Jeff Danziger’s award-winning drawings are published by more than 600 newspapers and websites. He has been a cartoonist for the Rutland Herald, the New York Daily News and the Christian Science Monitor; his work has appeared in newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to Le Monde and Izvestia. Represented by the Washington Post Writers Group, he is a recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army as a linguist and intelligence officer in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. Danziger has published ten books of cartoons and a novel about the Vietnam War. He was born in New York City, and now lives in Manhattan and Vermont. A video of the artist at work can be viewed here.
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Donald Trump has invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in a civil case, and if he ever stands trial on criminal charges, neither a judge or a jury may take that as evidence of guilt. But in the court of common sense, we are entitled to reach the obvious conclusion: Trump has committed crimes and wants to keep them secret.
The Fifth Amendment privilege, after all, is not to refuse to exonerate oneself. It's to refuse to incriminate oneself. Answering questions truthfully, as a rule, is incriminating only to someone who has done something wrong.
In our daily lives, everyone understands this. If you ask a coworker if he took your sandwich and he declines to reply, you have identified the thief. If you ask your child if she cut class and she says it's none of your business, you can guess the answer. Innocent people with solid alibis are usually eager to speak up on their own behalf.
But Trump is a master of stonewalling. When he faces suspicions of wrongdoing, the man who never tires of talking about himself falls into surly silence. So when investigators for the New York attorney general asked him questions related to whether he engaged in financial deception, he took the Fifth some 440 times.
The privilege against self-incrimination serves as a shield against police coercion. It requires the government to shoulder the full burden of proof before it can send someone to prison. It's an important safeguard in our criminal justice system
But there is no denying that Trump's use of it suggests a consciousness of guilt. He had refused to appear when subpoenaed by the attorney general, and he complied only when a state court ordered him to do so.
Concealing the truth is as natural to Trump as cheating at golf. He has declined to release his tax returns, as every other presidential nominee has done for decades. He refused to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller during the investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. He made a practice of tearing up documents that he was legally obligated to preserve.
He denounced the FBI's search of his Mar-a-Lago estate as part of a partisan "witch hunt." But he chose not to make public the search warrant, which had to specify what material the FBI was looking for and the crimes it suspected. Attorney General Merrick Garland finally asked a judge to release it and a list of the evidence collected. Trump, his bluff called, decided not to object.
Trump claims the congressional committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot is determined to "damage me in any form." But he has tried to block every attempt to learn what he and his aides did during, before, and after the bloody siege.
The White House phone log from that day contains a gap of more than seven hours, even though he is known to have made calls during that period. Clearly, he was actively trying to avoid leaving a trail of his communications.
He ordered some of his chief advisers not to comply with the committee's subpoenas to give testimony. One of them, Stephen Bannon, was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to appear and could go to prison for two years.
Trump has not hesitated to justify his conduct around the Jan. 6 insurrection and in condemning his critics. He accuses the January 6 committee of presenting a shamefully one-sided case, with no witnesses to defend him. But why does he need witnesses to defend him? Nothing is stopping him from appearing before the committee to give his version of events. Trump, however, is unwilling to take that stage.
The reason, it's fair to assume, is the same as the reason that he took refuge behind the Fifth Amendment when grilled by the attorney general of New York. A guilty person, speaking under oath, has three options: 1) lie and risk being prosecuted for perjury; 2) tell the truth and risk being prosecuted for breaking the law,; and 3) zip his mouth.
The third option has its downside, such as reasonable people concluding that you're a criminal. But better for Trump to be thought a criminal by the general public than to be convicted in court and locked up for his crimes.
Trump can blather nonstop against the FBI, the Justice Department, state law enforcement officials, and the January 6 committee. But it's his silences that tell the real story.
Reprinted with permission from Creators.
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Video captured by the independent media site News2Share shows supporters of former President Donald Trump armed with guns, waving confederate and American flags outside of the FBI office in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday.
