According to the NYTimes post "There’s a Smell of Treason in the Air",

Now the F.B.I. confirms that we have had an investigation underway for eight months into whether another presidential campaign colluded with a foreign power so as to win an election. To me, that, too, would amount to treason.

If treason is confirmed and Trump were to be ousted as POTUS, would that apply to all those in his party/administration or that he appointed during his illegitimate time making such decisions?

  • If the answer is no, then I don't understand how it works and "common sense" would tell me it'd not benefit deterring future corruption at this level (of a whole political party) otherwise if the VP took over as POTUS and everything else the illegitimate POTUS did or appointed at his sole discretion stayed the same. If he's a treasonist, then don't leave those in office positions he appointed or if he had great influence in getting them there.
  • 3
    @notstoreboughtdirt colluding with a foreign power could be considered "adhering to their enemies," but I wouldn't give such an argument much chance of success unless there was an unambiguous state of war with the foreign power in question, and there certainly is no such state of war with Russia at the moment.
    – phoog
    Mar 23, 2017 at 20:10
  • 2
    There seems to be two questions here. 1 The article you linked wonders if what Trump did is treason. 2 Your question is what happens to appointed officials if a president is impeached for treason. Can you choose one? If you choose the second then the article is unnecessary because it applies to any president for any act off treason. Including that article as part of the second question also reads as a rant and invites debate rather than answers.
    – JonK
    Mar 23, 2017 at 20:17
  • 2
    @JonK - I agree, and I've edited it to remove most of the article. Now it contains just enough to explain why the OP is asking about treason.
    – Bobson
    Mar 23, 2017 at 22:20
  • 1
    @Bobson The question is a lot better after your edit. MagicallyDelicous: The article isn't completely irrelevant but quoting a large portion of it that doesn't add to the question and that takes up 3/4 of the text distracts a lot from the actual question.
    – JonK
    Mar 23, 2017 at 22:27
  • 2
    @sabbahillel I'm not sure what you mean referencing the president is "not good"... But this sounds like the the typical "would've, should've, could've" type response to things currently going on. The Republicans cried like babies about Hillary and her emails, well she's at least not tied to foreign adversary governments... I give no F*&K about Hillary either but the Republicans are a bunch or crybaby hypocrites... People are fed up with the entire Republican party... Crying about everything until Trump is in office and doing 10000x worse and stay quiet and still try to blame Obama... Mar 24, 2017 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


In the hypothetical situation that a president's election were found to have been effected by treasonous acts, it would be too complicated to nullify everything that president had achieved while in office. More to the point, there is no constitutional mechanism for doing it. Conviction on articles of impeachment ends a president's tenure in the office; it doesn't undo the election.

Instead, it would be for the president's successor to undo any executive actions deemed to be tainted by the treason, and it would be for Congress and the new president to repeal any laws, just as it is when any president leaves office. Similarly, any judicial appointments tainted by the treason would have to be undone with separate impeachment proceedings brought against the judges or justices in question.

As to the deterrent, if the vice president were also implicated in the treason, then the vice president would also be subject to impeachment and conviction. Perhaps this could be done concurrently with the president, allowing the speaker of the House of Representatives to assume the presidency. But if the whole government is involved, then really all you can do is wait until the next election, or get the states to call a constitutional convention.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .