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.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
The Constitution does not itself create the offense; it only restricts the definition (the first paragraph), permits Congress to create the offense, and restricts any punishment for treason to only the convicted (the second paragraph). The crime is prohibited by legislation passed by Congress. Therefore, the United States Code at 18 U.S.C. Â§ 2381 states:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
The requirement of testimony of two witnesses was inherited from the British Treason Act 1695.
We've already got one of those witnesses, and already on record as "Prepared to testify against Trump."
Now, I have no direct memories of the entire Watergate affair. I was 7 and 8 years old at the height of the scandal, and was busily doing boy things at the time. Perhaps someone older and wiser than me may make the comparison about when it became apparent that the President was doomed.
But then again, Mr. Nixon was elected to the Presidency in 1968; it took four years of paranoia and misdeeds before it reached this level. Mr. Trump has managed to pull it off in under a year.
Treason is no laughing matter - you'll note the sentence of death in the reference above, as well as being barred from public office for life.
But even then, we're all curious birds here in the United States. I'll say "Benedict Arnold", and you'll know exactly what he is, what he did, and why his name is an insult. I can't say the same about "Robert E. Lee". He's still a hero in some parts of this country, despite being the same kind of traitor as Benedict.
We know the obvious ones, but there have been more than that handful of presidents impeached. There's an interesting story about the whole process and history
over on the History Channel website.
John Tyler, Grover Cleveland, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush have all had articles of impeachment filed against them in the House. But none of them ever garnered enough votes to progress.
Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton weren't so lucky - but they all managed to dodge the bullet in that the Senate failed to convict, or they resigned before it happened.
I am hopeful though, that yesterday's news was just the first in a long litany of others that will be forced to capitulate in order to save themselves, and in turn be fully prepared to "testify against Trump".
I'll channel Master Yoda briefly here - once we start down the Impeachment Path, I am hopeful that forever will it dominate our destiny, at least until it comes to fruition.
There's simply no precedent for what is happening in Washington. I could Godwin and pull out Hitler's rise to power, but Adolf was no incompetent. He didn't earn the title "Evil Genius of the 20th Century" by being an idiot. Maybe President Harding from our own past - he was President during the *actual* robber-baron era, and certainly no stranger to scandal and incompetence.
It remains clear to me, though....something must happen, or must be done, or this Union will not survive the next three years of this "presidency".