Republicans have allowed Trump's unprecedented corruption to plague America for 655 days. That could come to an end if Democrats win back the House.
Trump has occupied the Oval Office for 655 days, and he has wholeheartedly embraced massive corruption from the moment he was sworn in.
He has ignored historical precedents embraced by both political parties, instead enriching himself, his family, and political allies at the expense of American taxpayers. Despite these ethical failings, his Republican allies in Congress have let him get away with it.
Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have ignored Democrats who say Congress must fulfill its constitutional role to provide oversight of the executive branch, allowing Trump to maximize his corruption. The rank-and-file Republicans have followed their lead.
The following is an overview of what is known about Trump corruption that has been allowed to thrive for 655 days and counting:
- Trump is at the center of an ongoing FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
- Senior Trump officials have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos.
- Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was found guilty on 8 counts, including multiple instances of tax and bank fraud.
- Trump's son Donald Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a Russian operative offering dirt on Hillary Clinton in 2016.
- Trump refused to set up a blind trust, as other presidents have in the past. This allows him to make money from the Trump businesses while also influencing operations as president.
- Senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway used an appearance on Fox News to tell viewers to buy Ivanka Trump's line of jewelry.
- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have revised their ethics disclosure documents at least 40 times after failing to disclose their conflicts of interest on official government documents.
- Walter Shaub, then-director of the Office of Government Ethics, quit his job in protest of Trump's wholehearted embrace of public corruption while in office.
- Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey after he refused to publicly vouch for Trump's innocence regarding the FBI's Russia investigation.
- Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refused to implement his bigoted ban on Muslim travel. He then tried to block her from testifying about Russian election interference.
- Trump has spent 210 days at his properties, including 159 days at his golf properties. This has allowed him to use the presidency as a vehicle to advertise his private holdings.
- Trump's D.C. hotel charges a premium over similar hotels in the area, where people stay as a way to curry Trump's favor and gain influence over his administration. He profits personally from that premium.
- Trump gave multiple people who could not pass a background check access to "Top Secret" material. Those people include Jared Kushner and Trump aide Rob Porter, who was accused of spousal abuse.
- Scott Pruitt, Trump's former EPA chief, was deeply involved in multiple scandals, including renting property from a lobbyist at cut-rate prices and going on luxury vacations at taxpayer expense.
- Tom Price, Trump's then-HHS secretary, was forced out after he was exposed for traveling on private jets using tax dollars.
- Ryan Zinke, Trump's secretary of the Interior Department, and his senior aide Kellyanne Conway flew on private jets with taxpayer funds.
Trump's corruption is unprecedented in presidential history. It is the role of Congress to unravel attempts to profit from the Oval Office and reveal to American citizens what is being done in their names. Instead, the Republican-controlled Congress has looked the other way.
If Democrats regain control of the House on Election Day, that could come to an end, as they have vowed to actually do the job Republicans have refused to do.
No wonder Trump is so worried — not just about what will happen to his party, but what will happen to him.
Published with permission of The American Independent.