Former Trump campaign advisors Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted a couple of weeks ago for money laundering income they earned as lobbyists for pro-Russian parts of the Ukraine. Frankly, the charges are not going to stick. What Manafort and Gates were doing was perfectly legal (and occurred long before they joined the Trump campaign), but there was a form they were supposed to fill out, and they neglected to do so. While Manafort and Gates deserve to be slapped on the wrists for failing to fill out a form, the money they earned was legal, and you cannot launder legal money.
Do you know who also worked as a pro-Russian Ukrainian lobbyist? Long time Democrat fundraiser, Tony Podesta. Tony Podesta failed to fill out the same form. Tony Podesta is the brother of John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief. John Podesta is himself implicated in working with a British spy and Russian government officials to create a fake Russian dossier, which was used as the basis of investigations to spy on the Trump campaign during the election, and to start the special investigation into President Trump’s possible Russian ties, after the election.
The investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia ties should continue, and in fact, it should deepen. Robert Mueller should also be investigating Trump’s business interests – interests he has thus far failed to fully divest himself from. If Trump has done (or does do) something impeachable, it will probably relate to conflicts of interest involving his business empire.
Hillary Clinton, not to be outdone, brokered a deal in which Russia got a 20% stake in American Uranium resources, Bill Clinton got $500,000 to give a speech in Moscow, and the Clinton Foundation got $145 million in donations from Russians who were direct participants in the deal.
Sun Tzu said to use deception and spies to control your opponent. WikiLeaks showed that Fox News was coordinating with the Hillary Clinton campaign to forward those Republican candidates Hillary Clinton thought would be easiest to beat in the general election, making it no coincidence that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were the last Republicans standing. Hillary Clinton wanted Donald Trump or Ted Cruz to wind the Republican Primary.
We need to investigate collusion between the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, and our mainstream media. While we are at it, we should look at the RNC too, just for good measure. If the media has become so centralized that virtually every news agency in the country can be bought by the same campaign, we need to take steps to break the media empire up until it is not so easy to control. This is particularly important in today’s environment, where the mainstream media has completely abandoned any semblance of impartiality.
Who is going to be the Democrat standard bearer in 2020? Hillary Clinton is done. If cheating elections done her in, the fact that Democrats are finally turning on her husband’s past sexual transgressions will end her career. Even the New York Times has turned on the Clintons. Bernie Sanders is too old, and revelations that he has three mansions and a private jet (the jet was his paycheck for supporting Hillary Clinton in the general election) will turn his socialist followers off. Elizabeth Warren still has to come to terms with having claimed to be a Native American. Joe Biden, when not skinny dipping in front of his female Secret Service detail, has a long history of awkwardly touching women. Who is left?
Speaking of sexual allegations, there are at least fifty yet to come out in Washington D.C., and there are at least forty that have come out so far in state governments. Throw in everything happening in Hollywood, and it might make sense to have a Justice Department investigation into sexual misconduct in the workforce, across the board, in all industries, and in government. I can think of two very good reasons for a Justice Department investigation: 1) This would create a safe, central place where people can open up about sexual misconduct, and 2) this would move allegations of sexual misconduct out of the court of public opinion, and into the court of law, where such allegations belong. Public opinion can shame people into quitting their jobs, but public opinion can also turn into a witch hunt. We need a federal investigation to protect the accused and the accuser alike, holding those who are guilty accountable, while maintaining due process. We have no idea how deep this rabbit hole goes, but we owe it to all victims to find out.
Trump stands accused of sexual assault himself, so this Justice Department investigation should be headed by an independent council.
We need to investigate the Clinton Foundation to see whether or not it has been used as a bribe-bank to forward the Clinton’s personal and professional interests. We should investigate other foundations and Super PACs for the same reason. We cannot drain the swamp without looking at the money. Those who use Super PAC funds, or foundation funds, in illegal ways that impact our election processes, need to be held accountable.
I remember the Congressional Stamp Scandal of 1995. Congressmen and Senators were taking campaign contributions, buying stamps, selling those stamps to the post office, and pocketing the funds. Almost everyone was guilty, and everyone knew about it – there was even a Congressional Post Office setup specifically for the purpose of laundering campaign contributions. Our government began to panic, but then Dan Rostenkowski stumbled into a sex scandal, and became the sacrificial cow. Nobody else was held accountable, and Bill Clinton pardoned Dan Rostenkowski in exchange for Rostenkowski taking the fall alone.
Government will be looking for a sacrificial cow today as well. Perhaps it will be Senator Al Franken, who has now been accused of groping two women. Perhaps it will be someone else. I don’t know. What I do know is that whenever the full swamp falls into the light of day, and we have an opportunity to investigate deeply, government picks one or two people, feeds them to the dogs, and calls it a day.
Our government is broken. From the top to the bottom, it is completely and utterly broken. It is broken on both sides of the aisle, and in many cases both parties are guilty of the exact same things. Corruption in government has been a partisan issue for far too long, with both parties ignoring abuse except when that abuse can be used as a political weapon. We cannot afford to sweep today’s problems under the rug and allow government to continue to operate the same way. We must demand more.
Only by investigating all allegations under all of these different scandals, and holding everyone in government accountable, can we change the culture in Washington DC (and in state houses across the country), sending a clear message to the next breed of leaders – those who will invariably step in to replace the current bunch – that this behavior is unacceptable. Only be cleaning it all out can we provide real change.
It is time for Republicans to admit that many of the Republicans in office need to be removed. It is time for Democrats to admit that many of the Democrats in office need to be removed. It is time that we take off our partisan glasses and look at corruption with untainted eyes, exposing all who are guilty, and throwing them all out of office, and if that changes the power dynamic in Washington, so be it. They are virtually all guilty: it is time to tell the Justice Department to investigate everyone.