Evangelist adorns 'Biblical Principles of Child Discipline' book with 'Modern Family' image he found via Google
August 30, 2013
In a political bombshell, Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York grand jury, the first ever serving or former US president to face criminal charges.
Here's what happened on Thursday and what is expected to happen next:
The grand jury, which meets in secret, voted to indict the 76-year-old former Republican president following an investigation led by the Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat.
While the indictment remains under seal, the charges against Trump are believed to relate to hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
The grand jury, which has been meeting since January, indicted Trump after hearing testimony from a number of witnesses.
Among those who testified was Trump's ex-personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who has admitted arranging a $130,000 payment to Daniels to buy her silence about an affair she had with Trump in 2006.
Trump was invited to testify in person but declined.
Bragg said his office had been in touch with Trump's attorneys to "coordinate his surrender" for arraignment in New York at a future date.
At an arraignment, a defendant is presented with the charges facing them and generally enters a plea.
A judge then decides whether they should be released on bail or taken into custody.
Extra security has been in place for days around the Manhattan courthouse where Trump is expected to make his first appearance.
CBS News, citing Trump's defense team, said the plan is for the former president to surrender early next week. CBS said the Secret Service would be in charge of the arrangements.
Prior to an arraignment, a defendant has their fingerprints and a mugshot taken.
Trump, who insists he is "completely innocent," could refuse to surrender to the New York authorities, forcing them to seek his extradition from his Florida residence.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential Trump rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said that his state would "not assist in an extradition request."
Legal experts said any attempt to fight extradition would at best result in a delay and Trump would eventually have to appear in New York to face the charges.
- Next judicial steps -
Once Trump is arraigned and enters a plea, there will be a series of preliminary court hearings to set a date for a trial and decide on witnesses and evidence.
A defendant can avoid going to trial by entering into a plea agreement with prosecutors, in exchange for a lighter sentence, for example.
Given Trump's proclamations of innocence that is unlikely.
Trump can -- and undoubtedly will -- pursue his 2024 White House campaign despite facing criminal charges.
Nothing in the Constitution prevents someone from running for president while facing charges, and even a conviction would not bar them from the nation's highest office.
The 14th Amendment does prohibit anyone who has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" from holding elected office.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump for "incitement of insurrection" for the January 6, 2021 attack on Congress by his supporters, but he was acquitted by the Senate.
A special counsel is currently looking into Trump's role in the January 6 assault on Congress and the former president could still potentially face charges on that front.
© Agence France-Presse
On Wednesday, I said Josh Hawley, of Missouri, is one of the most dangerous men in the United States Senate. With comrades, he’s paving the way for outlawing what he calls “hateful rhetoric that leads to violence.”
By that, he does not mean rhetoric of the kind that moved 175 former prosecutors to sign an open letter denouncing Donald Trump’s attempts to intimidate the Manhattan district attorney into backing down from his investigation of a hush-money scheme involving the former president. Trump spent all the previous week blasting Alvin Bragg using “increasingly incendiary rhetoric,” the prosecutors said. He referred to Bragg, , Manhattan’s first Black district attorney, as an “animal” and a “racist,” the implication being that he’s targeting Trump because he’s rich and white.
No, the “hateful rhetoric that leads to violence” that Josh Hawley is talking about is the kind rooted in liberal values and democratic politics, both of which are used by marginalized Americans in raising hell publicly until a majority comes around to their way of thinking. This kind of rhetoric found its most recent flowering the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a white cop, an event that sparked a national reckoning on the fact of white power.
READ MORE: 'I was bullied, intimidated, and coerced': Former Fox News producer offers damning rebuke of network
So the kind of “hateful rhetoric that leads to violence” that Josh Hawley is talking about is the kind that outpeople, as I call them, have used in every struggle for individual liberty since the founding of the republic. Persuasion is the means. Securing equity and justice is the goal. The most recent cohort in this history has been trans people raising hell for trans rights.
That’s where Josh Hawley’s “hateful rhetoric that leads to violence” comes in. The perpetrator of Monday’s shooting massacre in Nashville was Audrey Hall, who the city’s police chief said is transgendered. Josh Hawley wants his audience to believe that the rhetoric that brought people’s attention to the fact of trans people, as well as their unfulfilled rights, is also responsible for a crime that left three 9-year-olds and three adults shot to pieces.
By setting trans rights in the context of a shooting massacre, Josh Hawley turns ordinary liberal values and normal democratic politics into extremist ideologies that are akin to jihadism. They inflame true believers into getting what they want through terrorism of other acts of violence. A shooting massacre featuring a monster like that gives greater credence, not that it needed any, to Trump’s allegation of being a victim of a racist witch hunt.
According to Josh Hawley, a government of the people, whether federal or state, must act to protect the people against “hateful rhetoric that leads to violence.” That such government action would also shut down Americans who won’t stop raising hell for their rights and freedoms is beside the point.
READ MORE: This 'left-leaning' Kentucky resident resents being a 'hate object' for 'our state's Republican politicians'
But there’s another aspect I didn’t get to Wednesday.
There are two layers of danger that reinforce each other. On the one hand are politicians like Josh Hawley and Donald Trump, who demonize from outpeople for the purposing of outlawing “hateful rhetoric that leads to violence” arising from an “ideology” (trans rights) that’s commits murder.
