Jul 19, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Dems shy away from calling Trump's Helsinki comments "treason"

House and Senate Democratic leadership in front of the Capitol.

House and Senate Democratic leadership. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Saying Trump committed treason in Helsinki goes too far for some leading Democrats, who are worried about sending the wrong message during an election year, AP's Laurie Kellman writes.

Why it matters: "If Democrats align behind the term, it raises the question of what they plan to do about it. The party ... doesn't have an answer."

  • "A debate has raged in Democratic circles this week over how strongly to condemn Trump's comments."
  • "The legal definition of treason is providing 'aid and comfort' to enemies of the U.S., a high crime."
  • "The language also risks alienating swing voters who don't appreciate over-the-top rhetoric. After all, treason is a crime so serious that the convicted can be executed."
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