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Tag: liz cheney

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Liz Cheney: Trump Tried To Influence January 6 Witness Testimony

Donald Trump is now committing crimes in real time as the House Select Committee investigates the crimes he already committed while in office.

That’s the bombshell Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Republican vice chair of the committee, dropped at the conclusion of the panel’s seventh hearing documenting Trump’s coup plot. Cheney revealed that Trump apparently attempted to contact an unnamed witness whose testimony isn’t public yet.

“After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation—a witness you have not yet heard from in these hearings,” Cheney said from the dais, noting that the person declined to answer Trump’s call and instead referred the information to their lawyer.

“Their lawyer alerted us and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice,“ Cheney said, adding, “Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously.”

At this point, one has to question why Trump is still walking around a free man. He is actively interfering in an ongoing congressional proceeding, intimidating witnesses, thumbing his nose at the feds, and yet hasn’t suffered a single consequence thus far.

Plus, witness tampering is much clearer cut case for the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute, according to former Justice Department official Neal Katyal, particularly because Trump is no longer in office.

It could be a “very easy criminal case if the evidence is the way Congresswoman Cheney suggested it might be,” Katyal told MSNBC following the hearing. Katyal said it’s “a pretty simple test” because Trump, acting as a private citizen, has no possible privilege claims.

Depending on what transpired, Katyal added, “it could be pretty serious.”



Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

On Trump’s Unhappy Fourth, He Had A Shrieking Social Meltdown

Former President Donald Trump celebrated July 4 by raging against his detractors on his Twitter-knockoff app Truth Social.

In a trio of angry rants, Trump railed against Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) – the vice-chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol – for suggesting on Sunday that the bipartisan panel is likely to make multiple criminal referrals to the Justice Department to indict Trump for trying to overthrow the federal government.

Trump rehashed his "no collusion" defense to then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 2019 report on Trump's 2016 presidential campaign's ties to Russia, referred to the "Fake Unselect Committee" as a "witch hunt," repeated his lie that the 2020 election was stolen, expressed how disappointed he is in the state of the country, and conceded that he is not, in fact, the president.


Post number one, 9:28 a.m.:

Warmongering and despicable human being Liz Cheney, who is hated by the great people of Wyoming (down 35!), keeps saying, over and over again, that HER Fake Unselect Committee may recommend CRIMINAL CHARGES against a President of the United States who got more votes than any sitting President in history. Even the Dems didn’t know what she was talking about! Why doesn’t she press charges instead against those that cheated on the Election, or those that didn’t properly protect the Capitol?

Post number two, 10:00 a.m.:

Why doesn’t the highly partisan Unselect Committee of political Thugs, the same people (all Trump haters & profiteers - books, speeches, etc.) that were involved with Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax # 2, the 'No Collusion' Mueller Report and, overall, the GREATEST WITCH HUNT IN THE HISTORY OF THE USA, go after the people who have been rioting, burning down cities, leading the massive crime wave, & killing many all over the U.S., including drug & human traffickers? No, let’s get 'Trump'!

Post number three, 10:20 a.m.:

I know it’s not looking good for our Country right now, with a major War raging out of control in Europe, the Highest Inflation in memory, the worst 6 month Stock Market start in History, the highest Energy Prices EVER, and that is the Good News. Happy Fourth of July!!! ((Don’t worry, We will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, and remember, none of these terrible events would have happened if I were President!!!))

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

On July Fourth, Appreciation For The Truly Patriotic Conservatives

When the flags fly proudly on the Fourth of July, I remember what my late father taught me about love of country. Much as he despised the scoundrels and pretenders he liked to call "jelly-bellied flag flappers," after a line in a favorite Rudyard Kipling story, he was deeply patriotic. It is a phrase that aptly describes the belligerent chicken hawk who never stops squawking — someone like Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.

Like many who volunteered for the U.S. Army in World War II, my dad never spoke much about his four tough years of military service, which brought him under Japanese bombardment in the Pacific theater. But eventually there came a time when he attached to his lapel a small eagle-shaped pin known as a "ruptured duck" — a memento given to every veteran. With this proof of service, he demonstrated that as a lifelong liberal, he loved his country as much as any conservative.

That gesture occurred during one of those periods when the political polarization now plaguing our country began to metastasize. It seemed important to my father -- and to me over these many years since -- to lay down a marker for liberals and progressives who love America, with her manifest flaws and conflicted past. Over these past two years, however, living through the pandemic and the insurrection, it has become equally important to recognize that patriotism can still bring us together across sectarian and ideological divides. And on this holiday, to celebrate the determined defense of democracy and law that brings together patriots of all partisan stripes.

On this Independence Day, it doesn't seem so important to argue, as I have in years past, that the liberal left is equally as devoted to American institutions and values as our compatriots on the right -- because so many of the latter have demonstrated, in their fealty to Trump, that they love their would-be dictator more than they love their country. Democrats have proved to be staunch and unified in their defense of the Constitution, with the party's elected officials leading the fight to uphold democracy both at home and around the world.

What feels vital today is to appreciate the allies from the other side of the political aisle who have rallied to the cause, at no small cost to themselves and their families. It is a list that grows longer by the day, starting with Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the Republicans who broke with their party to demand truth and justice in the wake of Trump's attempted January 6 coup. Both have proved willing to sacrifice their promising political futures and to subject themselves to vile abuse as they stood up against their degenerating quasi-fascist party and its criminal leader. They have forged real friendships as well as strong working relationships with the Democrats on the House Select Committee, because that is what Americans do in a time of crisis.

Both Kinzinger and Cheney still profess what I would consider misguided views or worse on many issues, and have adopted some positions -- on voting rights, for instance -- that contradict their professed love of democracy. So have other Republican and former Republican officials and leaders who have nevertheless proven their independence from Trump's authoritarian mob. Rusty Bowers, the Arizona Republican legislator who refused to bow to that mob, has even said he would vote for Trump again -- a truly bizarre statement.

And yet we must be grateful to Bowers, and to Brad Raffensperger and Gabriel Sperling of Georgia, as well as the eight other Congressional Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January 2020, the seven Republican senators who voted to convict him, and the many conservatives who have chosen law and liberty over chaos, lies, and tyranny. Yes, that even includes Mike Pence, the former vice president who merely did his duty but performed that constitutional task under threat of death from the leader to whom he had shown such obsequious loyalty.

I cannot help but hope that all of these good people, forced to turn away from their party and many of their friends, will reconsider their reactionary views on all kinds of matters. Some conservatives, including a few whom I've gotten to know better in these moments, are indeed looking back and questioning rigid perspectives from the past. In many cases that is what their intelligence and ethics will eventually require of them.

Yet on this July Fourth, any such considerations matter much less to me than their willingness to set aside our differences in a common cause. Disagreements about the best way to fulfill our nation's promise will endure -- and I look forward to the day when we can again debate those matters in a democratic society secure from authoritarian threats.

Meanwhile, we ought to appreciate all the leaders, thinkers, and activists who have joined America's united front against fascism. We will be struggling together to preserve our common birthright for years to come.


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What Liz Cheney Meant In Her Warning To Coup Conspirators

Rep. Liz Cheney delivered two clear warnings during last week's House Select Committee hearings. One was to Donald Trump aides and allies who conspired with him to violently overthrow our government. The second was to those who merely observed these crimes but refuse to tell what they know.

The first message: the game is up because the J6 committee has the goods on Trump’s conspiracy, the coverup and the witness tampering so it’s time to either rat out Donald to save your own skin or give up any hope of leniency when indictments are handed out.

The second message: there’s no legitimate public reason to hold back information if you were a bystander, an observer, but if you do nothing your reputation will be trashed, you will be forever branded a coward and you just might get indicted for failure to report traitorous conduct, itself a crime called misprision of a felony.


The only issue is how to frame the case against Trump and his co-conspirators. As prosecutors often say, you file the case you can win, not the case you want to file.

Cheney didn’t say any of those specifics. She didn’t have to because while the significance of her words and actions may have flown over the heads of most people the lawyers got it loud and clear to criminal defense lawyers representing both the conspirators and the bystanders. The lawyers could be as drunk as Rudy Giuliani and they would still get the messages.

Cheney, that rare Republican who has not surrendered her soul to Trump, put two messages on a big screen at the end of Tuesday’s hearing. The texts showed witness tampering, something Trump has done all his life as the late great Wayne Barrett documented three decades ago.

The terrifying part for conspirators who still cling to Donald was that no names were shown on the big screen, a move sure to spread paranoia and suspicion among the conspirators.

Conspiracy law is designed to help law enforcement drive a wedge between criminals. Criminal defense lawyers are for sure asking their clients this question: Which do you prefer, prison for you or for Donald?

In the cold calculus of criminal law, conspirators who get to prosecutors first with solid evidence and who come clean, really clean, may be able to cut deals saving them from much if any prison time. Even if they can’t avoid prison, they may be able to negotiate agreements on how long and where they will serve their time.

Witness tampering is a charge that prosecutors love to include in a conspiracy case because it shows mens rea – criminal intent. If you are actualoly innocent why would you try to prevent witnesses from telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

No Going Back

For some of Trump’s traitors it’s too late. Like Dante, they stare at the sign above the gates of Hell: abandon hope all ye who enter here. Among those are Giuliani and Mike Flynn, the disgraced general who was on at least two Kremlin-connected payrolls, one direct, the other surreptious.

During a video deposition, snippets of which were played at the Tuesday hearing, Cheney asked Flynn an anodyne question that any loyal American immediately would answer with one word: Yes.

Cheney asked Flynn if he supported the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. Flynn exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Flynn’s response, his lawyer at his side, makes perfect sense only if you are a traitor who participated in Trump’s failed coup d’état.

But for others who conspired, or watched and failed to act, there is still hope.

A legal tool can be used to persuade those foolishly loyal to Trump to tell the truth even if all they did was observe the coup plotting and execution of that incompetent but still dangerous attempt to overthrow our democracy.

Title 18 Section 4, known as misprision of a felony, provides that “having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under ther United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Misprision—note the third “i” in that word—means “the deliberate concealment of one’s knowledge of a treasonable act or a felony.” That’s what a coup is: treason. But there are many other crimes that the Justice Department can file against the Trump conspirators.

The Only Issue

The issue before Attorney General Merrick Garland, thanks to work his people should have done but that the J6 committee did instead, is no longer whether there is a criminal case to be made against Donald Trump. The issue isn’t even, as some former federal prosecutors keep saying, whether Trump should be indicted.

The only issue is how to frame the case against Trump and his co-conspirators. As prosecutors often say, you file the case you can win, not the case you want to file.

Part of that framing is how to break up the conspiracy; how to get the rats to turn on each other.

Its clear from search warrant affidavits and subpoenas that Garland has an active criminal investigation or multiple investigations underway.

The real question how is how far flung will the indictments be and will our Justice Department bring a clear, simple and direct case against the man who would be our dictator.

Reprinted with permission from DC Report.

Yes, Cassidy Hutchinson Is A Hero

The House Select Committee reportedly decided to rush Cassidy Hutchinson's public testimony out of concern for her personal safety. They have good reason to worry. Consider what Brad Raffensperger, Rusty Bowers, Shaye Moss, Ruby Freeman and too many others to list have been subjected to. Rusty Bowers became a virtual prisoner in his home as his daughter lay dying.

Among the last things Bowers' daughter saw in this life was Trump crowds accusing her father of pedophilia — because he would not betray his oath by lying. Brad Raffensperger's family received specific threats like, "You and your family will be killed very slowly."

Ruby Freeman used to delight in wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with her nickname, "Lady Ruby," but she doesn't dare to wear it now. "I won't even introduce myself by my name anymore." She is afraid every day. "Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?" Freeman asked. Those words must have been reverberating in Hutchinson's ears as she contemplated her own path.

When Trump first crashed into American politics in 2015, it required only political courage to oppose him. Yet one after another, the leading figures of the GOP, from Chris Christie to Jeff Sessions to Ted Cruz, snapped like dry twigs under his boots.By 2020, it required more than political courage to stand up to Trump; it required physical courage. Rep. Adam Kinzinger has received death threats not just against himself, but against his wife and five month-old baby. Rep. Tom Rice, who voted in favor of Trump's second impeachment, received so many death threats that his chief of staff took to sending some directly to the police and reserving others for the congressman's perusal. (Rice recently lost his primary to a Trump loyalist). So many election workers have been threatened by Trump goons (850, according to Reuters) that three states are considering legislation to protect them.

This is the world that every Republican and conservative brought us by failing to show the minimal amount of integrity. Now they are shamed by the shining example of a 26-year-old woman with her life ahead of her, with no motive but love of country and no power except that which comes from a clear conscience.

There has been some tussling over a couple of details of Hutchinson's testimony. Two Secret Service officers reportedly claim that they want to contradict her SUV story under oath. We'll see. Anyone who viewed the presidential debate in 2020 cannot be shocked that Trump can be unhinged. Eric Herschmann says that a note Hutchinson testified to writing was actually written by him. Those are trivial matters compared with what is unrebutted.

It was clear before June 28 that Trump lifted not a finger to end the violence at the Capitol for many hours. Any normal, nonevil person, confronted with the fact that a mob of his supporters was committing violence at the Capitol, would have called them off. Trump did the opposite. He poured gasoline on the fire, tweeting that "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution."

Now we learn from Hutchinson that when some of the non-zombified staff at the White House attempted to get Trump to do the most elementally decent act imaginable — to protect another human being, his own vice president — Trump said, "Mike Pence deserves it." Is it conceivable that Trump could have been so depraved? Yes. Months later, speaking to ABC's Jonathan Karl, Trump was asked about his supporters' chants of "Hang Mike Pence." He defended them. "Well, the people were very angry. Because ... it's common sense, that you're supposed to protect — How can you, if you know a vote is fraudulent, right — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?"

And that, in turn, is consistent with Trump's comment on January 6 when a panicked Kevin McCarthy phoned to beg the president to call off his mob: "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are." Even in the past few months, Trump has been promising to pardon the rioters, should he be reelected. "We love you," he said on Jan. 6. He still does.

So it sure looks like Cassidy Hutchinson is describing the guy we know — the man who was fine with seeing his vice president murdered.

The most frightening thing we've learned over the past six years is just how indifferent the vast majority of the Republican Party is to the rule of law, the Constitution, basic decency and truth. But there have also been ordinary men and women who met the moment with grace and integrity. Their examples prove that the flame of liberty has not been extinguished. If this republic survives, Rep. Liz Cheney will be remembered as a heroine who ensured that it could. And Cassidy Hutchinson will deserve a place of honor for showing a party of cowards what courage looks like.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Bombshell January 6 Hearing Ends With Evidence Of Witness Intimidation

On Tuesday, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, provided the committee with testimony that was absolutely jaw-dropping. During her relatively brief appearance, Hutchinson recounted how:

Everything pointed to Trump wanting to personally lead the assault on the joint meeting of Congress from the steps of the Capitol. It was testimony that should shake even Trump’s most fervent supporters.

But as the committee hearing was wrapping up, Rep. Liz Cheney interrupted the closing moments with her own version of “Just one more thing.” That thing? Evidence that members of Trump’s team had attempted to intimidate witnesses appearing before the committee and attempting to suborn false testimony.


When Cheney leaned into the microphone for a final statement, she made it clear there was yet another bombshell coming in a day that had already left craters across everything Trump. That final salvo turned out to be evidence that Trump. or someone close to him, has been attempting to engage in witness intimidation.

If all this sounds like the most blatant, least subtle, absolutely obvious attempt to say, “You better clam up if you know what’s good for you,” there is something else it sounds like: It sounds exactly like the way Trump has always spoken to his employees at Trump Corporation.

As former Trump attorney Michael Cohen explained in his 2019 testimony, this baldfaced intimidation is absolutely classic Trump.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

'Consciousness Of Guilt' Among Pardon-Seeking House Republicans

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol revealed during its first public hearing on Thursday that multiple Trump-allied Republicans in Congress sought presidential pardons for their efforts to challenge and overturn the results of the 2020 elections.

The full ramifications of that revelation are yet to be felt.

It was Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice-chair of the select committee, who disclosed during her opening statement that “multiple Republican congressmen sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

That so many House Republicans sought pardons could be construed as an admission of guilt, an acknowledgment of their involvement in possibly illegal conduct, and a sign of “potentially perilous legal and political moments to come” for former President Trump and his congressional allies.

"Why would members do that if they felt that their involvement in this plot to overturn the election was somehow appropriate?" Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked on ABC’s This Week, speaking of the pardon-seeking House Republicans.

The select committee’s shocking revelation also suggested that the House Republicans in question knew — if not before, then now — that Trump’s widespread election fraud claims were lies, or they wouldn’t seek clemency.

In a statement to reporters, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the select committee, echoed Schiff’s sentiment on the bombshell revelation, saying, “It’s hard to find a more explicit statement of consciousness of guilt than looking for a pardon for actions you’ve just taken, assisting in a plan to overthrow the results of a presidential election.”

Cheney gave no basis for the allegation but named one of the Republican congressmen: Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who chairs the far-right House Freedom Caucus, a congressional caucus now described as Trump’s defense team.

Perry took to Twitter on Friday to deny the claim, which he labeled, among other things, a “soulless lie.”

The allegations prompted one of the largest papers in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to assail Perry for his questionable morals and ethics.

"Legal experts agree that presidential pardons are intended for persons accused of or convicted of federal crimes. It is extremely rare for anyone to receive a preemptive pardon for an offense already committed but not charged. Rep. Perry had led an effort to turn back the results of the presidential election, but he had not been charged with a crime," the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote. "Was he, by the very act of asking, admitting to criminal or unethical behavior? Why else would he ask? It certainly raises suspicions."

Willful Blindness

The select committee argued Trump couldn’t have believed he won the 2020 elections after his senior advisers informed him of the contrary.

The testimony provided by these top Trump aides and their implicationscan open the door for the Department of Justice to slap Trump with charges of obstructing an official proceeding — in this case, Congress’ certification of the electoral college votes — or “defrauding the United States on the basis of election fraud claims he knew were false.".

In undercutting the notion that Trump truly believed his Big Lie, the panel appears to be making a case of “willful blindness” on the former president’s part, which is especially relevant in his efforts to pressure Georgia’s state secretary Brad Raffensperger to find him enough votes to win.