Law professor Jonathan Turley seems to be misinterpreting some tweets by Donald Trump, as well as showing a lack of understanding of Trump’s use of the word “treason.”
First, Turley writes,
President Donald Trump appears intent on fueling calls for impeachment with unhinged statements calling some who worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as possible “traitors” and promising to “turn the tables” and to “bring them to justice”. While the President could simply relish the lack of findings of any criminal conduct, he has again adopted disturbing rhetoric that is reminiscent more of authoritarian regimes than American administrations.
But the Trump tweets that Turley is referring to are these:
“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue.”
“It was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened.”
“It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even spying or treason. This should never happen again!”
Turley is misunderstanding just whom Trump is talking about when it comes to “treason.” Trump is not talking about “some who worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller,” to quote Turley, as acting treasonously.
While Trump did refer to “18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters” on the Mueller team, he was not talking about them. No, Trump is referring to the ones involved in “an Illegally Started Hoax” as the ones who acted treasonously. The ones who promoted made-up allegations in the Steele dossier and pushed that to the media and fraudulently obtained FISA spying warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign and for political reasons.
So when Trump is tweeting, “time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even spying or treason,” he is referring to James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and Sally Yates especially, the four who signed the FISA warrant applications knowing that the Steele dossier they relied upon was in fact unreliable and unverified information, and that it heavily used oppo research paid for by the Hillary campaign. Others involved in the scheme included John Brennan, Loretta Lynch, and Peter Strzok.
In the U.S. Constitution, the section on Treason (Article III, Section 3) states:
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 attainted.
As Thomas DiLorenzo pointed out, the phrase “United States” is referring to the states that make up the various states in the union, in plural form. It is not referring to a single unit. And the “treason” is when, for example, bureaucrats of the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. use the apparatus of war making against the states (“Treason against the United States”), or against the people of the states.
So as I wrote here, the “intelligence community” and national security bureaucrats’ FISA spying against people or citizens of the United States, committed by political apparatchiks in Washington and for purely political reasons, really does fit the constitutional definition of “Treason,” because the FISA spying (in which FISA stands for “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act”) is a part of the government’s war making apparatus. “Levying war against them,” as the Constitution notes.
So, Turley is erroneously suggesting that Trump is acting like an “authoritarian” dictator who will jail a disloyal, disobedient subject for “treason,” whereas it’s really the other way around. The bureaucrats in the government (Brennan, Comey, Rosenstein, Yates, Strzok, McCabe, etc.) who turned the spying war-making apparatus against other citizens are the ones who acted treasonously. It was they who were the apparatchiks of an “authoritarian regime” in Washington.