Troy Davis and Jamey Rodemeyer: By A Jury Of Our Peers – Part II
Please read Troy Davis and Jamey Rodemeyer: By A Jury Of Our Peers: Part I. This is part II.
I am Troy Davis, I amÂ JameyÂ Rodemeyer. I am Troy when I look at my black skin, I amÂ JameyÂ when I recall being a gay teen. Most of my friends were girls too, and IÂ was terrifiedÂ while getting undressed for gym that there would be some telltale mark on me, some look that would alert the other boys that I was a â€œfaggot.â€
I amÂ JameyÂ when I remember the new school I moved to in the fourth grade. One day some of us were playing touch football, and everyone was mad because I dropped the ball. One kid said the reason I was black was because my mother took a shit when I was born. Everyone laughed. The teacher saw the crowd surrounding me, saw me crying, and gave everyone a warning. She then asked me to stand beside her for the rest of recess until she rang the bell. I guess she was protecting me, but I remember I didnâ€™t want to stand next to her. I hadnâ€™t done anything wrong, but I felt that IÂ was being punished.
That was a million years ago, ancient history that shouldnâ€™t matter anymore. Iâ€™m 41 now. I dismiss the hurt — kids are kids, we were all just stupid nine-year-olds, IÂ should beÂ over it by now. And so, like most of us, I betray myself, becoming one of those adults who tie their childhood pain to blocks of cement, hoping it will stay at the bottom of the lake forever so I can get on with the business of life.
But childhood hurts have a way of surfacing; as alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, and suicides. And you may forget, but your addictions remind you of the initial mortification, that first initiation into human cruelty. You deny how it felt to face a mob of other kids, being humiliated by your peers. You may even force your own children out of the house each day when they say theyâ€™re being bullied or theyâ€™re frightened; forgetting the feeling you once had that you would literally rather die than face another day at school.
And I wasnâ€™t just an innocent victim; I, too, victimized. A girl at my school the following year developed breasts early. My best friend in 5thÂ grade came up with the joke that every time we passed by her locker, we would pretend that we were holding two oranges and say, â€œSqueeeeze.” Â (It wasnâ€™t my joke, but I laughed anyway, so whatâ€™s the difference?) Clearly, at the age of 10, it was already clear to us, as boys, that we had a right to objectify her body, to insult her. By that time, I had already been secretly looking at my fatherâ€™sÂ HustlerÂ magazines for two years. The message was already established; her body was there for our amusement and violation â€“ we hadnâ€™t started middle school, and already weâ€™d learned the pornographic gaze. (If she is reading this now, Iâ€™d like to say Iâ€™m sorry.)
Then there were the kids that everyone hated. You gained your social status by hating them too, and could destroy that status by sitting with them at lunch, or walking home from school together. Iâ€™m friends with one of them on Facebook now. I look at his profile, the pictures of him as a parent, standing with his own kids, and I wonder if he still has the scars. I donâ€™t see how he couldnâ€™t; I still have the scars from watching him being bullied by others. I wonder if he worries about his own sons or daughters when he sends them to school, if heâ€™s told them how he used to get humiliated when we played during recess, how heÂ was pickedÂ last for teams, or how boys deliberately tried to hurt him, going for his head with the ball during â€œSmear the Queerâ€?
Does he still remember that when he asked, â€œCan I play with you guys?â€ someone would always tell him to ask Chris, and Chris would tell him to ask Phil, and Phil said talk to Pam, and eventually the bell would ring and we had to line up to go inside.Â And he would cry, and say, â€œItâ€™s not fair,â€ but he wouldnâ€™t hate us, which made him all the more pathetic and despised, because he just wantedÂ to beÂ our friend.
Then there was the other kid we wouldnâ€™t let play, who wasnâ€™t afraid to hate us. He cried at first too, but then his face flooded with rage, he turned purple and said to all of us through clenched teeth, â€œOne day Iâ€™m going to come back to this school and get the biggest gun in the whole wide world and blow your heads off.â€ We were in second grade.
I used to think about him from time to time, wondering if one day Iâ€™d open the paper or turn on the news and find him there; having unleashed his rage on someone.Â But heâ€™s a real estate agent; heâ€™s married, two girls. His picture on his website doesnâ€™t reveal his past. There are other men, however, taking their revenge on the innocent every day, and theyÂ areÂ on the news. Perry Smith confesses about the murder of the Clutter family in Truman Capoteâ€™sÂ In Cold Blood,Â published in 1966: “…And it wasn’t because of anything theÂ CluttersÂ did. They never hurt me. Like other people. Like people have all my life. Maybe it’s just that theÂ CluttersÂ were the ones who had to pay for it.”Â Straight boys kill others, gay boys kill themselves.
Itâ€™s become passÃ© now to say that the Iraq war was wrong, but how do you tell kids not to bully when the baddestÂ motherfuckersÂ on the block were in the White House, on their television screens? Dick Cheney leading the pack, with Bush,Â Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice, at his side; Cheney has said in recent interviews he has no regrets about the Iraq war. It is arguable that the high school bullies that helped killÂ JameyÂ RodemeyerÂ are the progeny of the George W. Bush years and the Defense of Marriage Act. Whether they understood the act or not, their parents did, and that created a climate where discrimination against gay people was okay, government-sanctioned. These are the children raised onSouth ParkÂ andÂ Family Guy. While these shows may have their moments of gay tolerance, they are also mean-spirited, vicious, and at times pathologically cruel to difference. Weâ€™re raisingÂ sociopaths.
These kids watched us tear Iraq apart; they saw the unimaginable violence of 9/11. Did anyone explain these events to them? HowÂ doÂ we explain? And Jameyâ€™s story is not over, apparently. On September 27, Tim and TraceyÂ RodemeyerÂ appeared on NBC’sÂ TodayÂ show with a story about their daughter, Alyssa, who attended a recent dance at her school to take her mind off her brotherâ€™s death. (Alyssa was the one who foundÂ Jameyâ€™s body hanging in the familyâ€™s backyard.) â€œWe thought it would be greatÂ to beÂ with all of her friends, then all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on and they all started chanting for Jamey, all his friends and whatever,” TracyÂ RodemeyerÂ said. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting ‘You’re better off dead, we’re glad you’re dead.'” His sister left the school in horror, as the bullying of her brother continues even after his death.
Iâ€™m angry that Troy Davis is gone, killed by our government with all the remorse afforded a fly swatted at a family picnic. Iâ€™m angry that another gay child is dead, when things are supposedly â€œso much betterâ€ these days for gay people. I watch MichelleÂ BachmannÂ onÂ The Tonight Show, legs crossed, giving Sarah Palin â€œfabulousnessâ€ to disguise the Sarah Palin vacuity andÂ tininessÂ of spirit. When Leno asks aboutÂ Bachmannâ€™s â€œChristian Counseling Clinicâ€ and aboutÂ â€œpraying the gay away,” Bachmann makes a joke about midlife crisis and that she originally thought the line was â€œpray thegrayÂ away.â€ She deflects the question, without even the slightest twitch of her facial muscles, clearly coached by handlers on how to discuss the â€œgay thing.â€ Not a single person in the audience laughs and Leno wonâ€™t let her off the hook.
Leno: To me, when I was a kid, they used to try to teach meÂ to beÂ right-handed. â€˜Youâ€™re left-handed, thatâ€™s the hand of the devil.â€™Â And to me itâ€™s the same thing with gay. I donâ€™t get why â€“ like gay marriageâ€¦.why be against it? Iâ€™ve been married 31 years, first wife, very happyâ€¦ two gay guys get married, how does that affect my marriage?….Why is that even an issue?
Bachmann:â€¦Well, because the family is foundational.Â And marriage between a man and woman is what the law has been for years and years and years.
Leno:Â I know, I tried it myself, it works great for me.Â
Bachmann: Well, there you go!
Leno: I got to admit, thatâ€™s the part I donâ€™t get.Â I know gay families thatÂ are married, they have children, and theyâ€™re wonderful people.Â I donâ€™t see why they shouldnâ€™t be allowedÂ to beÂ happy.Â Iâ€™m not going to change your mind on that one.
History isnâ€™t always kind to the people who obstruct social justice â€“ and it wonâ€™t be kind to Mrs.BachmannÂ (married, as she announced to Jay Leno, 33 years.) I hear the apologists: the womanÂ is entitledÂ to her opinion. But as Desmond Tutu once said, â€œIf you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.â€
And thatâ€™s the problem, weâ€™re still seeing gay people, and gay lives, as something one canÂ have an opinionÂ about — like people used to have opinions about slavery or whether blacks were equal in humanity to whites, whether women deserved the right to vote. You can argue whether checkers is more fun than chess, whether Chinese food is tastier than Italian, but you canâ€™t â€œargueâ€ gay people — we exist. Denying someone their human rights because of their orientation is not an opinion, itâ€™s the hate that leads to hate crimes, murder and suicides.
Michelle Bachman and her gang of bulliesÂ may not beÂ aware of this, butÂ JameyÂ RodemeyerÂ was her child too, he needed her, because he was an American, and sheâ€™s a politician and a mother. SheÂ had a responsibilityÂ to protectÂ Jamey, and she failed him. We all failed him.
If this were an 80s film by Robert Benton (Places In the Heart), Troy andÂ JameyÂ would meet in a Hollywood heaven, perhaps standing in line next to each other. In my fantasy Troy would put an arm aroundÂ JameyÂ and guide him, helping him figure out where he needed to go. ToÂ someÂ thisÂ may beÂ a despicable fantasy, but it brings me comfort, and the generosity on Troyâ€™s part isnâ€™t inconceivable. Before his execution, and after proclaiming his innocence a final time, Davis said, â€œFor those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls.” The scene may recall something out of JanetÂ LanghartÂ Cohenâ€™s play,Â Anne and Emmett, in which Emmett Till and Anne Frank meetâ€“ other victims of intolerance and hate. Perhaps, as teenagers, they would welcomeÂ Jamey, they would understand his pain.
The state of Georgia has made Troy Davis a martyr. He is now the face of the death penalty as the ultimate racist act. The questionÂ still remainsÂ whether a black person can get a fair trial in America, and whether the people who tried him, from the bullies in Georgia to the ones on the Supreme Court, were really his peers?
Troy andÂ JameyÂ may not stand in line together in heaven, but they stand together in history; tried, convicted, and ultimately bullied and betrayed.
Bullying is about entitlement; who belongs and who doesnâ€™t, whoÂ can beÂ â€œothered.â€ IÂ was gangedÂ up on that day in 4thÂ grade because I was new to the school; I didnâ€™t belong. The image of Troy andÂ Jameystays in my mind, and begs the question: Who is the face of America? One of the reasons that MichelleBachmannÂ can beÂ so smug, despite what was once considered the fringe politics of the Tea Party, is that in her whiteness and privilege, her belief is unshakeable that she is America. She owns; blacks and gays are renting. The only way out of this hell is for those of us whoÂ have been marginalizedÂ to insist on visibility, to find solidarity and stand together.
In his 1984 address to the Democratic National Convention, Jesse Jackson recalled the making of his grandmotherâ€™s quilt:
â€œWhen I was a child growing up in Greenville, South Carolinaâ€¦ grandmama could not afford a blanket, she didnâ€™t complain and we did not freeze. Instead she took pieces of old cloth, patches, wool, silk,Â gabardine,Â crookerÂ sackâ€¦barely good enough to wipe off your shoes with.Â But they didnâ€™t stay that way very long. With steady hand and a strong cord, she sewed them into a quilt, a thing of beauty, and power, and culture.
