Here is the President of the United States suggesting his political opponents, and law enforcement officials who investigated him and his associates, committed "treason." Under the Constitution, this charge carries a penalty of death. It is not the first time he has thrown around the T-word.
He has based this assessment on the idea that his campaign was "spied" on, a lie he has trotted out in various forms ever since he tweeted that the Obama administration ordered a "wire tapping" of Trump Tower. Trump and his lackeys have never provided evidence of this. That includes their noise around whether the government's surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy adviser with deep ties to Russia whom the FBI secured a FISA warrant to monitor, was undertaken illegally. The specifics around what, exactly, the "spying" was seems to be completely fluid based on whatever you can get enough people to believe in any given moment.
But the more worrying detail was towards the end there. "We have a great new attorney general who will give it a very fair look," the president says. Somehow, you don't get the feeling it will be fair. William Barr is Trump's pet toad, and has already established himself as an apparatchik willing to do anything in service to presidential power. (We should have seen this more definitively, based on his record during Iran-Contra and on Executive Power more broadly, before he was confirmed.)
Barr manipulated the rollout of the Mueller Report to obscure the fact that the president committed multiple felonies. It was clear the second section, in particular, served as Robert Mueller's impeachment referral to Congress, though you'd never have known it from how Barr represented the findings in his reprehensible Letter. He has already echoed conspiracies about "spying," including while testifying before Congress. He has signaled his intent to lead Trump's Investigate the Investigators movement, a means of undermining the credibility of the Russia investigation and muddying the waters around just who engaged in serious misconduct. (Hint: it was the president.) When Trump suggests his attorney general is going to take a look at throwing his political opponents and disloyal law enforcement in jail, he does not mean Barr will just be looking. And the Red Hats respond by chanting for the Enemies to be Locked Up.
There is no longer any need to imagine what American Authoritarianism might look like. It is here. The president is a would-be autocrat. He will annihilate our constitutional republic via one thousand cuts if he is allowed to continue wielding the immense power we have so inexplicably given him. He has broken the law for much of his adult life and gotten away with it because nobody ever looked behind his golden curtain. Now he's broken the law while occupying the most heavily scrutinized office in the history of the world, and the only way to once again escape accountability for what he's done is to destroy any institution or mechanism of democracy that would allow the public to hold him accountable....
Any impeachment question is political, but the stakes go far beyond that now. If the current president is allowed to continue in office, it will sanction the idea that the Executive can commit multiple felonies, destroy other democratic institutions, and continue on as the leader of a republic. This is not possible. The president seeks a world where the law is applied selectively, based on his prerogatives, and where the only truth is whatever information is dispensed by his regime..... (End excerpts)