National Commentary

More Than Contempt, This Is Treason

All that documentation that Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows dumped onto the Select Committee examining the January 6 insurrection has provided a wealth of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that President Trump engaged in egregious and explicit acts of high treason against the U.S. government.


Treason, that is, as carefully defined by the U.S. Constitution. a crime punishable by death. It is the worst of all possible crimes. It is the crime of attempting to overthrow the lawful government of the U.S. by violent and unlawful means.
The revelations of the recent days, in a 51-page report based on materials provided by Meadows before he abruptly cut off cooperation with the committee, have made it unmistakably clear that high treason is the only valid explanation for Trump’s role on January 6. For over three hours, he ignored pleas from those in his own orbit, including his own son, to call off the riot.


One of the most densely packed days of such revelations also showed, among other things, that Fox News was wittingly engaging in outright lies to the American people, urging Trump in numerous texts to call off the riot on the one hand, and going on TV to claim the riot was being caused by Antifa, on the other.


This irrefutable documentation puts the January 6 events in a whole new light, not altogether different than as seen before, but even uglier and more, well, treasonous.


This is the big pill that the American people are now being asked to swallow. It threatens to not only result in dead-serious criminal charges against Trump and others in his circle, but to shatter the whole edifice of the Republican Party as it is known today. To the extent that leaders of that party continue to front for Trump, they will bear the responsibility for aiding and abetting in Trump’s crimes, and history will not look upon them kindly, to say the least.


It will start with Meadows, whose sudden decision not to cooperate with the investigation led committee chair Rep. Bernie Thompson to state of Meadows, “History will record that in a critical moment in our democracy, most people were on the side of finding the truth, of providing accountability, of strengthening our system for future generations. And history will also record, in this critical moment, that some people were not.”


Harshest in her verbal indictment of Trump was Wyoming congressman Lyn Cheney, daughter of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and one of only two Republicans on the select committee. She is the one who set the tone for introducing the concept of treason directly against Trump. “Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes?,” she asked rhetorically.


While the immediate business before the committee was a vote to seek a criminal contempt action against Meadows, the criminal matter most obviously on the minds of the committee was Trump’s treason.


U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado, cited the law on treason in remarks before the committee Tuesday morning. He cited, “18 USC 115, that states, ‘Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levees 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.’ This is a death penalty statute! ‘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,” he said.


He added, “Just the memos that have been disclosed to this point, in my opinion, are treasonous. We danced around this a lot and we talk about obstructing Congress and things like that, but this was an effort to have a coup, to overthrow the country, to break the pledge of allegiance we make to this country and to the constitution.


“This was an effort to have a coup, to overthrow the country,” he said. It was treason, punishable by death!
Later, the full House voted 222-208 to refer Meadows for criminal contempt of Congress.