Ukrainegate

Some Things Are Impeachable


CNN11172019

Here’s your cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

On one of his phone calls with Ukraine’s president, Donald Trump said then-Ambassador to that nation, Marie Yovanovitch, was going to “go through some things.” The man does project.

No real blog for this one. I already wrote one today. I’m tired and I need a few hours off.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

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Juicy Intel


cjones11202019

One revelation from last week’s impeachment hearings is that the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, was talking to Donald Trump on a cell phone from a restaurant in Kyiv, Ukraine. This is potentially dangerous.

Donald Trump has never taken security seriously. He overruled the FBI in giving his idiot son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a security clearance. He did the same with his daughter, Ivanka. Those with security clearances have to go through extreme background checks that often take months. It’s very stressful and invasive. Not only can’t you lie, you also can’t make mistakes. So you can imagine there being some bitterness when Donald Trump, who couldn’t get a security clearance if his life depended on it, is handing them out like Pez to people who have lied on their applications. The only qualification his stupid kids needed for their security clearances was being related to Donald Trump.

Trump also gave away classified information to Russians in the Oval Office. What made this worse is that the intel came from an ally. It wasn’t ours to give. On top of that, he allowed the Russians to bring recording equipment into the White House while he kicked out the American press.

In the past, he’s tweeted out classified information. He revealed there are nuclear weapons in Turkey which were something our government had never admitted.

While visiting the border, an agent declined to divulge classified information about their work after Trump prodded him to.

It’s been reported that Trump is careless with his own cell phone, ignoring procedures and protocols over its use. Washington is full of spies. Even our friends spy on us. It makes you wonder how much intel they’ve gathered from Trump’s nightly phone chats with Sean Hannity.

Trump has had private meetings with Putin and Kim Jong Un without any Americans in the room, except for a translator, whom he then told to burn her notes. His first National Security Adviser was a guy who had been on Russia’s payroll.

And now, it appears he was talking to an ambassador who was on a cell phone in a nation full of spies.

You can argue it’s the ambassador’s fault. He’s the one on the cell phone. But Trump should have known. He should have taken precautions.

Why would Gordon Sondland be so careless? He’s an ambassador. He’s been trained in this, right? Probably, but he may not understand the seriousness of it to the extent a career diplomat would. Sondland’s qualification to be an ambassador is that he gave Donald Trump’s inauguration committee a million dollars.

Presidents always appoint campaign donors to ambassadorships. Obama, Clinton, both Bushes, and Reagan all did it (Reagan made Shirley Temple an ambassador). Trump’s doing it now. But with Sondland, he didn’t just make him an ambassador to some tiny nation that Trump couldn’t find on a map (OK, that’s a lot of nations), he appointed him to the European Union. That’s a very important post. On top of that Trump fuckery, he put him in charge of his Ukraine dealings to coordinate with Rudy Giuliani, who hasn’t been appointed to anything. Ukraine is NOT in the European Union.

Trump tweeted a few days ago that he has absolute power to appoint ambassadors. That’s not true. He does have the power to appoint and they serve at his pleasure. But, it’s not absolute. Ambassadors, just like judges and cabinet members, have to be confirmed by the Senate. The Republicans who control the Senate rubber stamp the majority of Trump’s stupid appointments, but there is still checks and balances. Congress, along with the courts, is an equal branch of government to the presidency. That will change if Trump is not removed and is reelected.

Donald Trump is a national security risk. He has been since day one. Make no butts about it.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

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Sinking Like A Stone


cjones11192019

Yesterday was historic. We got to witness a public hearing in only the third impeachment inquiry in our nation’s history. We got to watch a president intimidate a witness while she was testifying. We may have seen a new article of impeachment created in real-time. And finally, a federal court found Trump confidant and partner-in-crime Roger Stone guilty on seven counts of witness tampering and lying to Congress.

Donald Trump and his goon, Rudy Giuliani, coordinated a smear campaign against Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch before she was ousted from that position. He ever praised a Ukraine prosecutor who was considered corrupt by our nation, Europe, and even Ukraine. Yesterday, his smear campaign against Yovanovitch continued.

Donald Trump has a history of bullying women and intimidating witnesses. He’s tweeted attacks in the past against his former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen (after he turned on him), former White House counsel Don McGhan (who witnessed several episodes of obstruction by Trump), and former FBI director James Comey who testified that Trump pushed him to drop an investigation over another partner-in-crime, Michael Flynn.

