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.
Treason, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2381
Former military prosecutor Glenn Kirschner has never been afraid to aggressively set forth why the public (and DOJ itself) doesn’t appreciate the seriousness of what happened on January 6th, even those of us versed in every element of what happened that day. Kirschner believes that one could easily prove every element needed to convict Trump of treason. In reviewing Kirschner’s reasoning, (VIDEO BELOW), it seems almost like the most logical charge. However, the possibility of charging a president with such a crime is so far removed from what we ever considered possible that it is simply hard to put in its proper place. But set forth properly, it certainly does fit.
Trump as president, had the highest duty to the United State of any citizen, which is obviously established. From there, Kirschner points to five elements proving that Trump “levied war” against the nation.
First, Trump gathered his soldiers: “He recruited the Proud Boys and others, ‘stand back and stand by, await before their orders.’ He set the date for the Capitol attack, ‘come to DC January 6th, will be wild.’ He deployed them, and he gave the order: ‘go to the Capitol, fight like hell or you won’t have a country anymore,’ go stop the certification.”
Kirschner points to the fact that Trump used the word “steal,” to prove Trump’s corrupt intent. One might also point to the fact that John Eastman, Trump’s attorney, told him that the entire plan, even the electors scheme, was illegal on January 4th, according to testimony from the Committee.
Kirschner moves on: “He then sat in the White House dining room for three hours, watching the attack with people streaming in, begging him to call off his attack dogs, and he wouldn’t. And we know they asked him to send reinforcements to the Capitol to defend the people who were under attack, and he refused.
Kirschner points to the fact that it was Pence who had to make the order to get reinforcements to the Capitol, something Pence didn’t have the authority to do, almost proving that one element of the U.S. government was at war with another (That is my interpretation). Trump also mentioned that perhaps Pence should be executed.
He sums it up: “Katie, if what I just described is not levying war against the United States, against the democratic process, then what is?”
Literally nothing. And the “literally” is used literally. There is nothing that could more clearly constitute levying war against the United States. The only reason that – so far – we haven’t heard the word treason mentioned in serious legal circles is that a little over one-third of the United States still supports Trump and believes all the lies. If only five percent believed Trump and the other 95% opposed what he did, the charge would be viable. As it stands, the charge might damage the nation more than letting it go and charging Trump with a less serious and inflammatory crime.
We are a nation of laws, but any action under those laws must carry full legitimacy among the populace. Too many simply won’t accept a charge of treason. However, it is perhaps more important that Trump be held responsible for something, any sort ocharge f criminal and prosecution at least preserves the idea that no one is above the law.
Some believe that the best and most obvious opportunity to prosecute Trump and hold him accountable may be a charge arising out of the top-secret files that Trump took to Mar-a-Lago. Trump kept those files in the residence of the White House and took them to his residence in Florida. Quite obviously, Trump valued those particular files, files that did not belong to him. Why? The answer could be as scary as the treason elements cited above. Indeed it could almost fit the exact same crime.
If Trump took national secrets to Mar-a-Lago to share with a foreign power or to sell, that – too, could be considered treason. It would be charged as unlawful possession of classified material and would be a serious and easily proven crime, one that would be controversial but far less so than the inflammatory treason charge.