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Dana Milbank: It's the season for treason, according to Trump



In the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon, President Trump gave a lesson on American justice to the visiting South Korean president. Speaking about the Mueller investigation and its origins, Trump said: "This is actually a treason."

This was not offhand. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the probe was a "Treasonous Hoax" and that "what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS." That same day, boarding Marine One, he reaffirmed that what Democrats and Justice Department officials did in Mueller the probe was "treason."

On April 6, he declared it "about time the perpetrators … start defending their dishonest and treasonous acts."

This has become routine. Trump told Sean Hannity's Fox News: "It was really treason. …

Trump has publicly invoked "treason" or "treasonous" on 26 occasions, according to the Factba.se compilation of Trump utterances. This is in addition to various and sundry "traitor" references. He began by accusing the likes of Bowe Bergdahl, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, then moved on to include the executives of Univision and Macy's, Republicans who did not support him, Democratic lawmakers who did not applaud him, the failed New York Times , the media in general, people in his administration who leak, and Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Huma Abedin, James Comey, James Clape, Rod J. Rosenstein, Robert Mueller, Andrew McCabe , Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

The Constitution specifically says treason "will consist only in levying war against" United States "or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort," and it requires two witnesses. The U.S. Criminal Code requires that those guilty of treason "will suffer death, or will be imprisoned for not less than five years."

The strict definition and grave punishment make treason cases rare: only about 30 in the U.S. history. Trump must know this, because he has vowed to protect all 1

2 articles of the Constitution, even though it has only seven. He appeared to recognize the gravity of the treason accusation when it was leveled against him. "When they say 'treason', you know what treason is? That's Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for giving the atomic bomb, "he said in 2017.

Since Trump knows the seriousness of the charge, he must be interpreting treason the way King Henry VIII did, in the lese-majeste sense: Treason is anything that offends the dignity of the sovereign. Disagreement with Trump is an offense against the state, just as Henry executed unfaithful wives for treason.

This means the following people have committed capital crimes: All journalists and late-night hosts. Anyone who leaks. All Democratic members of Congress and people who worked in Democratic administrations. Anyone who ran against Trump. Anyone who criticizes Trump on social media. Anyone who voted against Trump

This means 65,853,514 Hillary Clinton voters will have to be imprisoned or executed. The U.S. the criminal-justice system can not handle much more than the 2.3 million people it already holds

This unfortunately argues for mass execution – unless exile is a possibility? Imagine the size of that caravan heading south toward Mexico.

Early on, Trump was relatively restrained in his treason talk. He even criticized Kim Jong Un's liberal use of the treason charge. ("Trump now calls Kim's" friend.) He began applying the label more to the Mueller probe and FBI officials in 2018. He determined that "leakers are traitors" and said the critical news coverage of his talks with Kim was "almost treasonous. "He said an anonymous writer and the New York Times both committed treason. He said Democrats who did not applaud at his State of the Union address were "Un-American. Somebody said, 'treasonous.' "

Democrats continue to commit treason by disagreeing with Trump on immigration, though most treason these days is committed by Justice. An image Trump retweeted in November, showing various current and former senior law enforcement officers (including Trump's own appointee Rosenstein) behind bars, asked: "When do the trials for treason begin?"

Trump's new attorney general, William Barr, has was fueling Trump's paranoia.

During his confirmation hearings, Barr said that "the Barrs and Muellers were good friends and would be good friends when this


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