Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) made the argument that if Trump won’t fight election meddling and impose sanctions on Russia, he is not carrying out his duties as president and could be working for the Russians.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 17, 2018
Swalwell said on MSNBC‘s Morning Joy, “Do you believe it now? That’s what I ask, and most Americans ask of the president. And if he doesn’t, is he siding with Russia? Because that — we saw in that indictment that we have the clearest evidence that Russia meddled and the evidence is so strong that prosecutors believed they could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, highest standard in the law. If the president is not to act, not to enforce sanctions, if he’s not to put in place a whole of government approach to prevent them from doing it again we have to ask what do they have on him that would prevent him from acting in America’s best interest?”
Eric Swalwell’s argument leads to treason
Treason is constitutionally defined as, “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 reason why Trump or members of his administration are not likely to be charged with treason is that it would have to be proven that Russia is an enemy of the United States. The US is not at war with Russians, so defining Russia as an enemy is difficult.
Swalwell’s point is that Trump is doing the bidding of the Russians and violating his oath of office by not acting in the best interests of the United States. It’s an argument for impeachment, but depending on what can be proven, it can also be an argument for treason. If the evidence merits it, all that would stand between Trump and treason charges is Russia not being a declared enemy of the United States, but when a member of the House Intelligence Committee talks about a president not working in America’s best interests, it is a discussion that leads down the path to treason.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association