Title Title
Fact Check: Michael Moore's claim about Trump and Russia Fact Check: Michael Moore's claim about Trump and Russia
Summary Summary
In his interview on MSNBC  In his interview on CNN on September 18th.
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
In an interview on CNN with Chris Cuomo, the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYqcH13QdQM">said</a> (at 16:15): In an interview on CNN with Chris Cuomo, the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYqcH13QdQM">said</a> (at 16:15):
<blockquote>“Our president is under a criminal investigation possibly for treason or treasonous activities with his compatriots,” Moore said.</blockquote> <blockquote>“Our president is under a criminal investigation possibly for treason or treasonous activities with his compatriots,” Moore said.</blockquote>
Claim: Claim:
"Our president [Trump] is under a criminal investigation possibly for treason or treasonous activities" "Our president [Trump] is under a criminal investigation possibly for treason or treasonous activities"
The crime of treason is defined by the US <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii">Constitution</a> as: The crime of treason is defined by the US <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii">Constitution</a> as:
<blockquote>Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.</blockquote> <blockquote>Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.</blockquote>
As Politifact <a href="https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jul/23/treason-trumps-actions-russian-putin-meeting/">noted</a>, the Framers narrowly defined the crime of treason to avoid a slippery slope that can hamper freedom of expression. As Politifact <a href="https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jul/23/treason-trumps-actions-russian-putin-meeting/">noted</a>, the Framers narrowly defined the crime of treason to avoid a slippery slope that can hamper freedom of expression.
<blockquote>On the most basic level, treason has to occur in wartime, or during an armed rebellion against the government. And with the possible exception of an American working against U.S. troops in a place like Afghanistan, "there is no treason occurring on any side now," Jed Shugerman, a legal historian at Fordham Law School, told us in February.</blockquote> <blockquote>On the most basic level, treason has to occur in wartime, or during an armed rebellion against the government. And with the possible exception of an American working against U.S. troops in a place like Afghanistan, "there is no treason occurring on any side now," Jed Shugerman, a legal historian at Fordham Law School, told us in February.</blockquote>
Because Russia is not at war with the US, Trump cannot be acting in a treasonous manner in his dealings with Russia as defined by law. Because Russia is not at war with the US, Trump cannot be acting in a treasonous manner in his dealings with Russia as defined by law.
Politifact also <a href="https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jul/23/treason-trumps-actions-russian-putin-meeting/">noted</a> that under common usage, "treasonous", as opposed to "treason" can be applied to a range of behaviors that fall outside of the narrow legal definition. However, Moore appeared to be talking about the strict legal definition as he mentioned the "criminal investigation" of Trump and Russia. Politifact also <a href="https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jul/23/treason-trumps-actions-russian-putin-meeting/">noted</a> that under common usage, "treasonous", as opposed to "treason" can be applied to a range of behaviors that fall outside of the narrow legal definition. However, Moore appeared to be talking about the strict legal definition as he mentioned the "criminal investigation" of Trump and Russia.
We rate this claim <strong>False</strong>. We rate this claim <strong>False</strong>.
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