The Cesspool

Published in the Center City Concerned Citizens Review   March 2019

cesspool

By Joseph Batory

One of Trump’s key campaign promises was that if elected president, he would “drain the swamp” In Washington. But his appointees and associates have turned out to be the biggest swamp load of unsavory characters ever… with numerous resignations, investigations, indictments and firings.

Despite Trump’s assertion that there was no Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency concluded in a report declassified in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system but to affect the outcome. These agencies concluded that Putin and the Russian government had a clear preference for Trump to win the White House. Putin’s associates hacked information, paid social media “trolls” and backed efforts by Russian government agencies and state-funded media to sway public opinion, the agencies said.

Mueller’s investigation was far from a “hoax.”   Guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies have resulted. This includes six former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Seven of these people (including five of the six former Trump advisers) have already pleaded guilty.

Meanwhile, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan is investigating $100 million of questionable donor contributions to Trump’s inauguration. If this was in exchange for access to Trump’s administration or political influence, it is a violation of federal corruption laws.

Trump has not disengaged from his business interests which opens the door to the possibility that he is using his position as president to profit which contravenes the Constitution of the United States. Trump’s tax returns remain hidden.

Lobbyists representing the Saudi government spent about $270,000 for 500 nights at the president’s Washington, D.C., hotel shortly after Trump won the 2016 election. This has led to two federal lawsuits alleging this may have been improper payments from foreign governments.

There is a pending lawsuit against the Trump foundation including an examination of a $25,000 donation to a group supporting Florida attorney general Pam Bondi which arrive just days before she squashed an investigation into Trump University and the Trump Institute.

In addition, Trump appears to have used $258,000 of his foundation money, most of it given by donors, to settle personal legal matters.

Many of Trump’s boatload of swamp dwellers have already fallen into the Meyer. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is in jail. Former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen will soon be behind bars. Deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates is now a confessed felon. George Papadopoulos a former member of trumps foreign-policy advisory board just got out of jail. Former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador. And a criminal indictment a swirling around Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone.

During Trump’s two years in office, eight cabinet secretaries have resigned because of scandal or personal conflict. Among the low lights is Trump’s former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt who resigned in July after more than a dozen federal investigations into allegations of his spending abuses and influence peddling by energy lobbyists.

Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was forced out in December after numerous federal allegations that he billed taxpayers for private charter flights and on an oil company jet without proper approval.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned after wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on private trips.

David Shulkin, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, misused taxpayer money for a trip with his wife to Europe. This included a stopover at the Wimbledon tennis tournament and Westminster Abby plus a river cruise.

The bottom line is that even if there was a Washington swap, it has now become Trump’s cesspool.

 

 

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