In Re The #NYTimesOpEd
by KrisAnne Hall, JD
The cry for treason is unsubstantiated at this time and the claim of sedition is not applicable in regard to this NY Times Op Ed letter:
- There is no proof at this time that the writer of this letter is actually on the Trump staff.
- There is no proof that this letter is even written by anyone in government, this could be nothing more than more Fake News, a real “War of the Worlds” hit piece.
- Treason is defined in the Constitution in Article 3 section 3 clauses 1 & 2:
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.
Even if it is real, there is no evidence of overt act of obstruction of any actual policy or action of the president, aid and comfort to the enemy, or war against these United States, only accusations against Trump’s personality and leadership styles.
- Disliking the president’s personality is not treason. If you are an employee of the president and you write about how much you dislike his personality, that is not free speech, that is insubordination. But it is not treason. And yes, you should expect to be investigated and if necessary, fired. In the same respect, if you don’t like your boss, find a new job.
- Making negative statements about the president’s personality is not sedition. That is a history we already lived in the John Adams administration when he convinced congress to pass sedition laws to punish those who mocked Adams, calling him a “fat pompous king” and disagreeing with his policies. As a result of this unconstitutional law several politicians and journalists were fined/or imprisoned, one being a journalist who was Benjamin Franklin’s grandson. Upon becoming president Thomas Jefferson pardoned all those serving sentences under this act. You see, this is not a history we need to repeat, it is a lesson we should have already learned.
There is no legal cause at this time for treason or sedition and to cry for either is not based upon fact or law, but upon reactionary emotions and party politics. Our Constitutional Republic was formed to guard against the impact of emotional reactions and zealous party esprit de corps by creating a standard that is designed to protect Liberty over the pride or feelings of any person in government.
James Madison gave this instruction in Federalist 43:
“As treason may be committed against the United States, the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons, have been the great engines, by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free Governments, have usually wrecked their alternate malignity on each other, the Convention have with great judgment opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it, and restraining the congress, even in punishing it, from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author.”
These principles of Liberty are essential to maintaining a limited government, yet they hold a very delicate nature. People in public office and politics will always be held to a higher level scrutiny, as they should be. Those who choose to be in public office and politics must accept this as part of the consequences of their choice of employment and have a thicker skin. Americans must hold the principles of Liberty more dear than their feelings for those in public office and politics.