"We're here in support of Trump, for what happened to him, the unlawful search with the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago home," someone at the demonstration told News2Share. "We are sick and tired of this tyrannical government called the Biden regime. We will not stand by and we will not stand down.
"We're gonna take the fight to the FBI if need be."
The latest in a string of Republican rantings, the demonstration is in response to the FBI executing a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday—an act that has led to the seizure of 11 sets of classified documents, including those related to nuclear weapons, according to The Washington Post.
Somehow though, Trump apologists still maintain the former president’s rights were violated while they go about the business of threatening the federal judge who signed the warrant and any other official they see fit to accuse without a shred of evidence of widespread election fraud.
In Gillespie County, Texas, a county about 80 miles west of Austin, elections administrator Anissa Herrera said she resigned from her work due in large part to threats she faced, according to the Fredericksburg Standard.
“After the 2020 (election), I was threatened, I’ve been stalked, I’ve been called out on social media,” Herrera told the newspaper. “And it’s just dangerous misinformation.”
Election deniers just got the entire election office of Gillespie county to resign after stalking and death threats.— Michele 🌮🍷🎸🧂 (@UnimpressedTX) August 13, 2022
IDK how people there expect to register to vote or conduct fair & legal elections. pic.twitter.com/zIfbn1xHGq
FBI Director Christopher Wray condemned such threats in a statement on Thursday. “Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” he said. “Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans.
They are to Democrats. Many tweeted their outrage at the double standard propagated when a group of white men and women were allowed to threaten federal officials while armed.
Phoenix FBI is still trending because the world is witnessing how America's Law Enforcement has patience for gun toting violent white supremacists, but are quick to murder Black People because they might have a gun and they might point a gun even when they don't have a gun. pic.twitter.com/AO4WaItUro— NawBro (@DetranMusic) August 14, 2022
A social media user who goes by Jason V. tweeted on Sunday, that the "armed domestic terrorists" probably haven't been taken down yet "because they're not black or brown."
Shannon Watts, founder of the grassroots movement for public safety Moms Demand Action, pointed to a trend of recent violence following GOP reaction to the search of Trump’s home.
The most recent of which is a Capitol Police report that a man started firing in the air then drove his car into a vehicle barricade in a fiery crash early Sunday at East Capitol Street and Second Street.
”When our officers heard the sound of gunfire, they immediately responded and were approaching the man when he shot himself,” Capitol Police said in a news release. “Nobody else was hurt.
“At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any Members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear officers fired their weapons.”
No other injuries were reported in the incident, and investigators are still looking into the man’s background. But for many, the incident is an example of violence spiraling out of control as Republicans instigate a greater divide between Trump supporters and the rest of the country.
Early this morning, a man drove into a barricade near the US Capitol, set his car on fire, and started shooting indiscriminately before killing himself.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 14, 2022
Last week an armed man tried to breech an Ohio FBI building, and last night armed protestors gathered at a Phoenix FBI office. https://t.co/F3sVg7qapu
Regarding the protest outside of the Phoenix FBI building, Democrat Eric Smith tweeted congressional candidates of North Carolina:
“This is a Declaration of War & as such the Federal Government will be well within its rights to use all the firepower at its disposal to put these traitors down & down for good”
Majid Padellan, a blogger and influencer who goes by "Brooklyn Dad" on social media, tweeted on Sunday:
"Not a single Republican leader has called upon the armed trumpers at the Phoenix FBI to stand down. Any blood will be on their hands."
In another tweet, Padellan laid out a series of actions and statements by Trump that created the kind of climate in which his supporters would feel emboldened to threaten federal officials. "First he told domestic terrorists to ‘Stand back and stand by,’” Padellan said. “Then he refused to call the National Guard on January 6th.
“Then he wouldn't call off his armed supporters outside the Phoenix FBI. Donald Trump is a pathetic, cowardly traitor."
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.
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