On the surface today I will write about a book, agree with someone I almost never agree with and apologize to another person I have negligible respect for. It won’t be as boring as it sounds.
I think the late James Michener was one of America’s greatest writers. I have read many of his works. All but one share three things in common: they transport you; they teach you and they are long. The lone book I have in my writing desk is his novel Legacy. It is to my knowledge by far his shortest and it deals with the Fifth Amendment. Michener and I disagree in that he feels taking the Fifth is perfectly fine. (The reason I keep the book handy is because it has a complete copy of the Constitution at its end.)
Perhaps the only thing I agree with Donald Trump on is that only people who have something to hide take the Fifth. Recent events, and I expect more examples will be forthcoming, have provided a plethora of examples.
According to New York State Attorney General, Tish James, Trump’s son Eric took the Fifth about 50 times when her investigators questioned him. That’s a whole lot of fear of self-incrimination!
When Trump ally Alex Jones was questioned by the 1/6 Committee, he admitted taking the Fifth about 100 times. Jones is a piece of work! After taking the Fifth in front of the Committee he then went on his broadcast and answered some of the same questions. Like Trump, I think many of his allies would be best served pleading insanity and taking their chances.
Then we have the case of Trump “attorney” John Eastman. (The word attorney is in quotes because I don’t know if the relationship meets the legal definition of an attorney-client relationship.) (Interesting tidbit: Eastman clerked from Clarence Thomas. Maybe there is something to the old adage about birds of a feather.) When Eastman faced the 1/6 Committee he reportedly took the Fifth about 150 times.
What is this trio hiding and/or afraid of?
Over the years I have often called Florida Republican Senator and former Governor Rick Scott, Rick “The Fifth” Scott because he took the Fifth 75 times in a deposition that was part of an inquiring into Medicare Fraud. In relative perspective to the above I might have been a bit harsh on Scott. After all his offenses allegedly were a matter of simple theft. He wasn’t implicated in a coup attempt to overthrow the American government. He is just a garden variety crook by comparison.
To any judges or defense attorneys out there here is a fair warning: If the Fifth Amendment is part of your strategy keep me off the jury. I, like most Americans, believe that innocent people with nothing to hide don’t take the Fifth. (Sorry Mr. Michener, this is one of the few times I don’t agree with you.)
Getting a political apology from me is much like getting a journalist apology from Rachel Maddow. You would be better off without it.
Now here is the really scary part. Voters actually keep electing people like Senator Scott and Donald Trump. They also listen to people like John Eastman and Alex Jones. The only solace I can take out of all of this is that Eric Trump is widely regarded as a fool.
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