WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President Donald Trump and some who want him impeached are trading accusations of “treason" and threats to national security amid warnings from analysts that such language could fuel irreparable harm to the nation's civil and political fabric.
“While talk about treason and potential armed insurrection might score political points for one side or the other, it is not only unhelpful, it is dangerous,” says John Malcolm, vice president of the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Constitutional Government.
Trump has denounced a whistleblower and other officials as traitors for accusing him of pressuring Ukraine's leader to investigate Trump's chief political rival and suggested they should be executed. And over the weekend, the president retweeted a quote from a Texas mega-church pastor who warned that impeachment would create a "Civil War like fracture" that would never heal.
Senior Democratic House leaders have lashed back at Trump, including Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California — the first to call for Trump's impeachment — who declared on Tuesday that Trump needs to be "imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement."
“Even Lincoln, during an actual civil war, was careful about his language,” notes David B. Cohen, political science professor at the University of Akron. “That Trump is flippantly using terms such as ‘treason’ and ‘civil war’ is very dangerous and may be interpreted by his most potentially violent true believers as a call to action.”
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