Trump previously suggested that the whistleblower should be executed for treason.
Speaking to reporters Friday morning, Donald Trump suggested that the lawyer representing the whistleblower may have committed treason. Trump did not provide any evidence to back up his claim.
After demanding that the whistleblower be identified, Trump attacked the whistleblower's lawyer.
"The whistleblower is a disgrace to our country," Trump said. "And his lawyer, who said the worst thing possible two years ago — he should be sued. And maybe for treason. Maybe for treason. But he should be sued."
Treason is a federal offense punishable by execution.
Trump may have been referring to tweets written in 2017 by the whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, referring to "a coup" within the Trump administration. Zaid defended the tweet, saying it "referred to those working inside the Administration who were already, just a week into office, already standing up to him to enforce recognized rules of law."
This is not the first time Trump has cried treason with regard to the whistleblower.
In September, Trump suggested that the whistleblower and those who spoke to the whistleblowers were spies guilty of treason.
"You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now," Trump said at the closed-door event.
Trump has a long track record of accusing those who disagree with him as traitors.
In 2018, Trump said text messages between FBI agents who did not vote for him "amounted to treason." More recently, Trump wondered whether Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, should be "arrested for treason" for paraphrasing Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to Axios, Trump has thrown around the "treason" accusation at least 25 times, targeting among others: Hillary Clinton, newspapers such as the Washington Post and New York Times, and Democrats who have taken action to protect immigrants at the southern border.
No one that Trump has accused of treason has been arrested or charged by the Justice Department. According to NPR, no Americans have been prosecuted for treason since the time around World War II.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.