The Definition of Treason

18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

 

True to form, Obama has been careful and measured in characterizing the political and legal implications of Russia’s scheme to put Trump in the White House.  But while Obama may feel constrained by the weighty obligation to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, neither the media nor we citizens are similarly limited.   If Trump or members of his campaign had knowledge of or where complicit in Russia’s scheme, we can and should call that by its rightful name:  treason.

Here’s what is known to date.

Russia illegally hacked the DNC and selectively released content to Wikileaks with the intent of promoting a Trump win in the US presidential election.   The CIA, FBI and Director of National Intelligence agree on this.

At the same time, Trump has taken surprising steps — surprising especially coming from the historically anti-Putin GOP camp — to soften the US position on Russia.  Indeed, due to influence of the Trump team, a softer position on Russia was even made part of the GOP’s platform.  Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, has had extensive political dealings with the Russian government, as have Trump surrogates Carter Page and Jack Kingston.  Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s future National Security Adviser, has appeared as a commentator for Russian state television and sat with Vladimir Putin at a Russian gala.  Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, also is quite simpatico with Putin, even having received Russia’s Order of Friendship award from Putin. Trump himself has openly praised Putin and Donald, Jr. has touted Trump Inc.’s extensive business interests in Russia and the “money pouring in from Russia.” Russia’s deputy foreign minister stated that Moscow had contacts with members of the Trump campaign during the election and that Team Trump folks have been staying in touch with Russian representatives since then.  The latest news is that a former Trump surrogate is in Russia preparing American businesses operating there for the soon to come lifting of the US sanctions against Russia. (Sorry, Ukraine!)

In other words, the connections between Trump & Co. and Russia are known and multiple.  How then can we ignore the obvious possibility that Trump or members of his campaign conspired with the Russians on their scheme?  And how can we deny what appears to be a possible quid pro quo in which Russia is receiving benefits due to its help in getting Trump elected?

Given the seriousness of these implications, it would be fully justified for the Electoral College to delay its vote until this matter can be fully investigated.   In any case,  we who love this country, regardless of party affiliation, should insist that the Obama administration thoroughly investigate not just what happened in regard to the Russian hacking, but why and with whose knowledge.  In the end, saving our democracy may be the greatest legacy of the Obama administration.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/12/16/trump-raises-specter-treason/zdwgXRuJBMChEXmX5kchhP/amp.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-blames-putins-personal-grudge-against-her-for-election-interference/2016/12/16/12f36250-c3be-11e6-8422-eac61c0ef74d_story.html?utm_term=.201d27bbbc8c

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/14/505581348/trumps-men-in-moscow-trump-disciples-suddenly-showing-up-in-russia

http://www.newsweek.com/rex-tillerson-warm-relationship-putin-chills-kremlin-critics-hopes-533329

A Message to Irrational Hillary Haters: You Did Us In

Some days when I wake up in Trump’s America, I just want to cry. I really feel that those of us who did not support Comrade Drumpf — the majority by 2.5 million — were literally betrayed by those who ignored the stench of his perpetual sh** and pushed that lever in the voting booth — “Trump for President of the United States” — just because you couldn’t stomach Hillary.

That’s not all Trump voters. Some of you had other reasons. But let’s be honest here, just among friends. For many it was that she just wasn’t perfect enough for you. You could never forgive her for sticking with Bill — you chose to judge their marriage as being a politically expedient lie, though no outsider can really know the inner workings of any marriage (oh, but you’re so much smarter than everyone else). You could never give her a f***ing break for being guarded and private after having been mercilessly vilified for every sideways glance for the past 30 years.

Do you even know that she had policies and proposals for everything under the sun that might have mattered to anyone? Jobs, homelessness, healthcare, terrorism, mental health, animal f***ing welfare for god sake — but it wasn’t enough compared with . . . What? The endless stream of vulgarities and provocations from Trump? His “I’m gonna fix it but won’t tell you how” bullsh** promises? What a shame she wasn’t good enough to counter the glory of the grand lump of steaming hot sh** that Trump produced daily on his golden throne. She was only whip smart, only uniquely well-qualified, only brave and classy enough to jump into the fray of our dysfunctional politics with her head held up. Not good enough. You still had to put the groper in chief and his KKKronies in the White House.

Boy, that’s just sad. And — though I’m working every day to fight the corrupt and hateful values of the Trump regime and will continue to do so — some days, like today, I just want to let you all know how very, very wrong you were and that by handing our democracy over to a pack of liars and thieves — because of your irrational hatred for her — you will hurt many people.

The Storm is Brewing, Yet the Media’s Missing It

Is it just me?  I keep looking for media coverage of what I think is a “yuge” story about how many people are newly minted activists in the wake of the Trump win. But the media seems to be asleep at the wheel — again.

Pieces of the puzzle have been covered, yes — the protests, the donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, the increase in NYT subscriptions. But there’s something so much bigger out there that I haven’t seen covered in the press.

Here’s the thing:  I personally know of dozens of people — like myself — who are, historically, politically interested, but not really activists in general, but who are now actively using words like #TheResistance and #NotMyPresident. Not 20 year olds either (no offense, 20 year olds), but middle aged professionals like me — lawyers, scientists, professors, business people, healthcare people, many of us parents.  In other words, people with a lot on their plates already who are prioritizing this issue, every single day, to stay active and outraged, and to absolutely reject what Trump ran on and stands for.

The talking heads on the Sunday morning talk show I saw this week were all smug grins and normalization.  I could barely stand to watch because it is increasingly clear every day that Trump is #NotNormal.  For christsake, I read today that since being elected Trump has spoken to Putin twice per day — two times per freaking day!  — more than to any other world leader.

I guess our journalist friends — who I generally admire tremendously — are not seeing what I’m seeing.  Example: soon after the election, I joined a new private FB group for progressive lawyers; 20 days later that group has over 120,000 members!  The media kinda missed white rural outrage, so we know they can be clueless.  But how can they miss this level of activity and outrage and resistance? How can they miss the fact that many empowered and educated people are now getting activated in full blown opposition to Comrade Drumpf and his band of cronies and haters?

Of course, I realize there’s an echo chamber with like-minded people rallying each other on.  I live in an echo chamber, too.  But because I live here, I can tell you that I know my people and I have NEVER seen anything like this tidal wave of opposition from my peers and cohorts.  People who have been more or less on the sidelines are now attending organizational meetings, making daily phone calls, writing letters, planning strategies — and not just for today, but for the long haul.

I’ll say this:  though Trump’s election is a travesty and reflects horribly on our country, the people who are standing up to oppose him make me incredibly proud.  And hopeful.