For a while I was thinking about how one would concisely indicate trompowsky the protracted scandal surrounding Russia and his shady business practices. That’s the word I think fits better than the rest: corruption. And at the moment, corruption in the US is much wider than just the history of the trump. Trump almost certainly is simply the most corrupt President in American history.
There are presidents, notorious for their malfeasance, such as Warren Harding, not noticing that his eyes is breaking the law. Indeed, the infamous Teapot-domski oil scandal erupted just after Harding died. (We are talking about the scandal of 1921-22 due to the oil fields in Wyoming. It was the biggest political scandal in U.S. history until Watergate. In it were involved senior members of the administration of President Harding, who contributed to the illegal transfer of this Deposit, located on state land and is considered a fuel reserve Navy — approx. ed.). Trump — in addition to the abuse of power in the Nixon style, to cancel the investigation by Russia’s intervention in the election is openly using his position to enrich himself and his family. Some of these cases are quite small — such as the use of public funds for cars for the movement of his bodyguards on a Golf course. But there are major violations.
No President has ever continued to manage a huge business Empire during his tenure. But trump does it. The Atlantic has counted up to 44 independent from each other of conflicts of interest arising from its activities and this inventory is almost certainly incomplete, because trump still refuses to publish his tax return, despite promises.
The US Constitution expressly forbids to receive gifts, services, or titles from any foreign power (without the consent of Congress). In the end, nobody wants a puppet to foreign powers at the highest positions in the country. But trump no shame. This corresponds to the development of his career — in brazen violation of the law. And when he was caught, he was paying small fines. Writes Matt Yglesias of Vox:
“[Trump] fully symbolizes the American post-Reagan relationship to the state regulation of entrepreneurial activity. A rich and powerful man facing an obstacle to profit, needs to hire a lawyer and invent a way to bypass the law. If you are still caught, such a treatment of the law will be interpreted as an emollient (it’s a gray area in the law), not an aggravating circumstance. The punishment is likely to be soft and, of course, will cost you only money. [Vox]”
President trump is clearly corrupt. But the problem of corruption in the US is much wider than in cases involving trump.
The punishment of “white collar” criminal activities of the elites have been declining for decades. If in the 80s on articles of serious crimes as a result of bankruptcy credit and savings organizations were convicted more than a thousand people, because of the financial crisis in 2008 was brought to justice only a few people.
This is despite the fact that the journalists and individuals not being able to call someone to court easily found that the crisis happened partly because of a fraudulent mortgage on an industrial scale. The best that we were able to recover for these and many other crimes, including money laundering for drug cartels and terrorists, tax evasion and market manipulation, only minor penalties, often paid by the shareholders, not the criminals.
Why? Because, as stated in the 2013 attorney General Eric holder, many financial companies have become so large that “it is difficult for us to bring them to justice”. A more compelling argument can be found in the career of the holder after retiring from the civil service. He immediately joined the firm of Covington & Burling in corporate law, which is literally holding the place for it.
President George W. Bush, I think, was about harsher to wall street than Obama. At least a few “big boys” were sent to prison as a result of the crimes of the energy company Enron and auditor Arthur Andersen. Huge firm made bankrupt for forgery of financial statements. When I think about it today and it seems that it was the last breath of a dying power of the law when it comes to “white collar” (economic) crimes.
Another factor that intensifies this problem is the pathological malevolence of the American criminal justice system to people who are not part of the elite. If you are from a poor class and commit petty crime, expect that the Prosecutor will try to persuade you to plead guilty, hold in prison, demanding a significant Deposit or making huge charges for dozens of years in prison. But if you are a former head of the CIA David Petraeus and leak classified documents to his mistress, you will find a delicate plea of guilt with a little probation.
All of this undermines public confidence in the Federal government. If it seems that the game is rigged, it’s because it is.
Oddly enough, trump did not incur any losses in political terms for his protest against the “corrupt political establishment”. The Democrats need to try the same strategy. If and when they will take Congress under their control, they should investigate, even if the trail of corruption leads to the friends and sponsors of the party — and it is exactly it will lead. If the Democrats take the White house, they need to re-promote the adoption of laws against financial crimes and abuse of office.
A decisive campaign against corruption will be half of the political platform of the Democratic party in the elections in 2018 (second half — against Trumpcare and for health care for all). But Democrats must also recognize that corruption goes far beyond the activities of trump. He is the personification of the General tendency among the elite of both political parties. To make a really strong campaign against corruption, the Democrats should not only hit the record of trump, but recognise that their achievement is also far from ideal.
In other words, the time has come to restore order.