Trump tangled more than ever in web of crimes and lies
Jared Kushner is being looked at for use of his White House position to strike deals in China and elsewhere that are lucrative for himself and his family. The Chinese are among those reportedly saying his financial neediness and naivete makes him easily manipulated by them. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Yesterday the web of lies and crimes spun by the White House got more tangled and impossible to unravel than ever, as several major scandals played out on the national television news networks.

With the number of Mueller indictments having just grown to over 80 charges against 19 individuals associated with Trump and with four top Trump aides having already plead guilty to crimes including conspiracy against the United States, it was revealed yesterday that Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, has used his job in the White House to put himself in a position where he could rake in many millions in foreign loans to get his family out of billions in debt.

While everyone knew yesterday morning that Kushner was losing his top security clearance. the Washington Post went further last night with a bombshell report that four countries, at a minimum, have discussed ways they can manipulate Kushner by taking advantage of his debt. He owes $1.2 billion on one property in New York alone. U.S. intelligence agencies have apparently heard officials of the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel, and Mexico discussing the matter with one another. Chinese officials were heard talking about Kushner’s desire for a $200 million loan from that country.

The foreign officials were talking about what they considered both the naivete and financial desperation of Kushner, who is said to have sought the huge loan from a Chinese company just before that company was taken over by its country’s government.

If true, these types of actions by Kushner would constitute major crimes – using his government position to amass millions of dollars to take care of his family business. The degree to which all of this leaves him – and through him, the U.S. – vulnerable to blackmail is also a problem.

To make matters worse, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster and his chief of staff, John Kelly, knew these things were happening about Kushner but failed to report them. It is difficult if not impossible to imagine that almost everbody else in the White House didn’t also know all of this about Kushner.

If these were “normal” times, Kushner, McMaster, and Kelly would all have already been fired and the President himself would already have been impeached over this Kushner business alone. But the scandals and potential crimes gushing out of the White House daily now turn everything into an almost incomprehensible, unbelievable blur in the public’s mind.

News of the day before, for example, that Ivanka Trump conducted official business with South Korea and probably used her position to discuss family business there, all while she too lacked proper security clearance, got almost completely lost in less than 24 hours.

As did the news yesterday that White House Secretary Hope Hicks refused to answer any questions from the House Intelligence Committee relating to anything that happened during the transition or during the time Trump has been president. Buried too was the news that the GOP majority on the committee let her get away with this despite an attempt by the Democrats to force her to testify with a subpoena. It didn’t seem to be troublesome enough to the Republican lawmakers that in the testimony Hicks did give she said that telling “white” lies was a normal part of her job as White House secretary.

That the White House accepts “white” lies surprises few these days since it regularly promotes anything “white.” Presumably Hicks would have a much harder time, however, getting Special Counsel Mueller to accept any lies, regardless of their color.

Forgotten also was yesterday’s news that the Trump International Hotel in Panama was the scene yesterday of armed battles by teams of men, including Panamanian police. Folks were barricading themselves into rooms and fighting from room to room.

The Trump International in Panama was a brazenly built facility designed for laundering international mafia money. It is operated by the Trump International Company. Panamanian cops were in there investigating claims that Panamanian labor law, already hardly much to speak of as far as labor law is concerned, had been violated at the hotel.

For now it appears that even Panama, partly because of his horrible reputation in Latin America, wants Trump out. The results on that fight are not yet in, however.

Also, almost forgotten a day later is the news that Trump picked Brad Parscale as his campaign manager for 2020, signaling, of course, that the President intends to stay around for a while. Only hours after the announcement it was revealed that Parscale has close ties to a penny stock firm run by notorious fraudsters who regularly swindle buyers on Wall Street out of millions of dollars. The new campaign manager has already been interviewed by the special prosecutor.

Most observers say the move allows Trump to raise money he could use for other things, perhaps the legal defense of the many folks in his administration who face legal peril. Some 80 individuals thus far have either quit or been forced out of the White House since he became president, a record number of such departures from any administration in U.S. history.

The speculation about the money going to places other than the reelection capaign seems reasonable when one considers the under-the-radar establishment yesterday in the state of Delaware of an entity called the Patriot Legal Expense Fund LLC. It was incorporated as a “non- profit” in corporate friendly Delaware. No one has official knowledge yet of who will donate to and fund the entity. One clear thing, however, is that there a lot of folks Trump defines as “patriots “ who are in need these days of legal defense.

Also in the last two days, at least 20 new charges of serious crimes have been filed against Trump’s Deputy Campaign Manager Richard Gates who is cooperating with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Yet with all these charges of big crimes against Gates, Mueller is going after Gates for only two minor ones. This can only mean that his real targets are Manafort, Kushner, and of course Trump himself.

As good a prosecutor as he may or may not be, however, the ultimate responsibility here lies with all of us, the people. We must remain vigilant. We are dealing with an administration unlike any we have ever had to deal with before. Our democracy is at stake. Vigilance and determination to use the 2018 elections to sweep out of office all the Republicans who condone the criminal Trump administration are required.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is editor in chief at Peoplesworld.org. He started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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