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writing for godot

Trump and Treason? Really?

Written by Steven Jonas   
Wednesday, 29 July 2020 11:18

By Steven Jonas, M.D., M.P. H.

This morning (July 29, 2020) HBO's Jonathan Swan finally got the interview that the White House had been preventing anyone from getting ( asking Trump point-blank about the Russian-Taliban-Bounties story which, within the intelligence community has at least some credence (enough to have made it into at least one Presidential Daily Brief, which of course Trump does not read).  Naturally he denied, denied, denied, threw shade on a U.S. General (Wheeler) who had seen Russian weaponry captured by Afghan forces from the Taliban, at least, up close (typical Trump; always attack, never defend) and etc.  Obviously, during the two-week delay staff did take some of his time to get him as prepared as he could be for such an interview.  Since he sounded alot like Sean Hannity in  his denials, Hannity was likely in on the prep too.

At any rate, if the "bounties" story is true, by doing nothing about it the President has committed treason (see Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution, in the column below).  I am not alone on this matter.  In its context, the 7000,000 member organization VoteVets has labelled him "Benedict Donald."  And so, here is an updated version of my column on the subject, originally published at:

As I said in an earlier column here on Writing for Godot, assuming that he is not in the office of the Presidency after 12:01PM on Jan. 20, 2021 Trump faces six major investigations at the Southern District of New York that Roy Cohn, oops, I mean Bill Barr tried (and failed) to get covered- up/dropped: 1. Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas; 2. Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew; 3. Deutsche Bank; 4. Turkish bank and Iran sanctions; 5. Irregularities at the 2017 Inauguration; 6. Russia (money laundering). Then there's what the New York State Attorney General and the New York City District Attorney might be coming after him for, to say nothing of what will be found in his Federal income tax returns (which would be sure to be released by a Biden Administration) and in the unredacted version of the Mueller Report which would be released forthwith also (that is after Rep. Adam Schiff and his staff gave it a good going over). To say nothing of the new and old/revived civil suits (sex, money, and other) to which he would be subjected. Oh my!! Lots and lots of trouble."

So, I speculated that rather than simply not running, he would resign, most likely in August before the Republican convention. And then, by pre-arrangement, Pence would pardon him, after which, with as much of his money as he could gather up, he would leave the country for one that has no extradition treaty with the United States, such Bahrain, Indonesia (there are Trump properties there), Morocco (great views of the Atlantic Ocean), or the United Arab Emirates (where Jared had lots of friends).

But now comes the possibility of trouble that would make all of the above look small. That is a charge of treason. Trump likes to wave around the term, in re, say, President Obama, but that is only because he doesn't know what the definition of the Term, in the Constitution (which he has likely never read), is. And so, here it is, Article III, 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. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood,    or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attained."

Jr., Erik, and Ivanka will certainly be breathing easier because of that last clause.

Why raise this question now? Because of the new "Afghanistan thing," of course. As of now, it is not entirely clear what actually happened in the "Bounty case," how far up the chain of command the information that was apparently produced on the ground in Afghanistan actually got, and what Trump knew and didn't know. But let's say that he did know and that the proof was incontrovertible.

If the latter does prove to be the case, one thing that is clear is that at Trump's behest, or lack thereof, nothing was "done about it vis-a-vis the Russians" (who, by the way, have also denied the validity of the multiple reports alleging that the incident[s] indeed did happen). And then worse yet for him, while Trump, for whatever reason(s) (and the possible list is book length, as in the Mueller Report, Bolton's book, and "other") did nothing, it did happen that on his watch one or more service people died as a result of the Russian "bounty program." In that case, what Trump did and did not do vis-à-vis the Russians might well fall under the "Aid and Comfort" section of the definition of Treason, above.

And of course, as of now Trump certainly does know about what is at least the possibility of such as Russian/Taliban plot, and he has still done nothing. The denials from the White House so far have to do with "Trump didn't know" or "the intelligence was foggy." There has been no denial of the possible existence of such a plot and then an announced determination "to get to the bottom of it." Therefore, it is quite possible that there was such a Russian/Taliban operation and that Trump did know about it. And whether he did know and did nothing, or now knowing of the possibility for sure and is still doing nothing, either alternative might well come under the definition of treason as it stands in the Constitution.

So. If none of the presently existing reasons for Trump to resign and run out-of-the-country would be considered good-enough for him to do so, treason (which carries the death penalty) as a reason would surely qualify.


Post-script: If there is indeed such a Russian/Taliban plot, why would the Russians want to do such a thing? As David Ignatius of The Washington Post has said: "A basic truth about Russian President Vladimir Putin, which President Trump evidently [sic] doesn't understand: Putin is in the payback business. He believes the United States destroyed his former country, the Soviet Union. He likes the United States to feel pain, in Afghanistan and everywhere else." It happens that in 1979, when Pres. Carter was considering whether or not to intervene in Afghanistan on the side of Pakistan-based Islamic rebels who were attempting to overthrow the pro-Russian government (which had originally been an elected one, following the overthrow of the former Western-supported monarchy), the then National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (Mika's Dad) urged him to do so on the grounds of "you can give them their Viet Nam." And he did. your social media marketing partner
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