Bill Weld: Trump committed treason, let’s string him up – Washington Examiner
No one outside the White House or the Ukrainian government knows what was said in July in a private phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. No one knows whether it is true that Trump pressed Zelensky to investigate Democratic front-runner Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, with the explicit intention of interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
But a lack of details has not stopped 2020 GOP primary candidate Bill Weld from accusing Trump of committing treason “pure and simple.” And that is not all Weld has said. The former Massachusetts governor has gone so far as to suggest also that Trump would be lucky to avoid the hangman’s noose. This is not a metaphor. Weld actually suggested Monday that what Trump is alleged to have done in his phone call with Zelensky amounts to a treasonous offense punishable by death.
Remember: Weld is supposed to be the serious and thoughtful GOP alternative to Trump’s special brand of ugly.
“Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election,” the 2020 GOP primary candidate said Monday during an appearance on MSNBC. “It couldn’t be clearer, and that’s not just undermining democratic institutions. That is treason. It’s treason, pure and simple, and the penalty for treason under the U.S. code is death. That’s the only penalty.”
He added, “The penalty under the Constitution is removal from office, and that might look like a pretty good alternative to the president if he could work out a plea deal.”
Again, no one outside the Trump and Zelensky administrations knows exactly what was said in the phone call. We do not know if there is anything that amounts to criminal conduct or whether it was merely inappropriate. We simply do not have enough information right now to be throwing around words like “treason,” let alone daydream out loud about Trump being executed for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
As the Washington Examiner’s Monday editorial aptly describes the current state of affairs: “This may be a massive Trump scandal. It also may be a scandal about the Biden family. Maybe it’s a minor issue. Maybe it’s nothing.”
Pressed to explain himself Monday by MSNBC contributor Elise Jordan, Weld argued that Trump has met the threshold laid out in the Constitution to merit charges of treason.
“The only penalty for treason is death. It’s spelled out in the statute. Under the Constitution, as you know, grounds for removal from office … are treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about bribery any more, although I think he’s committed that. We don’t have to worry about other high crimes and misdemeanors, although I think he’s committed many. He’s such a lawless man. We’ve got treason, and we don’t have to dribble around the court. We can go right for the hoop.”
“It’s well past time for this guy,” Weld concluded, “to be carted off to save us all.”
Well, bring out the firing squad, then.
So, what is the point of having a polished and well-spoken GOP primary challenger to Trump if that candidate also embraces unhinged demagoguery like that?