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Tue Oct 13, 2020, 12:09 AM

Time to Rewrite the History Books (Trump corruption)

High school history books generally portray Warren Harding as the most corrupt president ever. That's probably unfair to Harding, since he was probably a more-or-less honest man (by politician standards) but he was in charge when Secretary of the Interior Albert Bacon Fall pulled off the Teapot Dome caper, leasing some oil reserves to his cronies at bargain-basement prices after taking bribes from them. But a new story in The New York Times makes it clear that even Fall was a very small time operator compared to Donald Trump. The article documents dozens among the hundreds of times businessmen got big "favors" from the government after either making big donations to Donald Trump's campaign or spending mucho moola at one of his properties. No president in history has even come close to approaching this level of direct corruption. If Trump loses and the new attorney general hires a special prosecutor to dig through the muck, it will take many years to uncover even a fraction of it.

Earlier stories in the Times show that most of Trump's properties are losing money big time and that he has a personal debt of $400 million coming due in the next 4 years, with almost no liquid assets to pay his creditors. If the debts are to Deutsche Bank, he can probably stiff the bank and get away with it. If the debts are to the Moscow-based Alfa Bank which is run by Vladimir Putin's cronies, that would not be a smart idea unless Trump likes tea that glows in the dark. In 2016, there were mysterious communications between Trump and the Alfa Bank, so that is a real possibility.

Although Trump promised to drain the swamp, he has done the opposite. He has monetized the presidency. If you want something from the government, you have to pay up, one way or another. The scale of the corruption is shocking. Over 200 companies, special-interest groups, and foreign governments decided they were willing to join the pay-to-play game, did so, and reaped government benefits.



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