FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that U.S. President Donald Trump’s Russia ties are under investigation. According to his announcement on Monday, the bureau is probing if anybody from the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. The FBI director vowed that officers would continue the investigation, no matter how long it took. Now, the question is whether or not Trump should face treason charges if proven guilty of the same.
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) March 20, 2017
Comey gave his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. He echoed the NSA Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers in dismissing Trump’s claim that Barack Obama had wiretapped his successor during the presidential campaign. Both Comey and Rogers testified that it was a false allegation by the 45th U.S. president.
Various media outlets have previously claimed that there has been an ongoing FBI investigation regarding Trump’s Russia ties. However, the White House said that those were politically motivated efforts to undermine the Trump administration. It was difficult to confirm if the bureau was carrying out the investigation for real since it is against its policy to disclose such details unless in rare circumstances.
“This is one of those circumstances,” the FBI director said.
According to Comey, the FBI investigation aims to find out if there is any connection between the Russian government and anybody from the Trump campaign. The bureau will also investigate if Russia made an effort to influence the presidential campaign. Such investigations could go on for many years. However, if proven guilty, such investigations might lead to criminal charges.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Monk said that he was glad about Comey’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. He believes the Trump campaign should be prosecuted for treason if the FBI finds any connection between the campaign and the Russian government.
If You Slander #PresidentTrump
— Dr. Marty Fox (@DrMartyFox) March 21, 2017
“If US campaign aides helped the Russians, knew about the Russians plans, or asked the Russians to intervene in any way, they should be prosecuted for treason and measures should be put in place to make sure this never happens again,” Mook told The Hill.
Mook said Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to punish Clinton for the strict actions she had to take “on behalf of the American people” during her tenure as the secretary of state. If Russia’s involvement in the presidential election is proved, Mook believes other nations will try to influence the U.S. legislative as well.
“Now, foreign powers are attempting to gain a similar influence and they must be stopped.”
U.S. intelligence agencies earlier came to a conclusion that Putin issued a personal order to make a secret effort to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning the election. His covert operation also aimed to help Trump win the election. The Russian efforts reportedly included hacking private information. According to the U.S. intelligence reports, it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee emails and leaked those via WikiLeaks, the New York Times reported.
What Is Treason? What Is The Punishment?
The U.S. constitution calls it treason if anybody, who owes allegiance to the country, adheres to its enemies, helps them from within the country or outside. A person who is guilty of treason “shall suffer death.” Alternatively, the person will lose any right to hold any office under the United States. The person may also be fined no less than $10,000 and jailed for no fewer than five years.
Under the circumstances, Russia definitely falls under the “enemy” category for America. It’ll be up to the FBI to determine if the Donald Trump’s Russia ties were severe enough to be categorized as treason. If proven guilty, Trump would lose the right to be the president. The tricky part is such investigations take extremely long time to conclude. By the time the bureau finishes its investigation, Trump might complete his tenure.
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