Giuliani also said that he saw a conspiracy to take down Trump and at least noted that this was a “guess,” an “experienced prosecutor’s hypothesis,” but added “I do this pretty well.”
Giuliani started by hedging on treason and then plunged head first in the claim. He first told the host “I don’t say that it’s treason, but it’s as close to treason as you can get.” He then added
“They wanted to take out the lawfully elected President of the United States, and they wanted to do it by lying, submitting false affidavits, using phoney witnesses — in other words, they wanted to do it by illegal means . . . What is overthrowing government by illegal means? It’s a coup; treason; and it’s also treason.”
As we discussed previously, this is a return to the types of politics practiced by 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.
The Framers sought to limit such accusations. 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.”
This is not treason or even “close to treason.” Comey has many allegations to address (and likely will soon face additional allegations with the Durham investigation), but treason is not one of them. Let’s focus on real legal controversies and leave treason out of it.