A peek into the future, when all the dots have been connected.
“Treason” is an act of criminal disloyalty to the state, according to the dictionary. It is especially egregious when you have been formally elected by the citizens to be the head of state and have sworn a public oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” it.
It has been noted many times that Donald Trump seems to be an echo chamber for Vladimir Putin’s talking points. More important, Trump seems to be a supporter and an advocate for the Russian president’s political interests and objectives, often in ways that undermine our own. The most logical explanation for Trump’s subservience is that he has deeply betrayed his country.
Consider just a sampler of the many suspicious “dots” that have been identified. Some years ago, Trump’s son revealed that a lot of the Trump organization’s financing came from Russia, very likely through questionable Deutsche Bank loans as others have noted. (Trump had become an untouchable to American banks after various betrayals.) A number of Trump properties and condos have been purchased (anonymously) by shady Russians for cash, some at inflated prices and very possibly with dark money. Trump has long sought to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. (His election as President put that project on hold.) So, Russia has a huge financial stake (and political leverage) with Trump, and possibly also a blackmailer’s knowledge of the Trump organization. There are also rumors that the Russians have personal “dirt” on Trump as well, but the financial entanglements alone are deeply suspicious.
What else could explain such things as Trump’s obsequious behavior toward Putin; his secret one-on-one meetings with Putin; his personal phone calls with the transcripts locked away under the highest security classification; his aggressive, persistent efforts to lift the economic sanctions imposed on Russia for invading the Ukraine without requiring any quid pro quo; making Paul Manafort (with deep Russian connections but no experience running a campaign in this country) his campaign manager; welcoming Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential campaign; rejecting the compelling evidence from our intelligence community that the Russians did try to influence the 2016 election for Trump’s benefit; stepping aside and letting Russia expand its influence in the Middle East (including his shameful abandonment of our Kurdish allies); lobbying for Russia to be re-admitted to the exclusive group of major industrial nations (currently known as the G-7) without pre-conditions; refusing to take steps to protect against further Russian meddling in our 2020 elections; reviving and promoting the discredited theory, promoted by the Russians, that it was really the Ukrainians who hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers in 2016, not Russia. Oh, and Trump’s adamant refusal to release his tax returns. Much more is suspected, so you could call this only a preview.
As the saying goes, time wounds all heels. It’s now clear that Trump will be impeached, though not explicitly for treason. Trump has built a metaphorical Three Gorges Dam to hold back the flood of damning evidence -- with lawsuits, and assertions of “executive privilege,” and defiance of Congressional subpoenas. Some of the still-hidden evidence may finally emerge in the impeachment process. More will no doubt be revealed when Trump, and possibly his family and his associates (and perhaps also some cabinet secretaries and high-ranking officials) are ultimately brought to trial.
The charge sheets for these proceedings would be confined to specific acts of law breaking and obstruction of justice, but the judgment of history will be more explicit. Donald Trump was in many ways a traitor to his country, with a charge sheet that includes aiding and abetting foreign adversaries, betraying allies, undermining this country’s political institutions, corrupting our election system, attacking our free press, using his office for personal financial gain, debasing our political discourse with lies (more than 13,000 to date), personal bullying, and slander, inflaming political, racial, and religious divisions and conflict, and causing sometimes lethal harm to our citizens, our legal immigrants, and refugees. In the high court of American history, it will ultimately be called treason.
*Not related to John A. Stormer’s 1964 book with this title about “the communist-socialist conspiracy to enslave America,” published with unintended irony by “Buccaneer Press” on Long Island, New York.