[Intel Report] Corruption, Inc.


The basic fact that Trump is on the take in outrageous ways deserves a higher profile in American partisan politics


Vox: Trump’s corruption deserves to be a central issue in the 2018 midterms

While personal corruption alone is never enough to entirely sap a demagogue’s political appeal to his core followers, the basic fact that Trump is on the take in outrageous ways deserves a higher profile in American partisan politics and will serve as a strong motivating line and unifying theme.

Beyond that, the levels of self-dealing Trump is enmeshed in are something no Republican Congress member would have defended as recently as two years ago and something that all Democrats can agree is bad despite their own internal ideological differences. Best of all, it’s something (unlike free college or Medicare-for-all or an assault weapons ban) they can actually take action on by seizing a majority in the House of Representatives. CONTINUE READING

New York Magazine: Trump Is No Longer Bothering to Conceal His Corruption

“The company and policy and government are completely separated,” Eric Trump assured the Washington Post last year. “We have built an unbelievable wall in between the two.”

The key word there was “unbelievable.” The president has never been willing to expend much effort on maintaining such a facade. In the first weeks after his election, Trump invited Eric and Don Jr. to a policy meeting with tech executives, met with his Indian business partners, and allowed his D.C. hotel to begin courting the patronage of foreign diplomats. In the first year after his inauguration, he mixed politics and business in ever more blatant ways. CONTINUE READING

Vanity Fair: Jared Kushner’s Family Got Half a Billion in Loans After Key White House Meetings

“This is exactly why senior government officials, for as long back as I have any experience, don’t maintain any active outside business interests,” Don Fox, the former acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, told the Times. “The appearance of conflicts of interest is simply too great. Why does Jared have to take the meeting? Is there not somebody else who doesn’t have these financial entanglements who can brainstorm freely with these folks?” To be fair, judging by the White House’s track record, the answer may very well be “no.” CONTINUE READING

Mother Jones: Lawmakers Want to Know Why the Trump Administration Demanded Sensitive Oil Data

Lawmakers are demanding answers from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about why political appointees in his department asked for early access to data from a study of oil and gas deposits on Alaska’s North Slope—a request that led to the resignation of a top scientist at the US Geological Survey. In a letter to Zinke Tuesday, two high-ranking Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee said the events, if true, were “the latest in a troubling series of attacks on scientific integrity and ethical lapses” at the department. CONTINUE READING