In the field of corruption, abuse of power and misappropriation of public funds and others, our politicians have much to learn from Donald Trump.
Let’s put the things clear. The case WE – gifts “forgotten” by Bill Morneau and emoluments generous to the mother of Justin Trudeau by an organization that obtains, from the federal government, a contract for a billion without a tender – is a scandal which should lead to the resignation of the minister of Finance and the prime minister, for reasons which have been amply detailed by analysts and commentators more savvy than I in federal politics in canada.
That said, in terms of corruption, these gentlemen are amateurs. They still have much to learn from the master in the field, who directs the destinies of our neighbors to the South. There are so many examples that we do not see more, but the most recent are worthy of mention.
A small service, Your Majesty?
According to news reports strong of the New York Times, the president Trump would have asked his ambassador in London to approach the british authorities for the most prestigious golf championship, the British Open, to be held at the club of Donald Trump in Scotland. All the main stakeholders in this case deny the facts, of course, but the reporters of the Times claim to have several reliable sources that confirm it.
The president is not bound by us federal laws on conflict of interest, but all the presidents before Donald Trump had insisted that they place their assets in blind trusts. At the time, president Jimmy Carter had even sold his farm to peanuts in Georgia, that he had built with his own hands. Donald Trump never complied with this standard. All of its businesses, which we do not even know the precise scope since it refuses to disclose its income tax returns, remain in operation as before. However, it is strictly forbidden for a president, in the text of the Constitution, to receive “emoluments” from a foreign government, and the support requested from the british government falls clearly in this category, that it has been granted or not.
For any other politician, such an attempt to use the diplomatic representation for the purpose of promoting its commercial interests would be a scandal punishable by dismissal. For Donald Trump, it is the usual routine. Recall that this is the same president who has tried to force the president of Ukraine to undermine his opponent in the race for the presidency in surveys bogus. You know the rest.
The tip of the iceberg
Other examples of the use of public funds and privileges of his duties for personal purposes abound. To each of the countless visits by the president in its properties or in its golf clubs, all the costs of accommodation and logistics for its entourage (significant amounts, billed at a high price) go directly into the pockets of Donald Trump (see here and here).
Not to mention the salaries and considerable benefits received by his daughter and son-in-law (who are in principle required to comply with the rules on conflicts of interest). The main examples include the many benefits granted to Ivanka Trump for her trade-mark on the chinese market and loans as huge as ladles granted to her husband Jared Kushner, whose real estate projects of the pharaohs are on the brink of bankruptcy.
It is not surprising that the family Trump yours as to what his financial shenanigans remain a secret. It is possible that I’m wrong and all this beautiful world is white as snow, but what would explain, then, their insistence to hide all this information?
A campaign pay
The last episode of the saga financial of the presidency, Trump door and focus on the campaign itself. In 2016, Donald Trump claimed to self-financing his campaign, but the funds it has injected, accounted for a very small portion of the total, and the expenses that he charged to his campaign organisation for the use of his plane and for the rental of premises, hotel rooms and other services would go to him directly, to him.
This year, Donald Trump has already announced that it would spend not a penny for his campaign, but it is already clear that its businesses will greatly benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars that will be swallowed up in the campaigns, republican. For example, for the independent bodies and the bodies of the republican Party who are organizing events in Washington, the Trump International Hotel is the preferred location. All of the profits on the rental of rooms at exorbitant prices (more than$ 600 per room on certain occasions) go directly into the pockets of the president. It is to be expected, it would be the same throughout the campaign. Failing to be reelected, the president Trump’ll still end up pocketing a good portion of the expenses of his campaign and many other campaigns, the republican.
All of this is done openly, without the slightest scruple. To borrow a phrase from journalist Sarah Kendzior in his recent book, Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America, Donald Trump has throughout his life, developed the art of disguise by scandals of its activities that are potentially criminal, and to hide these scandals causing more scandals. Our federal politicians are really amateurs. They still have a lot to learn.