Democrats Charge Trump with Treason-Mostly Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Democrats have filed treason charges against President-elect Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rudy Giuliani and FBI Director James Comey.

The Truth:

It’s true that a Democratic super PAC announced plans to file complaints for treason against Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Rudy Giuliani and James Comey — but Democratic lawmakers have not indicated a willingness to do so.

The rumor stems from a tweet by Scott Dowrkin, a senior advisor for the Democratic Coalition Against Trump super PAC, that the group intended to file treason complaints against Trump and other GOP leaders on December 12th:

 

That led to misleading headlines from various fringe websites that Democratic lawmakers had themselves filed treason charges against Trump, McConnell, Giuliani and Comey. New Century Times, for example, published a report under the factually incorrect headline, “BREAKING: Democrats File TREASON Charges Against Trump, FBI, Giuliani over Russia.”

In reality, the super PAC announced that it would file treason complaints with the FBI accusing Trump, McConnell, Giuliani and Comey of being complicit in Russia’s government hacking DNC officials’ emails and interfering with the 2016 presidential election. That is not the same as Democrats filing treason charges, which is what has been reported. Nobody has actually been charged with treason.

And this isn’t the first time that the Democratic Coalition Against Trump super PAC has filed treason complaints against alleged Russian hacks influencing the 2016 election. In July, the group filed a complaint with the FBI accusing Roger Stone and the Trump campaign of being involved in WikiLeaks and assisted the “foreign government” that carried the attacks out, Law Newz reported in July:

From the Saturday statement obtained by LawNewz.com: “Stone had fair warning before the most recent emails were released, and predicted back in August that Podesta would be at the center of the next string of hacks.”

The group says that cyber-terrorism and treason has likely been committed, and that the FBI should look into it. This isn’t the first time this group has filed a legal complaint against Republicans. In fact, they’ve done it several times this election season.

WikiLeaks has recently published several batches of emails purportedly from John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It’s attracted quite a bit of bad press during an election that was already a raging tire fire. This has international implications, too. The U.S. government has said they believe the Russian government authorized the data dumps.

So, while it’s true that a Democratic super PAC has indicated that it would file treason complaints against Trump, McConnell, Giuliani and Comey, it’s not true that Democratic lawmakers have actually charged anyone with treason. That’s why we’re calling this rumor “mostly fiction.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 12/13/2016