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Updated ABA Legal Fact Check explores what constitutes treason in legal context

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Updated ABA Legal Fact Check explores what constitutes treason in legal context

By romeroi

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2018 — The American Bar Association posted today an updated ABA Legal Fact Check on treason that explores what constitutes the act in the legal context and explains that recent statements by President Donald Trump and others don’t meet the legal standard for treason.

As a legal matter, treason has a very specific meaning under Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Treason is the betrayal of the U.S. by waging war against it or by consciously acting to aid the nation’s enemies. It can only be invoked, as a criminal charge, against an individual with ties to the U.S., in a time of war and when at least two witnesses can testify to an “overt act.”

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. For coverage of other timely issues in the news, these prior ABA Legal Fact Checks might be helpful:

  • Click here on whether White House confidentiality agreements can be enforced.
  • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on attorney-client privilege.
  • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on under what circumstances, if any, would a president be above the law.
  • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on the authority of a president to issue pardons.


The URL for the site is www.abalegalfactcheck.com. Follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.