts is legal. “Crazy Abe” was the first version of Hitler. Both sneaked into office with minority vote percentages, both neutralized the other branches of government and both ruled as brutal barbarous dictators.

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