Russia Investigation

Manafort Flips


cjones09212018

Last August, Donald Trump tweeted, “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!” And, right on cue, Manafort “broke.”

Manafort, who has already been convicted in a Virginia court and was set to face trial in Washington, has flipped and will now cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. In doing so, Manafort has admitted guilt to all the things he and his lawyers previously said he was innocent of.

In addition to all the dirt he can provide to Mueller, he also kills one of the GOP’s arguments against the investigation, and that’s the cost of it. So far, the investigation has cost the U.S. government $7 million. Now, with Manafort surrendering property as well as the contents of three bank accounts, the investigation has made money. The New York real estate the government has acquired is estimated to be worth $22 million.

Manafort is giving up a home in the Hamptons, a Brooklyn townhouse, and three Manhattan apartments, including one in Trump Tower. The Justice Department now owns a chunk of Trump Tower and may be the only tenant not using the building for money laundering. Now, if anyone sees Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sporting an ostrich jacket, can you please let me know?

Now, the fun begins. Manafort knows all the details of the Trump Tower meeting with Russians which not only puts pressure on Donald Trump, but also on egghead son number one, Donald Trump Jr., and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Manafort can also reveal the reasons why the Trump campaign removed language from the GOP’s platform concerning arms for Ukraine.

Manafort was a tool for Ukraine’s former president, who was a puppet for Putin (like Trump). He’s also indebted to Russian oligarchs (also like Trump).

Manafort joins the other Trump flippers, Michael Cohen, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, and the publisher of the National Enquirer. For a witch hunt, that’s a lot of witches. Surely, between them, Mueller is going to discover where the bodies are buried.

The one thing that is for certain is Mueller isn’t going away empty-handed from the Manafort flip. There will be more indictments, but who? Don Junior and Jared? I believe so. They will probably receive the pardons Manafort gave up on. If Junior gets indicted, his father’s hissy fit will be of epic proportions. I will need lots of popcorn.

There is another certainty. Donald Trump is going to be impeached. What’s uncertain is if he’ll be convicted and tossed from office by the cowardly Republican and Trump sycophant Senate.

In the meantime, we can look forward to Trump and Rudy Giuliani telling us how horrible of a person Manafort is and that he never could be trusted. Why won’t they? They said the same thing about Cohen after boasting what a wonderful person and great lawyer he was.

They do have a point though. All these flippers are vile, horrible, and disgusting people. After all, They did work for Donald Trump.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

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Strzok Gets Struck


cjones08192018

Peter Strzok was an FBI agent with 22 years experience who had investigated Russian spies, defense officials accused of selling secrets to China and other assorted cases of extreme importance. He was also the agent in charge of investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State and the Russia case.

During his investigation of Clinton’s server, Strzok exchanged texts with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with who he was having an affair. The texts were discovered while he was the lead investigator for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who swiftly removed him from the investigation of Russiagate.

The director of the FBI office that usually handles employee discipline had decided that Strzok should be demoted for having a rational viewpoint and suspended for 60 days. The Deputy Director of the FBI ignored that advice and decided to fire Strzok on Monday.

The text Republicans keep clinging to is one where Strzok was replying to Page’s concern about Trump being elected. Strzok texted, “we’ll stop him.” Republicans claim this is proof of conspiracy within the agency to destroy Trump and not a comment from a regular citizen referencing the voters of America. The Trump campaign was under investigation by the FBI for colluding with Russia before the election, but Strzok never leaked or made the investigation public knowledge, though the FBI held press conferences and leaked information about investigating Hillary Clinton. Oddly enough, those leaks went straight to Rudy Giuliani who is now campaigning to end the Russia investigation because of FBI bias.

Trump and his sycophants are using Strzok’s text as proof that Mueller’s Russia investigation is a hoax and should be shut down, the dossier is fake, Hillary Clinton should be re-investigated and thrown into prison, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be fired, everyone should vote Republican, Donald Trump isn’t a racist, and he only weighs 239 pounds.

What this really proves is that each day of the Trump administration brings us one step closer to an authoritarian government. People have literally been fired for expressing a negative viewpoint about Donald Trump (and this one’s not a political cartoonist in Pittsburgh).

When assigning agents to investigate politicians, is it now mandatory that they not have any political opinions about anything? Or, are they allowed to have them just so long as they favor Trump? The problem with this is how does anyone who familiarizes himself with a subject not have an opinion about that person? Are cops required to have neutral feelings about the people they’re in a shoot-out with? When they encounter pedophiles, do they not have any negative views about them until they’re convicted?

If this is the new standard in today’s chaotic new normal, we’re going to encounter problems finding people competent enough to do their jobs. Any professional who is educated, intelligent, rational, with half a brain, and not in a coma is going to have a negative viewpoint of Donald Trump. Have you seen and heard Donald Trump? Currently, only about 39% of Americans have a favorable view of Donald Trump, and they’re all Nazis. OK, maybe they’re not all Nazis, but they’re OK with a guy who is OK with Nazis. Do we really want Nazi sympathizers in charge of investigations? We can’t have everything run like Congressional committees.

Perhaps the most bizarre thing about this (other than there is a sex scandal connected to Trump where you don’t have to get a mental image of Trump boinking playmates, raw dogging porn stars, being spanked with a Forbes magazine with his daughter on the cover, or engaging in a pee-pee contest with Russian hookers) is that between Trump and Strzok, one has testified in front of Congress and the other refused to answer questions to Robert Mueller.

The most hypocritical aspect is that Strzok was fired for texting a viewpoint while Trump has been tweeting that Strzok should be fired, thus muddying up the entire review process at the FBI with his idiotic viewpoints. If that’s not meddling in an investigation or with the Justice Department, then I don’t know what is.

We can’t conduct a bloodletting in government agencies of those who harbor negative views of Trump. We need competent people serving our nation. If we only hire people who respect Trump, then we’re going to have a government staffed with the likes of Michael Cohens and Omarosas.

This is truly ironic because it might be Michael Cohen and Omarosa who bring down the Trump administration.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

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DOJ Happy Place


cjones05272018

For a bunch of people who hate “fake” investigations, they sure do like calling for them. Or in this case, demanding. In case you haven’t noticed, Trump and his defenders don’t even argue the facts anymore in defending him on charges of collusion with Russia and obstruction. Instead, they attack the Department of Justice and the FBI.

A few weeks ago while screaming at the country on Fox & Friends, Trump said at some point he was going to get involved with the Justice Department. That’s exactly what he did Sunday. Trump issued an order through a tweet, “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

There was a time when we believed it was a good thing that our law enforcement was protecting us from foreign spies. The Republican Party used to be about law and order. Not anymore.

Russia engaged in a campaign to interfere in our election. Law enforcement warned the Trump campaign and asked them to report anything suspicious. Instead, at least seven members of the Trump campaign met with Russians and were very eager to receive their help in defeating Hillary Clinton. The FBI spied on the Russians in the Trump campaign, not to hurt Trump, but to protect America.

In fact, the FBI told us they were investigating Clinton but never said anything about investigating people in the Trump campaign. It’s a hard argument to say the FBI was favoring Clinton over Trump, but Republicans don’t do reality anymore.

Trump’s newest deflection is that the FBI was spying on his campaign. Next, he’s going to claim they threw a porn star at him. Now he’s ordering the Justice Department to investigate those investigating him. This should not be allowed.

A few weeks ago, Deputy Attorney General, who is overseeing the Special Counsel’s investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia said, “the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted. We’re going to do what’s required by the rule of law, and any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job.” Now, he has caved to the bully.

There is no reason, evidence, or signs that the FBI planted moles into the Trump campaign. Donald Trump and his goons in Congress claim they did. Trump may be president, but that doesn’t mean he understands how anything works. The man asked Bill Gates twice if HIV and HPV was the same thing. Donald Trump is stupid.

Rosenstein may be just placating Trump, but the Justice Department should not cave to a bully. The Department of Justice and those in Congress should educate Trump that he is not an authoritarian leader and there are limits to what he can do. They should not be lickspittles.

Trump will not stop with this request to investigate those investigating him. Giving a bully your lunch money never stopped the bully from demanding it again. It only encouraged him. Trump has been encouraged by Rosenstein, just as he’s been by those in Congress who deem protecting Trump at all cost as their jobs.

Trump believes the Justice Department should be his own protection agency and go after his enemies. He’s complained how Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t protecting him and that he needs a Roy Cohn, Trump former lawyer who was counsel for Joseph McCarthy and eventually disbarred. That is the kind of lawyer Trump wants.

This is not North Korea, Cuba, Iran, China, Russia, or the Philippines. Trump should not be allowed to be a bully or a strongman potentate. Congress and the DOJ need to educate him where the lines are drawn and what he can’t get away with.

We don’t need a Roy Cohn. We need leaders in DOJ who will not let Trump put his little grubby orange hands on Lady Justice.

Watch me draw.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Sorry Giuliani


cjones05242018

I think the most amazing thing about the current Rudy Giuliani disaster tour is that it’s still going. Doesn’t a tire fire eventually burn out?

After joining Trump’s legal defense team, Rudy went on Hannity’s show on Trump TV and threw their entire strategy out the window. For the rest of Trump’s legal team, it was like coming to work the next morning to discover a dead raccoon in the copier. It really stunk up the place and nobody wanted to touch it.

Rudy told Hannity that Trump knew about the payment to porn star Stormy Daniels that was made through fixer/lawyer Michael Cohen, that Trump had paid Cohen back, that Trump lied about knowing of the payment, that Trump helped commit a campaign finance violation, and that the president of the United States raw-dogged a porn star while his wife was home with a newborn baby. Even Hannity, the guy who washes Trump’s feet with his tongue, couldn’t bail out the Trump team during that performance. I’m surprised Rudy didn’t say, “of course there’s no pee-pee tape with Russian hookers. Don’t be ridiculous. We destroyed that months ago.”

Trump later said Rudy was new on the job and still learning the details of everything. So what do they do? They send him back out to talk to the media. Again. And again.

Now Rudy says the Special Counsel team told him they’re not going to indict the president, and they’re willing to conduct a short interview with Trump where they will not bring up anything to do with obstruction. What? The Special Counsel was created because Trump fired the director of the FBI, and they’re not going to want to talk about that?

Rudy also thinks James Comey is a liar, that stormtroopers raided Cohen’s office, and that Martha Stewart went to jail for testifying and not for the lies she told. So, maybe when he talked to the Special Counsel’s office his problem with comprehension was a factor.

What was very enjoyable was watching Giuliani’s meltdown on CNN when Chris Cuomo asked him why he believes the president can’t be forced to testify, but in 1998 he argued the opposite. Rudy denied ever saying that and when Cuomo showed him a clip of it, Rudy shouted throughout it, said “aw c’mon,” that it’s not relevant and the interview was being unfair. If only he was on Fox & Friends where they don’t unfairly hold you accountable for your own words.

It gets better. A lot better. Rudy says Trump is owed an apology for the Russia investigation. How would that work? Are we sorry you’re a traitor? Are we sorry you hired Russians to work on your campaign? Are we sorry your campaign manager was indicted? Are we sorry the Justice Department isn’t working as your personal protection agency? Are we sorry your fixer is as stupid as he looks?

Personally, I’m sorry I can’t draw Rudy Giuliani every day.

Watch me draw.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Spies Like Us


cjones05222018

The priorities for the Trump administration and the entire Republican Party are seriously messed up. When the press reports that a White House staffer dissed Senator and Vietnam veteran John McCain by saying, “he’s dying anyway,” the outrage isn’t directed at the staffer, who still has her job, but at the leaker.

Now it’s reported that the FBI may have had an informant following the moles Russia had in the Trump campaign. Is Trump’s outrage directed toward Russia? Of course not. It’s toward the agency that’s trying to protect our nation from interference from a hostile foreign power.

Trump tweeted, “Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” Andrew McCarthy says, “There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!”

Trump has to say “Obama’s FBI” so it’ll gin up his base with outrage. But he is right about one thing. If Donald Trump allowed Russian spies into his campaign, it’s bigger than Watergate.

And Trump did allow Russians into his campaign headquarters. When the Russians contacted them claiming they had dirt on Hillary Clinton, did Donald Trump Jr say “no thanks?” Did he report it to the FBI? No. That treasonous trust-fund baby said, “I love it!” If the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia, it’s not for lack of trying.

While the campaign was ongoing, Trump was trying to work out a business deal with Russia. When Trump says he doesn’t have any business with Russia, again, it’s not for lack of trying. And on that issue, he’s probably lying.

While the FBI was secretly following Trump’s Russians around, they announced to the world that they were investigating Hillary Clinton, and then they weren’t, and then they were. The FBI was also leaking information about the investigation into Clinton to Rudy Giuliani, who is now complaining about the bias at the FBI. I’m a cartoonist and even I can’t make this stuff up.

Trump sycophants who parrot his claim of the investigation as a “witch hunt” and “no collusion” don’t stop for a second and ask, but why were there so many people with Russian connections in your campaign? What sort of organization was Trump running that let spies in to sit at the big table with Trump?

Now, Trump, Republicans in Congress, the idiots in conservative media like Breitbart and Sean Hannity, are screaming for the FBI to publicly identify the informant. What happened to protecting sources? Why would they want to give someone up, not just for the conservative base to chew apart, but for Vladimir Putin? People who anger Putin have a tendency to suffer accidents, like falling off buildings and walking face-first into a batch of Russian-made nerve agent.

This is another instance of Republicans putting sycophancy over country. They worship at the altar of a stupid, racist, snake-oil selling conman complicit with Russia, and their love for their deity is stronger than their love for the country.

You know what they say runs downhill. You know who’s on top of that hill. Trump’s leadership has set an example of the corruption rampant throughout his cabinet. His leadership encourages leaks from the White House. And, it was his leadership that invited Russians into his campaign. This is a man who didn’t devote himself entirely to his country while seeking to be its leader, as he was working business deals with Moscow at the same time while also asking for them to hack his opponent’s campaign.

We need to leave the informant alone. Quite frankly, Melania’s been through enough this week.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

The Shammity of Hannity


cjones04202018

Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prizes announced the winners for 2017 awarding some of America’s best journalists. Ironically, on the same day, we got a reminder of one of America’s worst.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity has told his audience and critics time and time again that he is not a journalist. Sure, he’s on a news channel talking about the news and giving us his opinion on the subjects, but he argues that doesn’t make him a journalist. The reason he makes this argument is so he doesn’t have to conduct himself by the ethics and principles expected of journalists.

Hannity is one of the personalities who has helped turn Fox News into Trump TV. He not only defends and worships at the altar of all things Trump, he socializes with The Donald. He’s had dinner at the White House multiple times, and none of those were over meatloaf with Obama. When Trump says many people believe he should fire Robert Mueller, “many people” are Sean Hannity.

Hannity hasn’t just campaigned against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, calling the investigation a “witch hunt,” while defending everything Trump. He’s also passionately defended Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is the president’s admitted “fixer.” Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her having sex with the married Trump, which he claims never happened. Hannity’s defense of Cohen turned into a near-panic after the FBI raided the lawyer’s office, home, and hotel room seizing files and possibly audio recordings between him and his clients. On Monday, we found out why Hannity was taking it so personally.

