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Denver Post Runs Letter to the Editor Demanding Trump's Execution

On Saturday, the newspaper of record in Colorado published a letter to the editor demanding the execution of President Donald Trump. The paper's opinion editor insisted that was not the author's intent, but the letter speaks for itself.

"If it walks like a traitor, and talks like a traitor, and acts like a traitor ... it is a traitor," Lakewood resident Suzanne Gagnon wrote in a letter to the editor published by The Denver Post on Saturday. Gagnon did not hesitate to suggest what should be done with "traitors" like Trump.

"Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed on a basis of far less evidence than is had on Trump and many in his administration," she wrote. "Besides being in agreement with the actions recommended in the editorial of July 19, I believe there are many more actions that can and should be taken against Trump to keep him from destroying the U.S."

Execution is the historic punishment for traitors, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were Soviet spies convicted and executed for espionage. While the Rosenbergs' children argue that their father did not deserve the death penalty and that their mother was wrongly convicted, there is a broad consensus among historians that both were guilty, but their trial was marred by clear judicial and legal improprieties. Many historians argue they should not have been executed. In the words of Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, they were "guilty — and framed."

It is possible that Suzanne Gagnon's sentence about the Rosenbergs could be read as a call to not have them executed, but in the context of her declaration of Trump as a traitor and her ominous suggestion that "many more actions ... can and should be taken against Trump to keep him from destroying the U.S.," it seems far more likely she was indeed calling for Trump's execution.

The Denver Post defended publishing the letter to the editor, however, arguing that Gagnon did not call for Trump's execution.

"We would never run a letter suggesting that the president of the United States be executed," Megan Schrader, editor of the editorial page, told the Washington Free Beacon. "Upon reviewing this letter, I don't think that was the letter writer's intent."

"She wrote to be critical of an editorial I wrote lauding Sen. Cory Gardner's efforts to impose sanctions on Russia and supportive of another editorial we had run that suggested actions Congress could take to respond to the Helsinki press conference," Schrader argued.

Indeed, Gagnon was responding to an article by the Denver Post editorial board defending Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) for supporting legislation that is tough on Vladimir Putin's Russia, despite his tepid remarks about Trump's summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland.