Email #44, Subject: treason?

President-elect Trump did not commit treason. The U.S. Constitution defines that very clearly: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Instead our enemy Russia gave him aid in the election against Hilary Clinton. Of course the verb “adhering” is ambiguous, since Trump does seem to “believe in and follow the practices of” Putin. But this seems like inadequate grounds to convict him. As far as the allegations from British intelligence agents that he was blackmailed into colluding with Russia, those have yet to be supported. I understand the Justice department is investigating. If they find that he did collude, then impeachment is inevitable. If he were convicted of treason, the Constitution says he would only have to be “imprisoned not less than five years and fined … not less than $10,000.” Obviously the fine wouldn’t matter, and we convict people for longer sentences for lesser crimes. Since President-elect Trump is entering the White House with this specter of treason around him, how are you as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee preparing? Are you also investigating the allegations, or will you simply accept the findings of the Justice department and begin the impeachment process if they verify the evidence?

Chris Gavaler

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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