Trump said he would only watch ranking member Devin Nunes’ opening statement during yesterday’s hearing, which was kind of pointless. Nunes attempted to break committee rules by yielding his opening time to another committee member (when he’s only allowed to give that time to the Republican committee counsel). As usual, Trump was lying because he unleashed a barrage of attacks against Yovanovitch WHILE she was testifying.

He tweeted, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?” Yovanovitch was a low-level diplomatic officer stationed in Somalia early in her career. Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (another of Trump’s favorite victims) stopped the proceedings to address Trump’s Twitter tantrum.

He asked Yovanovitch what effect Trump’s attacks on her would have “on other witnesses’ willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing.” She said, “It’s very intimidating. I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but the effect is to be intimidating.” In released summaries of Trump’s phone calls with the president of Ukraine, Trump said “some things will happen” to Yovanovitch.

If you think this isn’t witness tampering or intimidation, keep in mind that last year a Trump supporter mailed several pipe bombs to politicians, former government officials, and members of the media who have criticized Donald Trump. Hell, last week, someone took a knife to a Trump baby balloon. Yes, it’s witness tampering.

As if the gods agreed and wanted to make a statement, a verdict in Roger Stone’s trial was delivered in New York before the hearings in Washington were completed for the day.

A jury found Stone guilty on seven counts, including obstruction, lying to Congress, and witness tampering. He once called a potential witness and threatened to kill their dog. Roger Stone joins other Trump confidants who have been convicted or pled guilty, including Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, and “coffee boy” George Papadopoulos.

Stone can receive up to 50 years. He won’t get that much and Trump will eventually pardon him. Will Trump do the smart thing and pardon him after the 2020 election (along with Manafort) or will he attempt to fire up his base and do it sooner? His supporters do love horrible people. That’s why they’re deplorable.

Stone is going to prison for doing the same things Trump is doing today. Trump’s supporters argue he’s only expressing his opinion. But if they can say he didn’t pressure Ukraine because that nation’s president says he felt no pressure, then they need to accept that Trump is intimidating because Yovanovitch has said she feels intimidated. Logic, Republicans. Use it.

Roger Stone deserves what he’s getting. He belongs in prison. He also deserves to have his buddy there with him.

What’s more shocking here? That a guy with a Nixon tattoo on his back is going to prison for obstruction, lying, and witness tampering…or a Trump supporter is going to prison?

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

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Poo-Flinging Republicans


cjones11172019

Jim Jordan has a law degree but he never took the bar examination. It’s a good thing, too, because, there are some legal details he doesn’t understand, like corroborating witnesses.

Jordan pointed out that neither William B. Taylor Jr., the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, nor George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of State specializing in Ukrainian matters, had never spoken to Donald Trump. Jordan’s argument was that it makes their testimony moot. Republicans love to compare the impeachment proceedings to a court of law, but corroborating witnesses are used in court all the time.

The other hole in this argument, that no witnesses are testifying who have spoken directly to Trump about the matter, is that it’s Trump who is preventing them from testifying. Republicans really don’t want their bluff called and see Acting Chief-of-Staff Mick Mulvaney or former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify.

Jordan also complained that the whistleblower isn’t testifying. Perhaps if Jordan had taken that bar exam, he’d know the whistleblower is another corroborating witness who isn’t needed on top of all the other corroborating witnesses. Also, maybe he’d realize it’s illegal to expose, intimidate, threaten, or harm a whistleblower. On top of all that, it’s a dick move on his part. But dick moves are all Jim Jordan has.

By the way, Linda Tripp heard it from a friend.

Jordan’s complaint is that Democrats are refusing to let the “guy that started it all” testify, as Republicans want him to do. Democrat Peter Welch replied, “I say to my colleague, I’d be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify. President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there.” Ouch.

Jordan and Republicans also argued that Donald Trump has done more for Ukraine than Obama. I’m not sure how Obama doing little for Ukraine is a defense for Trump abusing his office, but remember…I didn’t take a bar exam. They pointed out that more money has been directed to Ukraine from Trump than Obama since Russia invaded that nation. They failed to mention that Obama worked to oust Russia from the G-7 as one response, and Trump is trying to invite Putin back. Also, Trump wants to go to Moscow and watch a parade of Russian military weaponry that will probably continue parading all the way down to Crimea. Yeah, they didn’t mention any of that.

Jim Jordan also argued there is no crime here since Trump failed at it. If you’re ever caught robbing a bank, just tell them you failed because you couldn’t find the safe. They’ll let you go. If they don’t, call Jim Jordan.

They argue that Trump released the money he was withholding from Ukraine after he vetted them. The truth is, he released the money that was approved by Congress to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia after the whistleblower made his complaint.