Nowâ€¦we must build such a quilt. Farmers, you seek fair prices, and youâ€™re right, but you cannot stand alone.Â Your patch is not big enough. Workers, you fight for fair wages, youâ€™re right, but your patch, labor, is not big enough.Â Women, you see comparable worth and pay equity, youâ€™re right, but your patch is not big enough. Women, mothers, who seek Head Start, and daycare, and prenatal care on the front side of life, rather than jail care and welfare on the backside of life, youâ€™re right, but your patch is not big enough. Students, you seek scholarships, youâ€™re right, but your patch is not big enough. Blacks and Hispanics, when we fight for civil rights we are right, but our patch is not big enough. Gays and lesbians, when you fight against discrimination and a cure for AIDS, youâ€™re right! But your patch is not big enough. Conservatives and progressives, when you fight for what you believe,Â right wing,Â left wing, hawk, dove, youâ€™re right, from your point of view.Â But your point of view is not enough.
But donâ€™t despair, be as wise as myÂ grandmama.Â Pull the patches and the pieces together.Â Bound by a Common Thread, when we form a great quilt of unity and common ground weâ€™ll have the power to bringâ€¦hope to our nation.â€
On this morning, Troy Davis haunts us from the posters in my neighborhood; now it is clear: someone is refusing to take them down. Perhaps if the posters stay up, somewhere in our consciousness, Troy Davis hasnâ€™t been executed yet. Which means that in our denial, there is potential and hope. Not hope for Troy, but for us.
The same hope makes me wish someone had saved Jamey Rodemeyer from harming himself.Â Even for those who say that Jamey killed himself to make a statement; he believed he was worth more dead to us, than alive, which still makes him tragic.Â I want some gay superhero to climb in his window and to tell him he has everything to live for, that his life will be different in a few years (might be different next week!); and that when he gets to be 41, like me, heâ€™ll see that the bullies grow up and lose their hair, hate their jobs, and have kids that they turn into bullies too, or have to protect; and that heâ€™ll have a partner one day who loves him, heâ€™ll have his own kids to raise. And life goes on. But only if you live.
When asked, â€œWhat do you want people to take away from what happened to Jamie?â€ Tim Rodemeyer said to Anderson Cooper, â€œOne is the message of Jamie. His message was that people should be treated the same no matter how different they are, no matter if theyâ€™re black, white, gay, bisexual, disabled, fat, skinnyâ€¦that was his big thing. He treated everyone equally.â€
Troy Davis and Jamey Rodemeyer are dead, both killed at the hands of the State, and the sad news, beyond the fact that no one saved them, is that no one is going to save us, either. And as horrifying as it is to consider, we all know: Troy Davis will not be the last person executed on Death Row who may be innocent, Jamey Rodemeyer wonâ€™t be the last gay child to take his life. And the bullies will thrive, and will continue to thrive until gay white men and women will say, â€œI am Troy Davisâ€; and blacks — rich and poor, Christian and secular — step out front and say, â€œWe wonâ€™t allow you to bully our gay children anymore. I am Jamey Rodemeyerâ€.
In an online video created before his death, Jamey said:
â€œI always got made fun of because I virtually have no guy friendsâ€¦.and it bothered me because people would be, like, â€œfaggotâ€â€¦.and they caught me in the hallways and I felt like I could never escape itâ€¦and people would constantly send me hate, telling me that gay people go to hellâ€¦And I just want to tell you that it does get betterâ€¦You were born this way. Hold your head up and youâ€™ll go far. Because thatâ€™s all you have to do. Just love yourself…â€
Everyone is essential. There is no one who can be thrown away. And we who are called different will not be â€œotheredâ€ any longer. We stand together. We are America. And the day will come when we all realize there is no â€œThemâ€; there never was. It always is, and always will be, â€œUs.”
Max Gordon is a writer and activist. He has been published in the anthologies Inside Separate Worlds: Life Stories of Young Blacks, Jews and Latinos (University of Michigan Press, 1991), Go the Way Your Blood Beats: An Anthology of African-American Lesbian and Gay Fiction (Henry Holt, 1996) and Mixed Messages: An Anthology of Literature to Benefit Hospice and Cancer Causes. His work has also appeared on openDemocracy, Democratic Underground and Truthout, in Z Magazine, Gay Times, Sapience, and other progressive on-line and print magazines in the U.S. and internationally.
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‘We Are Not Going to Stand for It’: McCarthy Defends Trump – Vows to Use Jim Jordan’s Committee to Target Attorney General
The Republican Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, barely hours after the U.S. Dept. of Justice unsealed a 49-page, 37-felony count criminal indictment charging Donald Trump with violations of seven federal laws, decided to double-down on his defense of the ex-president by threatening to target the Attorney General of the United States and declaring House Republicans “are not going to stand for” the criminal prosecution of the ex-president.
McCarthy went on Fox News Friday afternoon, saying “this judgment is wrong by this DOJ. That they treated President Trump differently than they treat others. And it didn’t have to be this way. This is going to disrupt this nation because it goes to the core of equal justice for all – which is not being seen today and we are not going to stand for it.”
McCarthy: This is going to disrupt this nation because it goes to the core of equal justice for all which is not being seen today and we are not going to stand for it. pic.twitter.com/B0Z1c81yOn
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 9, 2023
McCarthy, a California Republican who cobbled together a tenuous pact with far-right extremists to win his speakership on the 15th try, is incorrect on the facts.
RELATED: DOJ Unseals 37-Count Trump Criminal Indictment – Legal Expert Calls It ‘Egregious’ and ‘Devastating’ (Full Text)
The Dept. of Justice does not pass judgment, the courts – in this case a jury, does. The Dept. of Justice did not treat Trump “differently,” except to give him multiple opportunities over an approximately two-year period to return national secrets he allegedly unlawfully removed, retained, and refused to return, even after being served with a subpoena and a search warrant.
What McCarthy does not do is claim Trump’s actions were legal or reasonable, because the damning indictment makes clear they are not.
Later, McCarthy took to Twitter to effectively declare he would target the Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland, who – for nearly a quarter century – served as a federal appeals court judge and chief judge before being nominated to serve at Main Justice.
(Garland was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow the confirmation to move process forward.)
“Many officials, from Secretary Hillary Clinton to then-Senator Joe Biden, handled classified info after their time in office & were never charged,” tweeted the Speaker, not just wrongly, but grossly and dishonestly characterizing the allegations against Trump.
“Now Biden’s leading political opponent is indicted—a double standard that must be investigated,” he again dishonestly declared.
READ MORE: ‘Fail’: Critics Blast Youngkin for Claim Trump Is a Victim of ‘Politically Motivated Actions’ Just Like ‘Parents in Virginia’
President Joe Biden had nothing to do with the decision of the Special Counsel to ask a Florida grand jury for an indictment. Nor was the President even told before Trump was indicted – like every American, President Biden learned of the Trump indictment through news reports. Attorney General Garland did not sign off on the decision to ask a grand jury for an indictment.
McCarthy, meanwhile, vowed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and the House Republicans “will get answers.”
“Merrick Garland: the American people elected us to conduct oversight of you. We will fulfill that obligation,” he declared.
McCarthy made those remarks atop a Friday letter from Jordan to Garland that begins: “The Biden Department of Justice is reportedly about to indict a former president and President Biden’s chief rival in the upcoming presidential election.”
“According to reports, the Department will indict President Donald Trump, despite declining to indict former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information and failing to indict President Biden for his mishandling of classified information.” (The letter does not mention former Vice President Mike Pence, who is not being charged for his mishandling of classified information.”
On Thursday a defiant and angry McCarthy, after Trump was indicted, wrote: “Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America.”
“It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him,” he said, which is egregiously false – Biden did not indict Trump, nor did his Attorney General or even Special Counsel; a grand jury of Florida citizens did.
“Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades,” McCarthy charged, which is a legitimate claim and there is a current federal investigation underway. The difference is Biden did not take the documents, did not know they were among his papers, and immediately upon learning they were, contacted the National Archives to arrange their return.
Donald Trump, we now know, according to the indictment, packed some of the boxes himself, not only refused to return the documents but hid them from the Dept. of Justice and National Archives, lied about them, and kept them at times in public areas of his Florida resort and residence.
“I, and every American who believes in the rule of law,” McCarthy wrong declared, “stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”
READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say
In response to McCarthy’s remarks, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) posted a photo from the DOJ’s indictment of Trump.
“These are the secrets that protect our troops. And Kevin McCarthy thinks it’s perfectly OK that Donald Trump stole and stored them like this,” he charged.
These are the secrets that protect our troops. And Kevin McCarthy thinks it’s perfectly OK that Donald Trump stole and stored them like this. pic.twitter.com/oFid5ViCdr
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) June 9, 2023
Watch the video and see Rep. Swalwell’s tweet above or at this link.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Fail’: Critics Blast Youngkin for Claim Trump Is a Victim of ‘Politically Motivated Actions’ Just Like ‘Parents in Virginia’
Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, a possible 2024 presidential candidate, is under fire after remarks he made Friday morning defending Donald Trump after the ex-president was indicted on what has now been revealed to be 37 federal felony counts related to the Dept. of Justice’s criminal probe into his handling of hundreds of classified and top secret documents.
Youngkin Friday suggested that the prosecution of Donald Trump, which includes Espionage Act charges, conspiracy charges, and obstruction of justice charges among others, was just like the alleged prosecution of parents.
Gov. Youngkin, often wrongly portrayed in the media as a moderate Republican, may have been attempting to invoke the false yet viral far-right claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland was investigating and prosecuting parents for merely speaking at school board meetings. That claim came about after Garland issued a letter asking the Bureau to come up with strategies to address violence and violent threats directed at school board members. Some who have promoted that erroneous claim, including Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, have falsely claimed Garland called ordinary parents “terrorists.”
On Friday, Youngkin tweeted about the Trump indictment, saying, “These charges are unprecedented and it’s a sad day for our country, especially in light of what clearly appears to be a two-tiered justice system where some are selectively prosecuted, and others are not.”
“Parents in Virginia know firsthand what it’s like to be targeted by politically motivated actions,” he added.
“Regardless of your party, this undermines faith in our judicial system at exactly the time when we should be working to restore that trust,” Youngkin concluded, remarks that themselves could undermine faith in our judicial system.
Days before his election, Youngkin also promoted the false Garland claim, even after the Attorney General that same day explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee his letter directed the FBI to investigate not ordinary parents, but people who were organizing attacks on school board members.
Candidate Youngkin appeared on Fox News in October 0f 2021 (video below) and falsely told Tucker Carlson, “What happened today was, of course, Merrick Garland doubled down. He said, ‘No, I’m absolutely maintaining my position that the DOJ and the FBI should be investigating parents.’ Parents who are trying to stand up for their children when there’s been a sexual assault in a school bathroom. We have a board of education and in Loudoun County that tried to hide it from parents, hide it from hiding from the public, and they move this child into another school and then that child again committed another sexual assault.”
READ MORE: DOJ Unseals 37-Count Trump Criminal Indictment – Legal Expert Calls It ‘Egregious’ and ‘Devastating’ (Full Text)
Youngkin made education and “parents’ rights” a campaign issue when he ran in 2021. His opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, during a debate said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” While experts claim it didn’t swing the election for Youngkin, it at least established him nationally as focused on education and “parental rights,” a mantle Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis quickly co-opted.
The Washington Post, alternatively, on Friday focused on Youngkin’s “two-tiered justice” remarks, reporting: “Youngkin’s suggestion that a rich White man — he didn’t actually name Trump — had been victimized by a ‘two-tiered justice system’ drew fierce pushback, with many critics noting the governor’s opposition to the notion that racial and ethnic minorities face systemic racism. The Republican won the governorship on a promise to purge ‘critical race theory’ from K-12 classrooms, though it was not part of any curriculum. Once in office, Youngkin launched a tip line for parents to report on teachers discussing ‘inherently divisive’ concepts in schools.”
Youngkin, who technically is a “populist conservative” but swings far-right on social issues, was quickly chastised for his tweet.
“You know what you are staying is wrong and incendiary. Shame on you,” declared former CIA officer John Sipher. “These charges stemmed from a grand [jury] of Florida citizens. Trump will have access to a Fair process. But instead you spread information to anger and confuse people. You are stoking misinformation and violence.”
READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes took a different approach, mocking the Virginia Republican.
“It’s the pivot to ‘Parents in Virginia…’ in the third sentence that elevates this to art,” he wrote.
“The moderate, genial suburban dad in a fleece vest suggests that the only way to restore confidence in the justice system is to place Trump above the law,” wrote The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, also mocking Youngkin.
“Youngkin is pro-Trump, as usual–even though Virginia voted heavily AGAINST Trump in both 2016 and 2020. When it comes to Donald Trump, Liz Cheney has more courage in her pinky than Youngkin does in his whole body,” observed Larry Sabato, the well-known professor of politics, political analyst, and founder and director of University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
The vice president of research for the liberal super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, Liz Charboneau, called Youngkin’s tweet an “especially stupid statement when a large portion of your state has a security clearance, handles classified documents, and has never been charged under the espionage act.”
Conservative Mona Charen, a syndicated columnist and Policy Editor at The Bulwark: “So here’s our answer as to whether Youngkin is a man of character. Fail.”
The Lincoln Project’s Michelle Kinney tweeted, “Youngkin twisting himself into pretzel to weave a vaguebook repudiation of Trump indictment and his weirdo anti vaxx anti trans ‘parents rights’ obsession into one tweet. It reads like Veep dialogue.”
Historian, professor, Holocaust expert Dr. Waitman Wade Beorn tweeted, “Hey dude, the Pentagon is literally in your state. Maybe stop in and have a chat…”
Watch the video above or at this link.
Watch Live: Special Counsel Jack Smith Holds News Conference After Trump Criminal Indictment Unsealed
Special Counsel Jack Smith will hold a news conference Friday at 3:00 PM ET, after the U.S. Dept. of Justice unsealed its 49-page 37-criminal count indictment against Donald Trump. The indictment also names a Trump aide.
Legal experts reviewing the indictment were stunned at not only the level of detail but the manner in which Trump treated classified documents, including allegedly storing them in boxes on the stage at Mar-a-Lago, in a bathroom, a shower, and a bedroom.
Former Dept. of Defense special Counsel Ryan Goodman, now an NYU professor of law, calls the indictment “devastating,” and concludes: “Extraordinary risks to U.S. national security. Foreign adversaries would pay tens of millions for that info.”
READ MORE: ‘Disgraced’ Trump-Appointed Florida Judge Initially Assigned to Oversee Ex-President’s Criminal Case: Report
Smith, who was appointed by Donald Trump as an acting U.S. Attorney, also prosecuted war crimes cases at The Hague. he also was the head of the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section.
Watch video of his full news conference below or at this link.
WATCH: Complete statement from Special Counsel Jack Smith: “Today an indictment was unsealed charging Donald J. Trump with felony violations of our national security laws as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.” pic.twitter.com/llUlrvpVe4
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 9, 2023
This article has been updated to include full video of the completed news conference.
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