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Trump’s Tweet About ‘Treason’ Leads to Thousands of Tirades

Uproar on Twitter after a wayward official — whomever he or she may be — decried president's decision-making as 'half-baked'

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In response to the anonymous op-ed article submitted to and published by The New York Times — in which an individual claimed he or she was a senior member of the Trump administration — President Donald Trump tweeted one word and in all capitals, like this: “TREASON?”

The tweet has sparked controversy in numerous media outlets.

It’s even compelled sites such as Vox to reiterate the definition of treason according to the U.S. Constitution.

Many Twitter users embarked on a roastfest, calling Trump — not the opinion author — the treasonous party.

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders condemned the anonymous op-ed, saying in part in a statement: “The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected president of the United States. He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”

There are reports now of dissension among White House aides, with some outlets noting that, according to some sources, documents are routinely swiped from the president’s desk — some staff even apparently disobey direct orders from the commander-in-chief, as Bob Woodward has reported in his latest book.

The tweet by the president is believed to be directed toward the op-ed author’s apparent slant toward al-Qaida.

There are two potential standards on which to base prosecution for treason in this country.

Aiding and comforting an enemy means an individual provides resources or information that assists a country that is currently at odds with the United States. Since the article alone isn’t providing any information to aid or abet groups such as al-Qaida, that basis is moot.

Levying war is the other basis by which a person may be prosecuted for treason, though this requires an individual to commit acts of war against another state or America.

Related: 20 Best Blasts of Anonymous Trump Official’s New York Times Op-Ed

Since the opinion article was submitted in confidence to The Times and the writer makes no mention of attempting war, this basis would also be moot.

In the 1945 case Cramer v. United States, the Supreme Court heard the case of German-born naturalized citizen Anthony Cramer, who met with Nazi officials and was convicted for treason.

Cramer’s treason conviction was overturned; the higher court’s contention was that “merely meeting an enemy doesn’t constitute incitement of war.”

Historically speaking, treason is rarely prosecuted outside of wartime.

It’s likely that the anonymous author of The Times piece has nothing to fear.

The op-ed also asserted that this apparent White House aide and his or her constituents are working toward pushing Trump to the point of leaving office without impeachment.

The wayward official — whomever he or she may be — decries Trump’s decision-making as “half-baked,” while reiterating that there have been whispers in the White House calling for invoking the 25th Amendment since early on in his presidency.

Check out this small sampling of the many Twitter comments on this issue:

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