GOP Challenger Bill Weld: Trump Should Get Death Penalty Over Ukraine 'Treason'
President Donald Trump’s attempts to derail Joe Biden’s presidential bid by urging Ukraine to investigate his potential opponent constitute treason, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld said this week, noting that the penalty for treason is death.
The Daily Beast reported that Weld, who is one of the Republicans mounting a challenge to the president, made the stunning remark on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“[Trump] has now acknowledged that in a single phone call right after he suspended $250 million of military aid to Ukraine, he called up the president of Ukraine and pressed him eight times to investigate Joe Biden, who the president thinks is going to be running against him,” Weld said. “Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election.”
“That is treason. It’s treason pure and simple, and the penalty for treason under the U.S. code is death,” he added. “That’s the only penalty.”
The Daily Beast noted that the death penalty is the maximum punishment for treason, but the law also allows for lesser penalties, “including five-year prison terms or fines starting at $10,000.”
Weld also noted that the “penalty on the Constitution is removal from office,” and suggested that this “might look like a pretty good alternative to the president if he can work out a plea deal.”
“The grounds for removal of office, impeachment, are treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about bribery anymore, we don’t have to worry about other high crimes and misdemeanors, although I think he committed many. We have treason and we can go right for the hoop.”
The GOP challenger then said it is “well past time for this guy” to go, adding, “He’s daring us all to let him be totally lawless. He has no respect for the law, he has no knowledge base under any issues. Why do we want this man as president of the United States? I don’t get it.”
The other two individuals challenging the president — Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford — appeared with Weld on the show, but neither jumped on board his call for Trump to face the death penalty.