Donald Trump plays the ‘victim card’


Donald Trump


[Donald] Trump has suggested on many occasions that people who invoke their right against self-incrimination are guilty. “You see the mob takes the Fifth,” Trump said during a 2016 rally in Iowa. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” The line was a jab at his opponent, Hillary Clinton, whose aides had invoked the Fifth in a congressional investigation. Trump used similar attack lines so many times that MSNBC was able to put together a compilation video earlier this year.[3]

Margaret Hartmann, “Trump, Who Once Said ‘the Mob Takes the Fifth,’ Takes the Fifth,” New York, August 10, 2022,

Corinne Ramey and James Fanelli, “Donald Trump Takes Fifth Amendment in New York Attorney General’s Probe,” Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2022,

Coup attempt

It’s still unclear, of course, what the [Federal Bureau of Investigation] was really looking for in the Mar-a-Lago basement, or how the raid fits into a presumably broader [Department of Justice] investigation, or why the typically over-cautious Merrick Garland apparently blindsided the White House by taking such an extraordinary action. The legal implications for [Donald] Trump are similarly unclear. But as a source close to Trumpworld put it to me, inadvertently quoting Rahm Emanuel, you “never let a crisis go to waste.” Absent some kind of justification from the D.O.J., which would represent a Comeyesque breach of protocol, Trump and his allies are perfectly positioned to exploit the informational asymmetry. Not since Trump’s first impeachment have all the political and media organs of the conservative movement aligned around a single, undeniably potent message: They’ll do anything to keep him from running again.[4]

Jonathan Capehart, “Liz Cheney is the Obi-Wan to Trump’s Darth Vader,” Washington Post, August 8, 2022,

Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, “Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate,” Associated Press, August 8, 2022,

Devlin Barrett et al., “Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld items,” Washington Post, August 9, 2022,

Julia Ioffe, “Defund… the F.B.I.?” Puck News, August 9, 2022,

Perry Stein, “Garland vowed to depoliticize Justice. Then the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago,” Washington Post, August 9, 2022,

Jan Murphy and Charles Thompson, “FBI delivers subpoenas to several Pa. Republican lawmakers: sources say,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, August 10, 2022,

Tina Nguyen, “‘The DeSantasy Is Over,’” Puck News, August 10, 2022,

Steve Peoples, “GOP rallies around Trump following FBI search of his estate,” Associated Press, August 10, 2022,

Amber Phillips, “What could the Mar-a-Lago search mean for Trump legally?” Washington Post, August 10, 2022,

  1. [3]Margaret Hartmann, “Trump, Who Once Said ‘the Mob Takes the Fifth,’ Takes the Fifth,” New York, August 10, 2022,
  2. [4]Tina Nguyen, “‘The DeSantasy Is Over,’” Puck News, August 10, 2022,

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