Today, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York indicted three men for illegally influencing the foreign policy positions of a presidential candidate and then, after the election, of the United States government. They were acting in the interests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a wealthy country in the Persian Gulf. The candidate was Donald Trump, and one of the three men was his ally Thomas Barrack. Another was Matthew Grimes, a 27-year-old employee who reported to Barrack. The third was UAE citizen Rashid al-Malik Alshahhi, who lived in California until 2018, leaving abruptly after the FBI interviewed him about the case.
I remember when I was younger. I studied Political Science and did internships in Washington. Perhaps I was too idealistic. But I believed that you went to DC to do good in and for the world. After graduation, I returned to DC but soon became disillusioned by the pursuit of power vs the pursuit of good. At this time, I was still young enough to be naive about corruption, but smart enough to say this wasn't for me. What I can't understand -- and maybe I am now to old to be naive -- is how so many people who believed lies spewed by a former President wanting to clean the swamp still believe and adhere to his even bigger lies. And maybe we need to change the vernacular. Government and policy over politics and partisanship. Let's face it. We need to make examples of men like those indicted, along with the top of the lying chain. Until their punishment matches their crimes against America and our democracy, this corruption, power-mongering and partisan games will continue. I'm glad Thomas Barrack is being held in detention.
And why they didn’t care one bit about Jamal Khashoggi.
Evidently Jared Kushner peddled his influence within the [former president's] administration to get out from under his failed real estate schemes, and thus 50 of the our most advanced warplanes/weapons systems go off to the tiny, peace-loving, Israel's new best friend, (for the moment,) United Arab Emirates. Iran no doubt is looking on with interest.
The Middle East wasn't enough of a powder keg.
The former president and his family go through life leaving a trail of bankruptcy, failure, and general wreckage in their wake, and think of themselves as most clever withal.
Hallefreakinlujah!! Our DOJ is working!! So much we don’t see until it’s served up on a platter. Thank you again 81+ million voters. Time to have a mini celebration. 🎉🇺🇸 May Justice prevail.
The unparalleled corruption within and surrounding the Trump administration was never a bug, it was and remains a feature. The failure to hold those at the top of their misdeeds, including Trump and his family members accountable will be remembered in history with shame. Likewise the trembling fealty of Republicans to Trump shows the moral failure of an entire political party. History will not forgivenorbe kind to them. There is no way to hide the truth of this era from history or erase it from memory.
My takeaway is that trump's erratic and excessively corrupt administration makes clear an inherent weakness in our nation's position in world politics. Rather than being seen as a stable ally tending toward democratic progress, any country looking to us for partnership has a clear example of how quickly our government can fall into the hands of a demagogic charlatan, vociferously supported by a large voter base of poorly informed and easily misled people. Who, by the way, are ardent supporters of their rights to brandish high powered weaponry and clearly are willing to violently disrupt the functioning of normal government processes. This is not a good look for the USA, and certainly will cause nations around the world to think twice and to always consider the potential of our loyalty turning on a dime before they enter into agreements with us. My mind reels.
Acquired 70 MIllIon of Kushner's debt. Think about it.
If this isn't treason (Jared and Bannon meeting with UAE and Saudi leaders about Qatar without the knowledge of Sect of State Rex Tillerson, himself not qualified but a favor)--I don't know what is.
I'll state the obvious - if every single one of these people that are involved in all the scheming, backroom dealing, and high crimes and malfeasance are not brought to justice, then it will all happen again and likely be much worse. Trump came to Washington to make deals that would personally benefit himself and his family and associates. He brought on people who were all too happy to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense. They sacrificed national security, trampled the rule of law, and abandoned the Constitution in order to hide their grifting and in the case of some, save them from financial ruin. They spent taxpayer dollars like it was their own to make deals that would enrich themselves and their wealthy benefactors. Then they gave the wealthy huge tax breaks to look the other way.
Don't even get me started on Covid! That was a financial boon for the wealthy - damn the half-million who were left defenseless against a raging pandemic. Keep those businesses open - damn the loss of human life. Not to mention that if we had a fully functioning national healthcare system, the impact would have been significantly less because it would have been largely out of the control of the politicians. As it was and is, living in a reckless and irresponsible Red State is frightening and demoralizing! Trump and the Republicans on the federal and the state level have been guilty of crimes against humanity!
