Thursday, September 13, 2018

Why Judge Napolitano is Wrong

By Robert Wenzel

In a new essay, Judge Andrew Napolitano writes:
Last week, The New York Times published a scathing critique of Donald Trump — the man and the president. The Times said the critique was written by a senior Trump administration official who insisted on remaining unnamed. This bitter and harsh editorial, which portrays the president as dangerous to the health of the republic and his White House as slouching toward dysfunctionality, has understandably infuriated him.

Trump first accused the Times and its unnamed writer of treason, and then he publicly
asked for a Department of Justice investigation to find the writer.,,,

I am deeply disappointed that the president uttered the word “treason.” This is wrong under the law and a dangerous charge to make. The Times op-ed is protected political speech and personal opinion. Treason is the only crime defined in the Constitution, thereby preventing Congress and the courts from changing its meaning. It consists only of either waging war against the United States or any of the states or providing aid and comfort to those who are waging such a war.

The president should know that it is nearly impossible to commit treason by expressing an opinion.
Judge Napolitano needs to reread The New York Times op-ed.

It does far more than present a personal opinion. It reports on a cabal within the White House that is seeking to sabotage the efforts of the president. From the op-ed:
That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office....

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

The result is a two-track presidency...

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.
This goes well beyond expressing an opinion. If the actors in the White House are thwarting the President's desires which the op-ed indicates some are, this could certainly climb to the level of treason if they sabotage the president's efforts to bring civilized discussion between two great superpowers.  They are moving the world, against the President's wishes, toward war, with the benefactors of such a war hazy actors outside the public view---very possibly actors doing so because it will benefit the 51st state a foreign country.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty.

  More about Wenzel here. 


  1. The judge is still right. The constitution restricts the definition of treason as follows:

    --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.--

    So, basically the Honerable Napolitano is saying that nobody is waging war or giving state secrets to ISIS or anything like that. The things that the people around him have done may be crimes according to other laws, but are not treason.

    1. You lost me in a fit of laughter, when you said "The constitution restricts..." I thought Hamiltonian comedy night was on Wednesdays.

    2. Do you define your genders the same way you define your laws?

    3. Words on a piece of paper aren't capable of action. Men act. They might choose to codify the previously approved actions in "law", but the constitution is an abysmal failure when it comes to restricting anything. Even by the SOBs that were around to support its writing, ratification, and/or use it as a guise to subject people to their rule. Hamilton and Adams would have written the Patriot Act themselves.

  2. The op-ed may describe treason but it itself is not treason. Now the acts it describes if true also likely do not rise to the level of treason but even if they did the op-ed is merely reporting on them. Thus its publication is not treason. The author if he participated in the acts described may be guilty of treason, but only if he participated and the acts are found to fit the narrow definition.

    Since Napolitano is discussing the published article, he is correct, it is not treason. JW is concerned with the acts described in the article, which may or may not be interpreted as treason, but that's different from what Napolitano is talking about.

  3. A great parralell can be directly drawn from RW's other great article today. Back to the Future: Censorship!! The polarization of the disparate objectives in the administration begs the comparison as perhaps worse now than then!