Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice
Impeachment and removal from office are only the first steps; for America to be redeemed, Donald Trump must be prosecuted for treason and — if convicted in a court of law — executed.
Donald Trump has been President of the United States for just shy of six months now. I think that most of us among the electorate knew that his presidency would be a relative disaster, but I am not sure how many among us expected the catastrophe our nation now faces.
The sad thing is that I don’t even have to run through a laundry list of his wrongdoings and cite a litany of sources. Any quick Internet search or flip of the TV to a credible news source will run down the most recent scandal before the next commercial break. In just these short few months, Donald Trump has managed to gut environmental protections; sign two executive orders attempting to implement a travel ban on Muslim-majority countries; fire the former head of the FBI specifically for investigating the Trump campaign ties to Russia; isolate the United States from much of the rest of the world; and submit a budget which would eviscerate social programs designed to help the worst off among us. And these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head, without even conducting a search.
There is very little doubt left that Trump and his team colluded with members of the Russian government to try and rig the election in his favor, even if the Russians did not outright hack the voting process itself; while we may not yet have 100% incontrovertible proof of their collusion, the administration’s attempts to hide previous contacts with the Russians, their willingness to blatantly lie about their communications, and the contents of Trump’s meetings with former FBI director Comey are all incriminating on their own. And Trump’s decision to fire Comey specifically to hamper that investigation is obstruction of justice, no matter what spin he or anyone else puts upon it.
And the interference of the Russian government to circumvent our democratic procedures for electing the President of the United States is an act of war. There is no other way to chcaracterize it; this was an all-out attack by the government of Russia on our democratic process, the very foundation of our country. This elevates Trump’s simple obstruction of justice to high treason under the Constitution.
We can also argue that Trump’s continued insistence on a travel ban — he’s not even disguising his intent anymore, based on his recent tweets — serves the purpose of assisting ISIS, which is arguably the nation’s biggest enemy right now. Trump’s campaign rhetoric and subsequent travel ban orders against the Muslim population serve as a valuable recruitment tool for the Islamic State by giving them credibility. ISIS’ whole narrative is that Western powers seek to destroy Islam; Trump’s willingness to wage what amounts to a constitutional jihad against all of Islam makes their entire case for them:
“It can play into their propaganda, to make it clear for anyone who could be in doubt, that it’s a war on Islam and all Muslims,” Abdullah told CNN over a messaging service. The names of the now-defected foreign fighters in this story have been changed to protect their identities.
Another former jihadi said the wedge being driven between Muslims living in the West and their governments is exactly what ISIS wants.
“[Trump’s] helped ISIS a lot, he’s basically being a tool for them in a way,” Abu Obaida, a British former Jabhat al-Nusra fighter in Syria, told CNN via direct message. “On social media right now there’s a lot of people quoting Anwar al-Awlaki (the late spokesperson for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and his last speech when he said that America will turn on the Muslims.”
That Trump fails to recognize how much he is assisting ISIS with his rhetoric — or simply does not care — is a subject for debate, but it is a fact which he cannot dispute. By choosing to ignore this fact, he is aiding the greatest foreign adversary in the modern world and therefore committing another act of treason.
This same argument also applies to top-ranking White House and Republican aides, including — but likely not limited to — Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Vice President Pence. While they may not be participating quite as directly as Trump himself, the fact that they support his agenda and are helping to protect him means that they are accessories and are thus also committing acts of treason. All must face justice.
Much has been made of the possibility of impeaching Trump, but this will not happen as long as Republicans maintain control of Congress. However, Trump’s impeachment and removal from office are no longer enough. The administration’s crimes against this nation fall under Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, which outlines the offense of treason:
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.
Trump’s firing of James Comey to impede the investigation into an act of war against our nation, and his assistance to ISIS in the form of providing them with propaganda for recruitment, both provide “Aid and Comfort” to enemies of the United States. It would be difficult to find a more grave offense among those Trump and his team have already committed against this nation and its people. But all involved must face justice.
And that’s why the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump from the Oval Office are merely the first steps in what must be a long-term policy to redeem the United States in the eyes of the world. They are certainly important steps in restoring the credibility of our government, our standing in the eyes of the world, and our very democracy. But they must not be the only steps, lest we still be left with Mike Pence as the acting president after Trump’s removal. No, to quote our new fuhrer, we must “drain the swamp.”
Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency, but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Anything less than capital punishment — or at least life imprisonment without parole in a maximum security detention facility — would send yet another message to the world that America has lost its moral compass. In order for America’s morality and leadership to be restored, it must rebuke Donald Trump, his entire administration, and his legislative agenda in the strongest manner possible. And nothing would do more than to convict them of the highest offense defined by our Constitution, and then to deliver the ultimate punishment. Donald Trump deserves nothing less. Mitch McConnell, Steve Bannon, and Paul Ryan should also share Donald Trump’s fate, for they have done more than practically anyone to protect him and to throw our country under the proverbial bus. In order to survive, we as a nation must deliver the ultimate punishment under the law to all involved in its current destruction.