High crimes and misdemeanours

Did Trump commit treason?

Donald Trump: most Americans either love him or hate him; few are either ambivalent or indifferent towards the 45th President of the USA. With the November presidential election drawing ever nearer, the haters appear to be growing in number, as The Donald’s provocative and frequently inflammatory late night tweets and apparently unscripted press briefing pronouncements cause shock and often outrage.

But no one is in any doubt that Trump retains a huge hard core of devoted and fanatical followers. Some of these have been egged on to extreme acts of violence by his words, hints or even vague implications, as demonstrated by the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois seventeen-year-old who allegedly killed two people in Kenosha as protests raged after police shot a black man, Jacob Blake, in the back seven times.

After the killings, Trump refused to condemn and appeared to excuse Rittenhouse for his actions.

Trump’s relationship with the truth is, to say the very least, questionable. His ‘lies’ have been exposed on numerous occasions only to be denied or shrugged off as Democratic scaremongering or left mischief making. But in a recent bombshell report, the Republican-led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that the Trump campaign contact with Russian spies during the 2016 elections amounted to a ‘grave counterintelligence threat.’

The report concluded that, ‘Trump’s campaign leadership team demonstrated the ‘mind-set, intent and willingness to work with Russia in hopes of influencing the US election to their benefit.’ Numerous facts were laid bare for the committee’s consideration, but as ever when the evidence mounts up against him, Trump was ready with a denial and on this occasion, a claim that the Senate committee findings were ‘a hoax’, and repeating yet again that the moves to discredit him had been the greatest political scandal in the history of the country.

His opponents, however, insist that the findings prove conclusively that Trump and his closest advisors acted treasonously, raising the question that if he did it in 2016 and continues to get away with it, what precisely is he doing this time around as another election approaches?

What our surveys show

Though Donald Trump undoubtedly has his supporters and even admirers in the UK, the British public, it seems, are far less likely to believe the president’s persistent claims of unfair treatment and opposition mischief making. Our surveys reveal that a considerable majority, 63%, believe the claim that Trump’s campaign team colluded with Russian intelligence personnel to influence the outcome of the 2016 election was ‘definitely true,’ while a further 21% consider it was ‘probably true.’

Our findings revealed very few who were even prepared to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. If public opinion in the USA is throwing up figures even approximately similar, it is little wonder that a nervous president talks increasingly about left wing, extremist conspiracies and his supposed fear of largescale voter fraud, and is threatening not to accept the election results if they go against him.

Despite the bullishness and bluster, the president is, without doubt, running scared, and the coming weeks will reveal to what extent his election campaign will take on desperate measures.

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