Cohen is more of a fixer than a lawyer. He got his degree (in law, not fixing) from the Cooley Law School, which has been ranked as the worst law school in the nation. It’s shocking his office isn’t the trunk of his car where you can also get expert shoe repair. Cohen only has three clients, with one being the president and the second being Elliott Broidy, a Republican National Committee fundraiser who used Cohen’s fixing services to pay off a former Playboy Playmate $1.6 million he had impregnated. But, who is the third? Cohen’s attorney’s, who I hoped didn’t get their degrees from Cooley, were joined by the president’s attorneys (despite him not being “involved” in the case) against releasing the name of the third client. The judge didn’t buy their arguments and made them release the name, which made everyone in the courtroom either gasp or break out in laughter. That third client is Sean Hannity.

Hannity argues he’s not really a client despite Cohen’s attorney’s fighting so hard to keep his name sealed. The Fox News host claims he’s never officially had services done by Cohen and has only asked him a few questions in passing about real estate, though Cohen is not a real estate attorney (though he has bought a lot of property in Trump Towers, just like Russian money launderers do). Hannity points out that he’s never retained him, been billed, received an invoice, or paid legal fees. So what? Trump often refuses to pay his legal fees.

Someone can be your lawyer without you ever having paid them. If nothing else, if Hannity received a service from Cohen, even if it’s just bad legal advice, he has a responsibility to his viewers for full disclosure.

Sean Hannity is on a news network, a journalistic outlet, a forum where people get their information. He can refer to himself as an Oompa Loompa for all I care, but he still has a responsibility to his viewers for full disclosure. For all we know he didn’t even inform his bosses of his conflict of interest.

Sean Hannity can continue his refusal to square with his viewers and himself, but his network can’t. Fox News shouldn’t just suspend Hannity. They should fire him. Sure, he gets high ratings, but Fox needs to decide if they’re a news network or a propaganda outlet. I’m sure Shep Smith, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier would choose to be identified with a news network.

Maybe Sean Hannity should ask one of them for journalism advice, and stop asking crappy, sketchy lawyers for legal advice.

Now, does anyone wanna be Michael Cohen’s fourth client?

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Witch Hunt


cjones04122018

Donald Trump says the Special Counsel’s investigation into his collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice is “the single greatest witch hunt in American history.” The problem with this argument is that it’s turning up a lot of witches.

What else would you expect from an investigation into a person like Donald Trump who ran a family business like a third-rate mafia? He has spent his entire career associating with witches and warlocks who are extremely bad at hiding the fact they’re witches and warlocks.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels who Trump’s lawyer paid to keep quiet that she slept with Trump, expressed shock at the ineptness of the president’s lawyer. Talking to Nicole Wallace on the 11th Hour on MSNBC Tuesday night, he discussed his amazement that Trump got so far ahead in business and public stature while hiring people as stupid as his lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The Russia investigation has been described as Watergate, but with stupid people. The main target is the biggest dumbass of them all.

Mueller’s witch hunt has led to charges against 19 people, five of whom have pled guilty to at least one criminal count. That’s a lot of witches. And the people at the top of the witch hunt, who Trump is blaming are all Republicans.

The Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who recused himself isn’t just a Republican. He supported and campaigned for Trump. The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, is a Republican. Andrew McCabe, who Trump fired days before his retirement from the FBI so he couldn’t collect his pension, is a lifelong Republican. Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General overseeing the Special Counsel and who Trump is threatening to fire, is a Republican Trump appointed. Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York which is leading the investigation into Trump’s stupid lawyer, is a Republican, appointed by Trump, who Trump personally interviewed.

It’s really hard to claim they’re out to get you when they’re from your side. What do you expect them to do when everything about you is sketchy?

Trump’s business is connected to Russian oligarchs. His buildings have been used for money laundering by these oligarchs. He ran a scam university. He has a scam charity. Half of his appointments are engaging in corrupt practices from Jared selling access to his EPA chief literally sleeping in a lobbyist’s bed.

There is a better chance of Stormy producing a sex tape of Trump killing porn star ass than there is of Mueller not finding anything on Trump.  Frankly, I’m shocked Cohen wasn’t paying porn stars to say they slept with Trump and that it was amazing.

Soon, I expect federal penitentiaries to contain more witches than Trump Towers.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!