Donald Trump testified in a court-ordered deposition yesterday in New York City, sitting across from state Attorney General Letitia James who’s been conducting a three-year civil investigation into whether he fraudulently inflated the value of his assets to secure loans and other benefits. In what The New York Times called an “unexpected twist,” Donald Trump refused to answer any of the questions, except one, and pleaded the Fifth.
It was NOT an “unexpected surprise.” So many people are shocked by Trump invoking the Fifth to questions in a court case because he’s attacked people in the past for doing the same thing. But we’ve known for decades that Donald Trump is a lying projecting racist orange hypocrite.
At one of his hate rallies in 2016 while running for the presidency with Putin’s help, he blasted aides to Hillary Clinton for exercising their constitutional right to invoke the Fifth Amendment in order to avoid self-incrimination. He said, “The mob takes the Fifth.” He asked his MAGAts rhetorically, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”
At other rallies during that campaign, he said, “She lied to Congress under oath, and her staff has taken the Fifth Amendment and got immunity deals,” and “It’s worse than Watergate; it’s a bigger deal than Watergate.” And during his first debate with Hillary Clinton, he said taking the Fifth instead of answering questions was “disgraceful.”
Yesterday, Donald Trump invoked the Fifth, according to a person with inside knowledge, over 400 times. He only answered one question. His name, and we’re assuming he didn’t lie with that answer.
He opened with a prepared statement and called Ms. James, who was seated across from him, a “renegade prosecutor.”
After the deposition, he said, “I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ I now know the answer to that question.” He said that he was being targeted by lawyers, prosecutors, and the news media, and that left him with “absolutely no choice” but to do so.
So, does that mean Hillary Clinton (who never took the Fifth when she testified for 11 hours before the Benghazi Committee) and her staff were being targeted by lawyers, prosecutors, and the news media, or is this different?
Trump’s lawyers were smart to convince him not to answer questions because not only could have incriminated himself in the New York civil case, his fat mouth probably would have incriminated him in one of the other multitudes of ongoing investigations into Trump fuckery.
In addition to the investigation that triggered the F.B.I.’s search (stealing shit from the White House), federal prosecutors are questioning witnesses about his involvement in efforts to reverse his election loss (the coup attempt, election steal, and installing fake electors), and a district attorney in Georgia is investigating potential election interference on the part of Mr. Trump and his allies. And let’s not forget the House select committee investigating the white nationalist MAGA mob he sent to attack the Capitol.
Trump’s lawyers should get medals for being able to keep him from answering questions. It must have killed him not to shout out “fake news” or “but her emails” in response to some questions. I would also have expected him to cite an imaginary right or Trump privilege at some point of the questioning that enables him to cheat on taxes and loan applications.
It was also smart to make him plead the Fifth since it’s impossible for Donald Trump not to lie. This is a man who lied over 30,000 while he was president (sic).
But Trump citing the Fifth was not an “unexpected twist” as the Times described, because he’s done it before.
In 1990 during divorce hearings from the woman he recently planted at the first tee at Bedminster, Trump invoked the Fifth 97 times to questions that were mostly about other women. He wouldn’t admit to the court all the stuff he boasted about on an Access Hollywood bus (“grab them by the pussy”).
In 1998, after Bill Clinton admitted to his affair with Monica Lewinsky in a deposition for an investigation about an Arkansas land deal, Donald Trump, who was merely an entertaining grifter at the time, said, “I’m not even sure that he shouldn’t have just gone in and taken the Fifth Amendment.”
The only thing “unexpected” about Trump pleading the Fifth is that he was successful at it and didn’t just excrete a word salad at some point during the deposition. After the deposition, he made a complaint about how nice and expensive the Attorney General’s offices are while crime is running rampant in New York City.
Donald Trump has every right to invoke the Fifth Amendment and not incriminate himself because he has the exact same constitutional rights as the rest of us. And if he has the same constitutional rights as the rest of us, then our nation’s laws apply to him just like the rest of us.
Creative note: I get asked now and then about something a lot of readers don’t notice. When I have the same image in more than one panel, do I just copy and paste the image? Sometimes. It varies. When I don’t need them all to be exactly, I will redraw the image each time. But other times, I think the image needs to stay “mostly” consistent. It also depends on my mood and the feel of the cartoon. There are times when it’s actually easier to redraw the same image multiple times than copying and pasting.
Here’s my trick: For today’s cartoon, I drew Trump once and then copied and pasted it seven times. But, I didn’t copy and paste the finished Trump. I copied and pasted the rough. So…I went over all eight Trumps a second time with my pen. And then I added some cross-hatching and colored after that. I also redrew his hair for each panel. So, they’re not all exactly alike but they’re all in the same place.
My one rule about copying and pasting is, never to do it because it’s easier. Only do it if it’s better for the cartoon. Right after I finished typing all that, another cartoonist Facebook messaged me saying, “I admire so much that you drew all the Trumps individually in your most recent cartoon.” I should have just said, “thank you.”
Music note: I listened to two bands that blow my mind every time I listen to them, Kaiser Chiefs and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.
Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: There are 19 copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.
Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to email@example.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402.
Watch me draw: