Progressive radio host Bill Press argued on Tuesday that Senate Republicans “should have thought about” the penalty for treason before they attempted to undermine President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran.
After 47 Republican senators sent a letter to Iranian leaders telling them that any nuclear deal that the Obama administration agreed to would be undone by a future president, The New York Daily News branded the lawmakers “traitors” on its Tuesday cover.
On his Tuesday radio show, Press agreed that what the Republicans had done was treason “by any definition.”
“What’s the penalty for treason? Life in prison without parole? Or death by hanging?” he asked. “Perhaps 47 Republican Senators should have thought about that before they all signed a letter to the Supreme Ayatollah of Iran, warning him not to make a deal with President Obama.”
“This is the Second Act for Republicans who would rather go to war against Iran than try to reach an agreement with Iran to drop its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” the radio host noted. “First, they invite Bibi Netanyahu to attack negotiations with Iran. Now, they try to sabotage any deal with this letter.”
Press pointed out that the United States was at the negotiating table with its partners in China, France, Germany, Russia, and Britain. But “a group of all Republican Senators send a letter to Iran trying to queer the deal,” he said.
“First, Republicans used Netanyahu to undermine President Obama’s attempts at diplomacy. Now, they’re using the Ayatollah,” Press lamented. “In my book, by any definition, that, my friends is treason.”
“And it should be dealt with accordingly.”
According to Article Three of the U.S. Constitution, “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
While Press floated the death penalty, other observers have pointed out that the GOP senators might have violated the Logan Act, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
Watch the video below from The Bill Press Show, broadcast March 10, 2015.