After his recent meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin and comments about Russian interference in the 2016 elections, President Donald Trump has sparked a new controversy relating to the constitutional definition of treason, and to what extent actions taken in support of a foreign nation might constitute treason. Today we will discuss the Treason Clause of the Constitution, what it means, and how it has been interpreted.
Paul Crane is an assistant professor of law at the University of Richmond Law School. Previously, he served as a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He has also worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia, as a Bristow Fellow for the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States, and clerked for Chief Justice Roberts on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Deborah Pearlstein is a professor of law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. Previously, she served in the White House from 1993 to 1995 as a Senior Editor and Speechwriter for President Clinton, and served as the founding director of the Law and Security Program at Human Rights First, where she worked on military commission trials at Gitmo. Pearlstein also clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Today’s show was engineered by David Stotz and produced by Madison Poulter and Scott Bomboy. Research was provided by Lana Ulrich and our Constitutional Content Team.