“Treason seldom dwells with courage.”
Sir Walter Scott
Videos, cell phone footage and security images have been surfacing of the capital building attempted take-over. These images of MAGA Mania/Mobocracy are as shocking and horrific as the images of airplanes flown into buildings on 9/11.
The violence to police by these Trump gangsters, made me sick to my stomach. One news cast in particular of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, made me angrier than I thought possible. In Hogan’s press conference January 7th, visibly shaken, he reported how his request for Maryland’s National Guard to come to the rescue of our capital was delayed by 1.5 hours. Why? Because he couldn’t get approval from President Trump to send help.
As the country grapples with the severity of what happened January 6, 2021, just less than one week into our New Year, our representatives are working to get Trump either removed from office via impeachment or by using Amendment 25.
If President Trump is impeached or removed from office, he will continue to receive his Presidential salary, health benefits, paid office space expenses, reimbursement for moving and most importantly a lifetime of Secret Service protection. There is no cap on any of these reimbursement amounts.
Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, the 25th Amendment and impeachment has come up again and again as a possible means of removing Trump. His behavior his entire life as well as his business dealings have always been in question. He treated the American people and our constitution no different than he conducts his businesses, with bankruptcies, conflicts of interest, lies, fraud, misleading product information, mistreating employees, manipulating accounts and bribery just to name a few.
In the more than 50 years since the Constitution was amended to create a way to remove a president unable to do his job, the process has never been triggered. The only time in history Amendment 25 was used, is 2002 when President George W. Bush temporarily transferred power to Vice President Dick Cheney while Bush was anesthetized for a colonoscopy. Other than that instance, Section 4 of the amendment, which allow the cabinet to declare the president unfit, has never been invoked.
On the other hand, if Trump is found guilty of treason he could be sentenced to death.
The story of treason and attempts to overthrow the government or to aid our enemies, is nothing less than the story of America itself. Treason is a capital offense and routinely described as the highest crime in American law, worse even than murder.
January 6th insurgence was an absolute first for this country in over two centuries. We cannot deny that it was a legitimate attempt to overthrow our democratic voting system as well as our government. All the participants, especially Trump, should be convicted and stripped of their USA citizenship especially their voting privileges.
Yet, why is no one talking about treason? The Federal Judicial Center states:
“In the Crimes Act of 1790, Congress created the first comprehensive list of federal offenses, naming 23 separate crimes. Although seven of the listed offenses, including treason, murder, and piracy, were punishable by death, the Act represented a move away from the colonial-era tendency to make the death penalty mandatory for all serious crimes.”
This weekend, one of my fellow Blogoholic’s posted an excellent post, Treason With a Capital Trump. I highly suggest reading Austin’s post.
No president has ever been convicted of treason, so there is no precedent. I couldn’t find any information about what benefits would be stripped from the president if convicted of treason. There have been few actual treason prosecutions under the U.S. Constitution, and only one person, Hipolito Salazar, from the Mexican-American War was executed for treason under federal authority.
We all know, we are living in times that have never been experienced in this country. With that in mind, my point of view is we must think about how we react to a government and president who blatantly treats its people and values with disrespect and dishonor.
Trump’s conduct has been far beyond the bounds of normal presidential behavior and he may have betrayed the country. But, nothing Trump has done, or is alleged to have done has risen to the level of treason as a matter of criminal law until now.
Our allies look up to America. January 6th broke the image of how other countries perceive us. Russia, China and North Korea commented on the capital coup immediately. These countries made it clear to their people how democracy can’t and doesn’t work.
If America wants to be respected leaders of democracy throughout the world, we must show that we will not allow anyone, whether he’s an elected official, a citizen and especially a president, get away with treason.