The Republicans were outmatched. All they had were conspiracy theories. They have a defendant who has admitted he pressed a foreign country to help his political campaign. They have Trump on tape asking another foreign nation to investigate his political opponent. They have Rudy Giuliani’s confession he’s asked Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political opponents. They have Mick Mulvaney’s confession there was a quid pro quo and that we should get over it. Now they’re going to have another witness testify he overheard Trump asking the ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, about Ukraine investigating the Bidens.

Republicans made Jordan a temporary member of the House Intelligence Committee because they believe his hard-charging style of being an asshole would be their best defense of Donald Trump from impeachment. Jordan’s job is to scream, yell, ask questions in a shotgun fashion, expose the whistleblower, deflect, confuse the public, and spread Trump’s debunked conspiracy theories. It’s his job to throw poo.

Jim Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State for eight years. He’s been accused of being aware of and not acting on sexual misconduct by a team doctor. Somehow, according to the allegations, the doctor whacked off over 180 times in the shower in front of student-athletes over eight years without Jordan ever hearing about it. But hey, if Dr. Shower Whacker needs someone to ignore the crime and scream at his accusers, Jordan’s his guy.

Maybe Republicans should have brought in a poo-flinging monkey instead of Jordan. At least in the monkey’s defense, he didn’t take the bar exam.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

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Watch me draw.

Partisan Jurors


CNN11102019

Here’s your cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

After Donald Trump is impeached by the House of Representatives, there will be a trial in the Senate. There, every United States Senator (in case you’re a Republican, there are 100 of them), will be a juror. The majority of Republican senators have already made up their minds that Donald Trump should not be impeached. Some argue he didn’t do anything wrong while others say he did but it doesn’t amount to a charge worthy of impeachment. Some, like Lindsey Graham refuse to even hear the evidence and testimony. These Republican jurors have already made up their minds to clear Donald Trump before the trial or even before public hearings in the House have started.

Remember when the administration said it wasn’t complying with subpoenas because the House hadn’t conducted a vote for the inquiry? That seems to be forgotten now that the House did have that vote, and it passed without one Republican voting for it (even though they all demanded the vote), and the White House is still defying subpoenas.

Remember when Republicans complained about the hearings being private? They even crashed one hearing and contaminated a SCIF. Now, the Trump administration is complaining about the hearings going public. If voters have eyes and ears, they’ll see it doesn’t matter what the Democrats do, the GOP will find fault with it.

Graham said he’d be bothered if there was testimony implicating Trump in using taxpayer money to bribe Ukraine and asking them to go after a political opponent. Now that multiple witnesses say Trump did just that, Graham has decided he’s not going to listen to any testimony or read transcripts of it. Back during the Clinton impeachment, Graham said a president defying subpoenas was obstruction and another cause for impeachment. Today, it’s OK if a Republican does it.

In this week’s Time magazine, Jon Meachem writes, “The possible impeachment of Donald Trump is about more than one man. It is a singular moment in American democracy that will try our capacity for reason over passion, fact over faith and principle over tribe.”

The Republicans are making it about one man and showing we don’t have the capacity for reason, facts, or principles. If Congress fails to remove Trump from the presidency, it will be an American failure that will take generations to overcome. It will damage the office of the presidency for decades, if not permanently.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

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Watch me draw.

Read The Transcript


cjones11112019

Imagine you’re sitting on a jury and you really want the defendant to be innocent. So, when a witness gives a damaging testimony, you just decide you’re not going to listen to him. That’s Lindsey Graham.

Lindsey Graham said if there was evidence or testimony spelling out there was a quid pro quo, then it would be very concerning. So, after transcripts of witnesses’ testimony were released over the past two days, Graham said he wasn’t going to bother listening to any of it.

After a president is impeached, the Senate holds a trial to decide if the president should be removed from office. Lindsey Graham would be a juror if Trump is impeached. Lindsey has already decided Trump is innocent, or at least shouldn’t be held accountable, and won’t even bother to do his job and listen to the evidence. He won’t read the transcripts.

Donald Trump tells everyone to read the transcript of his phone call. During his Kentucky hate rally, the Trump campaign got the attendees standing behind Trump to wear T-Shirts with the slogan “Read The Transcript!”

This is a huge step forward for Trump sycophants. “Read the transcript” contains four syllables. Usually, they can’t do more than three, evidenced by “space force,” “lock her up,” “send them back,” and “build the wall.” They didn’t start a “read the transcript” chant, but I like to think if it came up, they could have powered their way through the four syllables. Or maybe it would have been like when a crowd can’t coordinate and it fails the wave.

