Opinion: Jared Kushner and Russia: ‘None dare call it treason.’


To the editor: Establishing secret communications with a foreign power known to be hostile to the United States, as top White House advisor Jared Kushner reportedly tried to do with Russia, and taking steps to ensure that the U.S. government cannot collect intelligence, is not merely opening up a “back channel” of communications. It is espionage, and doing it without congressional oversight is treason. (“Trump returns to an increasingly troubled White House and criticism from allies,” May 28)

Any member of the White House staff with or without security clearance who engaged in such activity would now be in custody in any other administration. That this activity is being conducted by Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and closest and most trusted advisor, is prima facie evidence of Trump’s complicity in the events. Had this occurred under President Obama, Trump would have called for his immediate impeachment.

The hypocrisy is tangible and sickening were it not also expected and normal for the Republican Party. While there is always the Nixon defense (“When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal”), the better comparison is to Louis XIV: “L’état c’est moi.”


Tom McGrath, Los Angeles


To the editor: After reading the latest revelations concerning Kushner and the Russian government, I ask every Republican, Democrat and independent member of Congress to examine the U.S. Constitution’s definition of treason:

“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”

Please take note of the words, “or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Nations have been subverted by far less.

It is time for our elected representatives to end their preoccupation with party registration, and for the fundamentals of who we are and how we became a magnificently successful experiment to override partisanship and self-serving interests.

Norman Brown, Woodland Hills


To the editor: Once again, Trump has managed to break the confidence of our European friends with his failure to endorse either the mutual defense provision underpinning the North Atlantic Treat Organization or the Paris climate-change deal.

Nevertheless, he returns to the U.S. and touts the “big results” achieved in his trip. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the other NATO leaders would beg to differ.

Considering that, along with his Russia programs, it would seem that Trump is trying his best to find an early exit from office, either via impeachment and conviction or by resigning. I have always felt he would find himself overwhelmed by the job and try to go back to his business empire. There, he could resume pursuing his only real ambition: making money.

Bob Murtha, Santa Maria

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook