Claims that the meeting might constitute treason or violate federal campaign law only reveal a desperate effort to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election. This irresponsible thinking has not just held sway among the liberal commentariat, where one would expect it to flourish, but with otherwise respectable political leaders. Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) told reporters that “this is moving into perjury, false statements, and even potentially treason.” He seems to have forgotten whatever he learned about the Constitution while attending Harvard Law School.
The Framers were so concerned about the potential misuse of treason trials by the federal government that they made it the only crime specifically defined in the Constitution’s text. Article III states: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer, even if she might have ties to the Kremlin, simply does not amount to “levying War.”