On the other hand are all those listening to people like Josh Hawley and Donald Trump, who already believe outpeople are undeserving of the same rights and privileges they enjoy, who already believe violence against outpeople is acceptable while violence against inpeople is intolerable.
One of these does not believe a word they say. They don’t think trans people are monsters. They don’t think trans people are terrorists. These are highly educated people who understand the world they live in, including the ever-present tinderbox of white power that’s always waiting to be lit by somebody who’s greedy, amoral and daring enough to light the match.
While it’s debatable whether the other group believes a word they hear, it’s not debatable that some of them do, and that some of them wonder what their comrades are waiting for. Somebody’s got to do something about these murdering perverts. If the government or law enforcement can’t, on account of these Democrats always yammering about the rights of these murdering perverts, somebody’s got to take the law into their own hands.
Which is why Josh Hawley is really dangerous.
He knows what he’s doing. He knows that, in rightwing politics, shooting massacres are not a problem in and of themselves. It depends on who’s getting massacred. If it’s all these outpeople raising hell, trying to persuade a democratic majority to come around to their way of thinking, so be it.
As I said on Tuesday, “mass death, or the threat of mass death, is another way in rightwing politics to control people.” I added: “The people with the most guns are the people most in control. The right to bear arms is the right of God’s people to force outpeople to stay where they belong.”
Trump’s fortunes are probably fading.
But a man like Josh Hawley is only getting started.
READ MORE: 'Spectacularly obtuse white supremacy': Charlie Kirk lambasted for asking if 'white people' get reparations
Knitting has surged in popularity once again in the United States in this age of pandemics and self-care.
But on a sunny March afternoon just outside the nation's capital, one club of enthusiasts sets itself apart: the 10 or so people clicking their needles are men.
DC Men Knit meets twice a month in the Washington area to knit or crochet scarves, hats and blankets. The goal? Relaxation, friendship and reclaiming a pastime historically enjoyed by men and women.
The group's coordinator Gene Throwe says he hopes to "provide a safe space for men to knit together and trade our skills with one another, to help each other out, because knitting has for quite a while been viewed as a female vocation."
The 51-year-old Throwe, an office manager for a national association of nursing schools, puts some finishing touches on a brown sweater with a subtle golden pattern that he's been making on and off for years.
Like many of his fellow knitters, Throwe grew up watching his grandmother work magic with her needles. That feeling of nostalgia turned to regret as he watched the hobby fall by the wayside, in favor of more modern pursuits.
One day, he realized he could do something to revive it.
"Why do I have to expect the women to do it -- I can do it too!" he recalled.
The members of DC Men Knit tend to spark a degree of fascination when they meet in public places -- but no hostility or discrimination.
"It's always some grandmotherly type person that... stares at us, like we just landed from Mars," Throwe says with a laugh.
"And then they'll just start asking us questions about what we're working on."
Historically, men have always been knitters, from those who ran lucrative medieval knitting guilds to the schoolboys in World War II Britain who made blankets for the troops.
For those who are passionate about the craft, the latest craze is nothing out of the ordinary.
In his shorts in near-freezing temperatures, and a fanny pack around his waist, Sam Barsky doesn't fit the mold of the usual social media influencer. But he has nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok combined.
Barsky -- a self-styled "knitting artist" -- has won over fans with his freehand knitting and his unique sweater designs, which are inspired by landscapes and nature, monuments or works of art.
Niagara Falls, Stonehenge, the New York City skyline, penguins, robots, the Wizard of Oz: Barsky takes it all on and has sweaters not just for Christmas but for every occasion -- birthdays, Valentine's Day, Hanukkah, you name it.
He even has a sweater dedicated to... his sweaters, with about 30 of his creations knitted in miniature form. His work has been displayed at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
"Knitting is not just for grandmas. Knitting is for anyone of any age or gender who wants to do it, who enjoys doing it," he told AFP in an interview at Oregon Ridge Nature Center in Cockeysville, Maryland, north of Baltimore.
It was in the park that he kept knitting when the coronavirus pandemic brought travel to a screeching halt.
The park's trees, some of which were painted in 2017 by people who overcame drug and alcohol addiction, have been immortalized on one of Barsky's sweaters against a golden background.
While Barsky is keen to travel once again, he says the pandemic was not all bad for him personally: his TikTok account, which he opened in September 2020, quickly attracted a bigger following than the Instagram account he'd been using for years.
Once people were free to meet up in person again, his knitting circles "got much, much larger crowds because lots of other people picked up knitting in that period of time," he said.
Like breadmaking or pottery, knitting and other sewing arts were revitalized during the first months of the pandemic as a way for penned-in Americans to combat their boredom and anxiety -- a scenario repeated around the world.
Even former first lady Michelle Obama has taken up the hobby, showing off the sweaters she made for president husband Barack in promotional appearances for her latest book.
In the DC Men Knit group, each member found a purpose.
For Throwe, knitting is reclaiming an art form that "can be modern and useful."
Devlin Breckenridge, a 48-year-old video game aficionado, says he wanted to "do something a little more creative... instead of digitally killing something," and knitting fit the bill.
And for Michael Manning, a 58-year-old retired government worker, the soothing repetitiveness of knitting is "just very relaxing."
© Agence France-Presse