We have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of the depth of corruption in the Republican Party, from the top down. Drain the swamp, Trump proclaimed. Behind him, he has a fetid swampland in the executive branch and in Congress which Biden is still struggling to drain. We will not know for years just how dearly we'll pay in lives and treasure for Trump's and the Republican's crimes and self-serving deals. Rest assured, in the Middle East, they have long memories - they won't forget whose side we took and why.
Meanwhile, Democrats seem set on putting this all behind as quickly as possible and uniting the country for the greater good. At any other time in history that would be a laudable goal, but today, we can't move forward until those who brought this country to its knees have been tried and convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors. It won't be pretty airing all our dirty laundry to the world, but if we don't, our standing in the world and all that is associated with that will be irreparably damaged. When I see what the Democratic leadership is doing, I have to say it doesn't look good at all. Biden's a great guy, but he's down a path that will not solve the bigger problems facing us. As HCR said yesterday, Republicans have it easy - they possess a proven ability to deny the Democrats every accomplishment.
What Republicans can't prevent would be a full-frontal attack by the Democrats - hearing after hearing, digging into all the high crimes and malfeasance. Republicans will be crying a blue streak. All Democrats have to do is say is, they are protecting national security, the integrity of the Constitution, and upholding the rule of law. To the people who want the Democrats to take the high road - I'm confident that history will record that saving democracy and holding the fascists/insurrectionists/traitors/terrorists accountable for all their wrongdoings will be taking the high road!
I' ve been around awhile now and I've seen corruption in government before, but the Trump administration surely and literally takes the cake. Trump after all has been groomed all his life as a nihilist and authoritarian opportunist with delusions of significance. He's been an equal opportunity cheat stiffing even the smallest of contractors and "business partners". In a simpler day he would already have been "whacked" by someone he'd crossed. And that's the mystery to me. He's made so many of his willing accomplices take the fall and yet we have to rely on the winds of political change to try and get rid of this toxic slime ball. Can't he just end up in a river already?! Why do we have to use the coffers of our government to bring this scrap to the heap. Alright, I suppose that if it happens it would be restorative to a sense that our government is still in the business of upholding some ethical standards of behavior. But to have to do all this and still have people on the so called "right" supporting his delusions is too galling for words. America's Mussolini makes Mussolini look good! Yes I'll admit it I wouldn't be sad if ours came to a similar fate. Let the people have him!
Reading this somewhat shocking bit of news both here and at NY Times today, I have one question:
Why has Jared Kushner not been arrested?
Kushner is a simple private citizen and apparently involved in taking money from Barrack, to avoid his failed business endeavor becoming bankrupt, with a clear goal to influence the President of the United States.
Has Trump managed to change the laws in the United States so that favored people escape arrest for criminal people?
“These arrests serve as a warning to those who act at the direction of foreign governments without disclosing their actions, as well as those who seek to mislead investigators about their actions, that they will be brought to justice and face the consequences.”
Doesn't this apply to Donald Trump, his family and every member of Trump's administration?
I've been reminded throughout my life that "ignorance is no excuse" when you break the law. Trump as President had every resource and responsibility to follow and uphold the law. Impeachment proceedings do not exonerate an official from breaking the law. It's time that Americans see our laws enforced at the highest levels of power. Not the Trump style "lock her or him up". But actual trials with facts, witnesses, juries without political agenda and guilty verdicts.
TRUMP is an outsized threat to the USA because he has an interest in messing with things that he does not have the capacity to understand. This guy should never have an opportunity to run for ANY office again EVER. Perhaps with the list of miscreants in today's letter we should finally empty the cells still occupied at Guantanamo. It appears there will be quite a cast of characters we are going to need a place for.
Thanks Heather. I’m grateful for your attention to and articulation of these details. Emotionally, I’m exhausted by the endless shenanigans of the greedy and corrupt. May their liberties be tempered by justice.
As a semi-related question, exactly what was the relationship between the Bush family and the House of Saud? I've always heard that it was a close relationship, but I've never seen the contours explored. The class of oligarchs is not limited to Trump, he is merely one of the clumsiest and most brazen.
A billionaire in the graybar hotel on Terminal Island. I like it!