MINOT, N.D. — "I don't regret anything I've posted."
That's what Jason Heitkamp told me Monday, March 2, when I asked him about multiple posts he made on his personal Facebook account over the course of several years calling for Democrats like former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be hanged for treason.
Heitkamp is a candidate for the North Dakota Senate from District 26. He announced his campaign by way of a Facebook video over the weekend, and he told me the District 26 Republican Party endorsed his candidacy at their local convention.
He is a distant cousin to former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
"If they are convicted of treason they must be hung. That is the history of our country," Jason Heitkamp wrote in a January 2016 Facebook post, referring to Obama and Clinton.
In a December 2017 post, Heitkamp got lyrical, writing "Treason is the reason, a new rope is our only hope" in a post sharing a link to a NBC News story about the Trump administration opening a new investigation into Clinton.
In a March 17, 2017 post, Heitkamp said he was "willing to watch o [Obama] and Clinton hang for treason."
"Will you join me on that day when it comes to fruition?" he asked his audience.
In a September 2013 post regarding accusations of treason against Obama, Heitkamp wrote, "Hang the treasonous POS in front of Independence Hall."
These are some, though certainly not all, of the posts in which Heitkamp suggests Obama or Clinton be hanged.
"Treason is a crime that is punishable by hanging," Heitkamp told me when I spoke with him about the posts. "They don't shoot you. They hang you."
Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution defines what an act of treason is. Title 18 of the U.S. Code does allow for a death penalty for those convicted of treason, though a prison sentence is also an option and the law doesn't proscribe how a death sentence should be carried out.
"I do think President Obama did a lot of things to help our enemies," Heitkamp said when asked if he felt the former president is guilty of treason.
"Maybe my definition of treason is off. Maybe he should just be put in jail," Heitkamp added.
Treason isn't the only topic on which Heitkamp expounds with his Facebook account. In one post from this month, he questions whether the coronavirus was something released by the Chinese government on its own citizens:
In a separate post, Heitkamp shared a message suggesting the Chinese government used the coronavirus to quell the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong:
Heitkamp says he shares these posts "for people to see so they can make up their own minds."
Sort of a public service, I guess. Heitkamp asked me if I'd read the story about Chinese agents who stole the coronavirus from Canada.
"I think it's interesting for people to see what's going on," he told me. "How are people supposed to know unless you put some posts out?"
Heitkamp has campaigned for the Legislature previously, running for District 26's Senate seat against Democratic incumbent Jim Dotzenrod.
He lost, though he earned over 48% of the vote.
Dotzenrod has announced a campaign for another term.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.