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Response to Greybnk48 (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 29, 2016, 02:53 PM

39. You would be wrong to think that what went on here is treason. For myriad reasons.

We can start with the fact that the constitution expressly limits the circumstances that can be prosecuted as "treason", which is why such prosecutions are as rare as hen's teeth in our history. It applies if someone levies war against the US or provides aid and comfort to an enemy.

So what is a state of war? It's a shooting conflict. And we're not in a shooting conflict with Russia. Statements that Russia's hacking of emails was an act of war are simply wrong, because if they were right then we'd be in a lot of wars since there are other foreign governments whose agents have engaged in cyber-espionage against the US government and/or its citizens.

And what about giving aid and comfort to an "enemy"? Well, the term enemy, while not defined in the treason provision, is defined elsewhere in the US Code and those definitions almost certainly represent the outer boundaries of what/who constitutes an "enemy" for purposes of the treason provision.


Thus, I refer you to the definition of enemy found in title 50 of the US Code (War and National Defense): Section 2204: "the term "enemy" means any country, government, group, or person that has been engaged in hostilities, whether or not lawfully authorized, with the United States."

The term "hostilities" is not defined in title 50, but it is defined in title 10 (Armed Forces). Section 948a - "The term “hostilities” means any conflict subject to the laws of war."

Our differences with Russia do not amount to a conflict subject to the laws of war.

As has been pointed out numerous times, it is because treason is so very narrowly defined and so thus so difficult to prosecute (as was the intent of the drafters of the Constitution) those not prosecuted for treason have included the Rosenbergs, John Walker Lindh, Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, Edward Snowden....the list goes on.

There is absolutely no chance that Trump will be prosecuted for "treason" nor would there be any chance of him being convicted if such a prosecution was brought.

Finally, foreign efforts to influence US elections and of themselves aren't considered criminal or the basis for any charges against those in the US that might be encouraging such efforts. I believe it was the president of France and the prime minister of Italy that publicly "endorsed" Hillary over Trump -- presumably because they felt the election of Hillary would be better for their countries (and probably for the world as a whole) than Trump's election. Did anyone from the campaign discuss those endorsements with them before or after the fact? Don't know. Don't care. Crimes may have been committed by the Russians and its even possible that Trump was in some way complicit, but even that wouldn't mean he would or could be charged with or convicted of treason.

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jodymarie aimee Dec 2016 OP
atreides1 Dec 2016 #1
uponit7771 Dec 2016 #9
truebluegreen Dec 2016 #49
wishstar Dec 2016 #63
Greybnk48 Dec 2016 #2
jberryhill Dec 2016 #10
Greybnk48 Dec 2016 #16
former9thward Dec 2016 #18
Greybnk48 Dec 2016 #20
Greybnk48 Dec 2016 #21
jberryhill Dec 2016 #24
Eliot Rosewater Dec 2016 #30
redstatebluegirl Dec 2016 #51
treestar Dec 2016 #32
LineLineLineLineLineLineReply You would be wrong to think that what went on here is treason. For myriad reasons.
onenote Dec 2016 #39
CountAllVotes Dec 2016 #54
jberryhill Dec 2016 #22
bowens43 Dec 2016 #35
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