The facts involving the alleged misconduct of President Trump during a call to the President of Ukraine remain undisclosed. However, that has not stopped his opponents from attacking the President, and at least one of them suggesting that he should be hung for treason. Those were the words of longshot 2020 GOP primary candidate Bill Weld.
During an appearance on MSNBC, the former Massachusetts Governor said, “Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election. 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.”
Weld went on with his morbid diatribe, “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 anymore, 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.”
Despite the disturbing words of “Wacky Weld,” let’s be clear, no one – not one single person – outside the Trump and Zelenskiy administrations knows exactly what was said on the phone call in question.
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.”
This could be a major debacle for Trump, it could be an even greater scandal for the Biden family, or it could amount to yet another left-winger nothing burger. So, Mr. Weld, I’d hold off on building that gallows just yet.