My friend is still a little out of the loophole with regard to Trump’s ongoing crime spree, therefore, I must, as duty dictates, return to the trenches in an attempt to enlighten the floundering republican brain. And for this noble act you may call me a Bloghisattva. What? …too much? Here’s the thing, over on FB my friend asked me to name one thing that Trump did that can be considered a crime, which is tougher than it looks …to narrow down. He then pointed to the clear D crimes over the years, a list that included Bill Clinton’s speech wherein he charged Moscow his usually speaking engagement fees, Hillary’s missing emails, and Hunter Biden’s dubious paychecks from Keiv. I suppose in opposite world these are the worst things to have happened since Benghazi. While my friend is napping, what the rest of us have learned is twofold: first off, those of a certain tax bracket seem above the law entirely, especially with regard to the tax code. Second, there’s also a significant executive cushion that is further protecting our commander and chief from legal consequences. By using these two additional safety nets a con-man has exposed our country for the banana republic that it has become. So let’s just list the clear crimes, mainly because I have to make an appearance at work sometime next week.
I tried to look at Trump’s crimes, not from the perspective of what he will get in trouble for—again, he’s clearly above the law—but what crimes I could never get away with. Most of the Trump crimes fall into two categories: 1. He cut a check to make the matter go bye bye, thus circumventing justice through payoffs, or: 2. He is hanging up the courts and/or replacing the judges trying these cases with his cronies. I’m going to focus on clear statute violations that any reasonable attorney would agree is a crime for the average American. Granted, Trump hasn’t had his day in court, so I’ll stick to the clearly criminal acts that are already all but proven. Of note, Pokey’s three Dem examples of wrongdoing did have their day in court and they were all dismissed. The usual.
Let’s start with a fun one, if I encouraged my kids to vote twice in the general election thus violating voter election laws, I could be arrested on voter fraud charges. A felony. The president did that on a massive scale and, last I checked, he’s not going to jail. He’s also called for some quasi voter intimidation, but let’s give him the benefit of the dolt on that one.
Oh, and before we get off election felonies, he also committed one by lying about his Florida residency, which also violates state voting laws. It’s apparently a third-degree felony with fines around 5K. Again, I would be fined or jailed for this, but only because real felonies matter. I will admit I wouldn’t want ass-clown brought down for this level of stupidity, when there are so many juicer ones out there. [Felony count 2.]
The Abandoning of the Emoluments Clause
This is one is a doozy that could include dozens of known accounts. How many times has Melania promoted her jewelry line, or Ivanka promoted her brands amidst an official capacity? Hell, even Kellyanne Conway has gotten into the act. There are too many for a comprehensive list, but let’s just cite three:
- Pence’s official stay at a Trump resort is one clear violation. See the related Law & Crime article
- Per McSweeney, “on January 11, 2017 Donald Trump’s lawyer Sheri Dillon stated that Trump would ‘voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotel to the United States Treasury.’ Two months into his presidency, no evidence existed that Trump had followed through with this promise.” Fast forward several more years and not much has changed, except the extent and the level of this crime.
- Had he actually handed over his businesses to his sons when assuming command, it would still not meet the Qualified Blind Trust stipulations for a president and, worse, we all know he didn’t really even do that. This is another clear violation of the emoluments clause.
Although breaches of the emoluments clause of the Constitution are not necessarily a felony, most states have a rule about bumping up the charges based on the sheer number of crimes. A third misdemeanor can be upgraded to a felony and, since he has dozens …well, let’s be nice and just add one felony to the count. [Felony count total = 3.]
Fraud: The Trump Charity/Fraud Files
Near as I can figure here are the four main obvious fraud scenarios that constitute a felony:
The Donald J. Trump Foundation, a fake charity he used to “to promote his presidential bid and pay off business debts.” Trump admitted this fraud in court and paid $2 million to his students. He also defrauded a military charity, in fact, he is no longer allowed to host charities as a result. Furthermore, if I raised 2 million dollars for veterans and then kept it, I would be arrested for felony fraud.
Trump U was also fraud on a grand scale.
“(Those individuals) defrauded by Trump could only get about one-seventh the value of their claims under this settlement. Plus, no public trial, no admission of wrongdoing, and no court order to prevent the same thing from happening again.”
Also per Vox, if folks hadn’t taken the pay off for Trump U, the president was facing felony fraud charges as well. He still might, because the settlements were pushed through due to Trump’s taking office and, because of this rush job, at least one lawyer thinks some legal jeopardy is still ahead for the president.
Under the same category but different felony, according to David Fahrenthold over at the Washington Post, Trump also made an illegal contribution to the AG in Florida who was investigating Trump U., aka, a direct bribe to the judge presiding over the Trump U case. I guess this is legal for rich people, but, again, it’s an act I would likely go to jail for. Best overview of the Trump U scandal, here.
On a similar note, millions of dollars are still unaccounted for during Trump’s inauguration. This is also a felony. Link sold separately.
[Total felony count = 7.]
Admittedly these are pending, but what do you call the ones who took the payoff? Hmmm. Not sure I can add anything to the tally, but, if these folks get their day in court, this will likely add to the overall total, which supports my main premise: innocent until proven republican. Two felonies do stem from this indirectly and we will get to those shortly. Near as I can figure, there are 26 women with sexual misconduct allegations, approximately seven have been successfully Hush Monied, and19 are still looking for their day in court. Here’s The Guardian’s overview.
The most famous, of course, the Stormy Daniels saga, has led to a felony for Michael Cohen. These proceedings would have led to a felony for the person named as Individual-1 in the case, well, if it were me or you. POTUS is the individual who orchestrated the payoff. Trump’s part specifically falls under suborning perjury, which is a felony. This still needs to be tried in court, but due to the Michael Cohen saga, we know the whole sordid tail, pardon the pun.
“Hush, Hush, I thought I heard her call my lawyer…”
—Deep State Purple
Michael Cohen spent jail time for the hush money/pay-off, aka a clear campaign finance violation. Do you really think Cohen paid this out of his own pocket to help out a friend? If I coaxed Mr. Cohen to carry out this task, I would be charged with a felony and would occupy the cell right next to Mr. Cohen. There were actually two illegal payments, both are felonies, but who’s counting? Oh, right, I am!
[Total felony count = 9.]
Obstruction of Justice
Although I believe Trump specifically committed a felony when he worked with Roger Stone via WikiLeaks (part of the Mueller probe), I can’t add this one, because Stone covered for his boss and then skipped town. But, obstruction of justice is in the books, whether you like or understand the findings of the Mueller report or not. All elements of obstruction clearly occurred and the Don McGahn incident is perhaps the most egregious aspect.
Here’s the Associated Press’s summary of the 10 times Trump obstructed. I think dangling prepardons is another crime in and of itself, but, again, I will not be adding this to today’s list, but coming soon to a courtroom near you! Kidding, SCOTUS will pardon POTUS …because corruption.
This is going to come as another surprise to you, Poke, but if I had ten instances of trying to obstruct a federal investigation, I would be charged. I’m only adding one felony, because I feel bad for you.
[Total felony count = 10.]
Sure Trump was impeached for his call to the leader of Ukraine, a mere one day after the release of the findings of the Mueller report, but was it a crime? The next day when he called the head of Ukraine and pressured him for dirt against Biden, it was a crime, because it was a clear violation of the Hobbs Act. Per the New Yorker, “The law, named for the Alabama congressman who sponsored it, was enacted in 1946. It prohibits what’s known as ‘extortion under color of official right.'” The article explains the clear quid pro quo for this round being the taxpayer monies for political dirt on the Biden. In layman’s terms, it falls into the extortion bucket and, again, if I tried this shit I wouldn’t fair as well as our commandant and chief.
