It’s easy for Trump to hurl sound-bytes at the press or fire off tweets on social media to criticize the Mueller “witch hunt” and minimize whatever accusation or scandal he’s seeing trending in the news. But when you look at the totality of what the Mueller team uncovered and prosecuted, it’s astonishing. Seven indictments and/or convictions of Trump officials and advisers, with several others charged and awaiting trial, plus dozens of Russian hackers indicted. It seems like half of the Trump campaign committee is heading to prison. Here’s a great overview of the Mueller probe from New York Magazine:
And when you dig into the details of what was going on behind the scenes, it’s more than just lying to congress or failing to register as a foreign operative. In the case of Paul Manafort, he was taking bribes from a small mid-west banker, Stephen Calk, in exchange for a role in Trump’s cabinet. Even after Manafort was ousted from the campaign for his ties to the Ukraine, he continued to successfully recommend people for roles in the administration, his contact often being Jared Kushner. It’s not hard to imagine that many of the roles in Trump’s administration, from lower cabinet positions to ambassadorships were doled out based on campaign contributions or some other sleazy quid-pro-quo that we don’t yet know about. Here’s Politico’s coverage of the new Calk indictment:
Meanwhile a number of Trump cabinet officials are facing ethics probes and several, including former head of the EPA Scott Pruitt, have already been forced out of office for improprieties. Trump’s cabinet is a swamp of corruption and mismanagement.
Any of Trump’s scandals would have been major disruptions for other administrations, but there have been so many scandals so often under Trump that we’ve forgotten more of them than we remember. It was a big deal that Trump declared a “national emergency” in order to take money from the military to build some of his wall–remember?–but that whole scandal has nearly faded into silence. It was a big deal that Trump’s charitable organization was shut down for improper and possibly criminal conduct. It was a big deal that Trump was accused of inflating his assets to get loans and deflating his assets for tax purposes. These stories have all but disappeared from the headlines.
The challenge for activists as we approach 2020 is going to be (1) staying sane in the face of constant chaos and corruption from Trump, and (2) finding a way to aggregate and synthesize all of Trump’s scandals into a powerful attack against him and the GOP.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”