I also think it’s nice that a Trump crowd was able to coordinate with everyone wearing white, and nobody was wearing a bedsheet or a Klan hood. Way to go!

However, Trump and his supporters are only basing their defense on T-Shirt slogans and not the transcript of his phone call. First off, if you read the “transcript” of his call, you will discover there is a quid pro quo and Trump is asking a foreign government to go after a political opponent. Everyone is focused on the quid pro quo, which is bribery and extortion, but it’s not required for Trump to be breaking the law and be deserving of impeachment. The simple act of asking a foreign government to go after his opponent should demand that Congress impeach Trump.

The other act of withholding money from Ukraine that was appropriated by Congress, and then asking that nation to help your campaign, is another offense which should require Trump’s immediate removal. And then there’s the whole obstruction thing.

The second thing about the shirts is that the wearers demanding that we “read the transcript” haven’t read the transcript. If they had, they would have “read” at the very top that it’s NOT A TRANSCRIPT!!!! No. It’s a summary. It’s edited. It’s been taken apart and put back together. It’s what the Trump administration wants us to see and even then, it’s still damaging.

If Trump supporters really want to get to the facts of the case, they’ll read the actual transcripts of the witnesses’ testimonies. Now, these are a lot longer than the summary of Trump’s phone call, and since it’s not a Trump transcript, some of the words are big. It’s not “Dick and Jane” or “Curious George,” which is more along the speed for Trump supporters. But “Curious George” would be a good start for the Trump cult, because they could use a little curiosity.

But, let’s help Trump supporters out.

See Donald. See Donald lie. See Donald ask Ukraine for stuff. See Donald break the law. See Donald talk about Donald. See Donald spin. See Donald not understand what Donald is talking about. See Donald have a temper tantrum. See Donald obstruct justice. See Donald get impeached. See Donald go to jail. See Nancy win.

Here’s the thing, Trump sycophants and assorted fucknuts: If you wanna wear a T-Shirt telling people to read, maybe you should learn to read for yourself first. But, hey. Congrats for going to a Trump rally and getting a free T-Shirt. It kinda sums up the entire Trump presidency for you.

Donald Trump was elected president and I didn’t get a wall, but I got a free T-Shirt.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

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Cross Hairs For Whistleblower


cjones11092019

It’s Taco and Bonus Toon Tuesday here at Claytoonz Central. But since I ate all the tacos Amanda made for me, you get the cartoon.

I sketched this idea out a few weeks ago and even shared it in one of my posts showing you rough sketches. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t reveal a few of them as I might want to go back to them. This is one of those. It’s simple and I figured I could whip it out within 20 minutes. I was wrong. It took about two hours, but I did take a break for tacos.

There’s only one reason Republicans like Donald Trump and Rand Paul want the whistleblower to be revealed. It’s because they can’t attack the context. Listen to what Trump says about the guy and, if you’re not a Republican, you’ll notice he only has lies.

Last night, at a Trump hate rally in Kentucky, Rand Paul demanded the media do its job and reveal the whistleblower. First off, Rand, it’s not the media’s job to expose the whistleblower and put his life in danger. What he’s reported is more important than who he is. We already know what he is. Rand Paul is the last person, other than Donald Trump, who would have a clue as to the media’s job.

Second, Republicans only want to discredit the whistleblower because they can’t discredit the accusations. They can’t discredit the truth.

The law protects whistleblowers. Government employees are actually required to take classes on whistleblowing. Anyone in the government who tries to expose a whistleblower should be removed, like Donald Trump and Rand Paul. I think trying to expose the whistleblower should be added to the charges that will be used to impeach Donald Trump.

There is a real danger to trying to expose the whistleblower. Do you remember Comet Pizza? There was a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex slave ring out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. There weren’t any child sex slaves. The pizza place didn’t have any connection to Hillary Clinton. The pizza place didn’t even have a basement. Yet, a conservative lunatic who was troll bait for Russia’s campaign to elect Trump drove to Washington with the agenda to shoot up the pizza parlor.

Do you remember the shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs in 2015? The shooter killed three people because he believed in the Republican lie, made from doctored videos, that they were selling dead baby body parts. To this day, “pro-life” people still believe Planned Parenthood is selling baby body parts.

Already, the lawyers for the whistleblower are receiving death threats. If Donald Trump and Rand Paul have their way, the whistleblower will be running for his life…or dead. Donald Trump and Rand Paul, like most Republicans, don’t have any shame.

Republicans are a threat to national security. Republicans cost lives. Don’t kill people. Don’t vote Republican.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.