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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/19/17

Trump says Treason is legal "if the President does it"

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"When it comes to classification issues and those kinds of things, he's not above the law," said Edward B. MacMahon Jr., a criminal-defense lawyer whot has done significant work on cases involving classified information. "He basically is the law."

This argument is flawed for it assumes the sharing was legal because the President has the right to declassify material, but the material is NOT declassified. You cannot get FOIA access to all the information that was shared. And if you think you can then we can easily stop the President from sharing based on his right to declassify by using FOIA requests.


So the Post defense, that the President can legally share declassified information is without a doubt correct, but this is not what he did. He shared classified information, and that is a different matter.

Can the President share classifed material without declassifying it? Can he share it with journaliss, who are then free to publish it? We know from history that Presidents have done this, shared secret information in the form of leaks for political reasons? Is it legal? And if it is, doesn't that suggest the President has too muh power when he can share top secrets with anyone of his choosing for whatever reason, including political manipulation?

I am not a constitutonal lawyer nor do I play one on TV but the Post defense that the material was automatically declassified by being shared does not hold up. That would mean whenever a President shares a secret, it becomes declassified and accessible by the public. I know of no legal or political analyst who is arguing that is the case.

So the question remains unanswered and poses a constitutonal crisis: if Trump did not intend to make the information he shared in secret public, was it legal to share it? Does the President have the power ot share secrets with anyone for any reason?

If that is the case, we need to change the law, because Presidents are politicians an they will use the power to to keep and to share secrets for political purposes, and that is a clear betrayal of the basis of the state's right to have secrets, which is based soley on "national security."

If the President cannot share with anyone for any reason, then he has broken the law; if he can then he is above the law and acting as a tyrant and needs to be stopped by whatever means are necessary.

If we are a republic, a society ruled by law, then the President cannot be above the law. If we are not, then it is time for a revoluton to create a democratic republic where no one is above the law and the law applies equally to everyone. Anything else is tyranny.

(Article changed on May 20, 2017 at 05:21)

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retired, working radical egalitarian/libertarian socialist old school independent, vegan, survivor

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