Critics argue quid pro quos happen during negotiations all the time, but this one was clearly for The Donald’s benefit, not the country’s, so for me it falls into either the Calvin or the Hobbes Act, and he should be animated and, eventually, reanimated by HP Lovecraft.
[Squid pro quo joke dragged into the nether realms and devoured.]
For some more specifics, The Intercept believes that just this phone call between POTUS and the Ukraine’s Zelensky could have landed Trump ten years in prison. They cite “18 U.S. Code § 872: Extortion by officers or employees of the United States. Or 18 U.S. Code § 610: Coercion of political activity.” They break down all ten years, statute by statute here.
The Prez was impeached for this and, if the republican senate had any principles, he would have been removed from office as well.
[Total felony count = 11, because our felonies go to 11!]
But I hope when I commit such a felony Senator Susan Collins will be there to say, let him go officer, I think he learned his lesson.
Other Finanacial Crimes
Yes, this is another category that I don’t have time to explore, so let’s just stick to this week’s crimes, eh? October 9th NY Magazine found a financial crime twofer in the form of a 21 million dollar illegal campaign donation, per the same article that was also an illegal tax deduction.
I would like to add tax fraud to this growing list as well. I know, I know, not proven yet so this is more of a prediction, but despite a tax code that grossly favors the filthy rich, I still believe Trump’s inflation and deflation of his assets, depending on who was at the door, will eventually be considered a crime. I’m with Cohen on this one. Fine, I won’t add it, but it still brings us to…
[Total felony count = 13.]
I believe he has done a number of additional white collar crimes from fraud, to money laundering, to bank wire fraud, but these will have to wait—at least until Trump is out of office and/or the rule of law is re-established in this country. Kidding, that aint happening.
I’ve tried to stick with only Trump crimes, not associate wrongdoing, but this one involves both Jared and The Donald. Jared Kushner breach of security clearance is a felony for Jared, who lied to congress here, but is also a felony for the president to put our nation’s security at risk by overruling security protocols. You can call it an executive privilege but this is both an abuse of power and a crime. But, again, we should encourage republicans to learn how to multitask. An important first step? Hey, let them start with what they know.
[Total felony count = 14.]
What’s worse than the run of the mill felony? What’s worse than collusion, conspiracy, sexual misconduct, fraud and other white-collar crimes? Yes, Bill Clinton charging his normally speaking engagement fees in Moscow. Well, other than that… I believe there are two things that are arguably traitorous in Trumpville:
- Not defending the integrity of our elections, accepting aid from our enemies and allowing them to run roughshod on our election process certainly should evoke the 25th Amendment, but in some ways it’s beyond that. It’s unconscionable and it borders on traitorous.
- The second is ignoring intelligence that Russia was putting a bounty on our troops. This seems like something our enemy would do, not our president.
By no means does this article capture even a fraction of the felonies this felon has felonized. He’s a felon’s, felon, so this article tried to stick to the obvious crimes that I would be charged with and why our system doesn’t work as you head on up the food chain. It also points to dozens of related indictments to come.
The bigger question is this: will he fry for any of these? I wouldn’t bet on it. We don’t live in much of a democracy anymore and there’s a lot of things prepardon can do on the way out the door, in fact, as I write this a former Mueller investigator is predicting if Trump loses the election he will employ the self-pardon. Imagine that. I guess the people who investigated Trump don’t agree with your assessment, Poke. Don’t worry, they never do. See conclusions of investigations on Burisma, Spygate and unmasking this month (my article here). And, this trend hasn’t changed much in twenty years. The only one who hasn’t noticed is my aforementioned friend, Pokey.
[Redaction: it hasn’t changed at all.]
We will never get to the bottom of all of Trump’s crimes but only because the hydrogen supply of the sun will likely run out long before then, but when I’ve said to my friend over the years: you’re aiding and abetting a known felon, it’s only because you have been aiding and abetting a known felon. So you keep fighting the good fight, Poke, otherwise known as, spreading Russian disinformation and fomenting hatred for Jesus. And good luck with all that truth-seeking for QAnon.