The United States is under attack.
It is not an attack with bombs or airplanes. No one has been killed and property has not been damaged. It is, however, an attack on the most valuable thing that we have, something over a million people have gladly given their lives in the past to protect – our democracy.
This is a highly coordinated and sustained attack by a foreign power. It is still ongoing, and appears to have gradually grown more sophisticated over a period of years. There is reason to believe that will continue unless it is stopped.
Denial of this attack and the perpetrators who we certainly know are carrying it out, Vladimir Putin’s Russia, is hindering our response to this attack and making our democracy more vulnerable. That this effort to thwart our defenses and distract the public’s attention away from the threat comes from the very top of our leadership can only be described as treason.
The Constitution of the United States is very specific. The founders did not want treason to be used as broadly as it had in England, as it was the most effective way to shut down criticism of the government. A free society demands a definition of treason which is very specific and only applies to particularly heinous and obvious acts. The precise text is found in Article III Section 3:
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.
This is the only crime mentioned in the Constitution. It specifies levying war against the United States or providing “aid and comfort” to the enemy who is at war as the only definition of treason. It is a high standard all around.
There is no question that Russia has been involved in a sustained attack on the US electoral system. For an update on what is known to the public, this excellent website is keeping track of what has been released so far. While there is no evidence that voting itself has been affected, it is not for a lack of trying. The debate that leads up to elections has certainly been affected, and we have learned that the Democratic Party’s entire playbook for 2016 was stolen.
This is more significant than the information that was taken in the Watergate burglary.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that all of this is indeed accurate and that more needs to be done to protect our elections. This is not a partisan issue. The facts are well established and accepted at this point: Russia interfered in the 2016 election for the purpose of helping Trump, and continues to interfere where they can.
In the face of this, President Trump has repeatedly denied that the election was interfered with. He has blocked attempts to secure the next election in November. Most recently, he met with Putin and accepted on the face of it Putin’s denial that this interference occurred.
This is very much giving aid and comfort to the enemy at a time when the nation is under attack. It is not incompetence, in that it is a consistent and deliberate series of actions. The process of responding to the attacks on the United States and its electoral system have been diminished by the actions of the President and have been discredited by his words alongside the perpetrator of these attacks.
This meets the Constitutional definition of treason. The President needs to be removed from office as soon as possible for the purpose of having an executive in charge who is willing and able to meet the challenges posed by sustained attacks on the core of the American system.