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The Trial That Didn’t Happen
Weekly Standard, by Alan C. Guelzo

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 4/17/2018 5:20:00 AM

Treason is defined by the Constitution in Article 3, section three, as consisting in levying War against the United States or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. Stark as that prescription is, fewer than 30 people have been tried for treason by the federal courts. Two of these—Philip Wigle and John Mitchell—were convicted for their role in the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion but then pardoned by President George Washington. Aaron Burr was tried for treason after a failed conspiracy to set up his own political empire in the Mississippi Valley, but he eluded conviction because, as Chief

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Clinger, 4/17/2018 8:02:52 AM     (No. 11604553)

I got a little PO´d, but reading the article to the end helped a bit.

I don´t know that the US ever firmly established that secession was unconstitutional. If California decides to exit stage left do they have that right? And if they do and Trump were to send in the armed forces to coerce them back into the union wouldn´t we be calling Trump the traitor?



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Reply 2 - Posted by: Bpl40, 4/17/2018 8:34:59 AM     (No. 11604571)

Fails to cover a critical point. United States is not a Union but a Federation. Constituents join and surrender their sovereignty under certain conditions. They have the right to leave if those conditions are violated. It can be argued that Virginia had some justification. California has none.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 4/17/2018 9:31:51 AM     (No. 11604638)

I love this kind of history. Lee argued he had deferred his loyalty to his state and when the state seceded from the Union, he was duty bound, as a citizen of the state, to follow. His defense on that point, Constitutionally, is workable since the Constitution splits the idea of "citizenship" referring to the term separately- as citizenship to the state and ALSO to the Union. Lee conveniently thought he could choose between them. However, setting his sole loyalty to the State of Virginia, he then subverted his loyalty to Virginia by accepting command and commissions from the Confederacy- Uh, oh! You can not have it both ways, General. Then he complicated the matter by crossing state lines as a Confederate Citizen General, commanding conglomerate Confederate troops, not just Virginians, and attacking at South Mountain in Maryland! Any good Prosecutor would have shredded Lee´s Defense on those points alone. "Which is it General? Loyalty to your State or to the Confederacy? If you were loyal to the Confederacy as a "citizen", then why were you not as Loyal to your own duty as a citizen of the United States?"

However, as the O.J, Simpson trial demonstrated so disgustingly, the Law and politics and Public opinion are wholly distinct things that make nothing but bad soup. Lee walked for obvious reasons and the rest is history.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: crimea river, 4/17/2018 2:03:05 PM     (No. 11604955)

Grant did the honorable thing and Lincoln reinforced it in his 2nd inaugural address...

With malice toward none; with charity for all; ... to bind up the nation´s wounds;

Johnson was clearly on the wrong side of history.

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