*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
One of the legitimate concerns many ethics experts and analysts expressed about a corrupt business person ascending to the highest office in the land was the very high potential of abusing the office of the presidency for personal profit. If there is only one thing every American should be intricately aware of, or should immediately learn, is that Donald J. Trump only cares about one thing; Donald J. Trump and increasing Donald J. Trump’s wealth, something he equates with power.
A story reported yesterday, while its veracity was questioned late in the day, was entirely believable because no-one in their right mind does not believe that Donald J. Trump can resist using the office of the presidency, no matter it’s not his yet, to increase his wealth or garner business favors from world leaders. One conservative newspaper has a solution to ensure Trump doesn’t corrupt the office of the president to increase his wealth, but it is safe to assume it will fall on deaf ears and likely infuriate Trump.
In a shocking statement from the Rupert Murdoch-owned conservative newspaper, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the editors called for Trump to divest all of his holdings and assets and stop talking to his kids about the Trump business. The WSJ editorial said in part;
“One reason 60 million voters elected Donald Trump is because he promised to change Washington’s culture of self-dealing, and if he wants to succeed he’s going to have to make a sacrifice and lead by example.
If Mr. Trump doesn’t liquidate, he will be accused of a pecuniary motive any time he takes a policy position. Mixing money and politics could undermine his pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ In Washington.”
Okay, the WSJ is respected in some circles and absolutely right about a corrupt Republican president being accused of profiting from the office. But for dog’s sake, the absolute idiocy of even pretending a greedy cretin like Trump is capable of “making a sacrifice” is beyond any profanity-free comment.
However, the Journal did tell Trump he should liquidate all of his business assets and holdings forthwith, put whatever cash proceeds there are into a blind trust, put all of his remaining assets in his children’s names, and then cut off any and all communications with his children on any Trump-related business matters.
The editors over at the Journal are insane if they believe, even in their dreams, that Trump will liquidate his holdings or stop communicating with his kids who would be “in charge” of Trump businesses in name only. Plus, one is relatively sure that the WSJ likely just got put at the top of Trump’s revenge (s)hit list for having the temerity to 1) tell Donald Trump what to do at all, let alone with his business or family; and 2) expecting he would ever cede control of said businesses or even one asset.
What the Wall Street journal, and Washington Post, and many ethics experts are warning about is they suspect that Trump may violate the so-called “Emolument Clause” found in Section 9 of Article I of the U.S. Constitution. Some are already accusing him of a violation. The Emolument Clause says;
“No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
It appears that Trump is signaling that he is willing to violate the Emolument Clause of the Constitution by accepting benefits from foreign officials or governments via his many business holdings. Such as allowing foreign dignitaries or foreign business partners to pay to stay at his hotel in order to curry favor with the president; those actions would violate the Constitution. As Slate reported, several constitutional experts said, “A payment from a foreign official or state-owned company to a Trump hotel or other branded company could potentially violate that [Emolument] Clause.”
One of those “branded companies,” Trump Towers Pune in India, has elicited the intent of Trump’s Indian business partners “hope to exploit their ties to Donald Trump,” the fascist moronic Americans chose to be “their” president. In fact, those partners actually flew to New York last week to hold a meeting with Trump and his family while he was right in the middle of a “soon-to-be president’s” task of assembling his cabinet of white supremacists and Islamophobes.
As the NYT noted, in a little over two months “Trump will take control of a portfolio of public business between the United States and India… supervising debates over issues including climate change, maritime shadowboxing with China and the nuclear standoff with Pakistan.”
Just the fact that Trump agreed to meet with his Indian business partners as president-elect demonstrates that he has not and likely will not be “fully disengaged from his business ventures” as president if he can’t resist engaging with them while smack in the midst of “leading” his presidential transition; it is a portent of his “potential” conflicts with the United States Constitution as well as the likelihood he will use his “ill-gotten” title as a profit-generating asset, and the office of the president as leverage during business negotiations. It is why the very conservative WSJ editorial board insisted he liquidates and do the job a bunch of racists elected him to do.
The New York Times report was about exactly the type of corruption that is possible of a corrupt business man, and revealed the exact kind of actions the WSJ and Washington Post alluded to in calling for Trump to liquidate all his assets to avoid “conflicts of interest.” Those kinds of conflict of interest are what in plain-speak is White House corruption and violations of the Constitution; likely a document Trump believes doesn’t apply to him or his lust for more wealth. It is also probably a document Trump has actually never read or he would not be issuing not-so-veiled “threats” against Mexicans, Muslims, entertainers or journalists.
Look, Trump made slandering, that’s right, legal slandering, Hillary Clinton with every dirty lying “corrupt Hillary” comment out of his mouth an hourly occurrence. Like every corrupt Republican, Trump was just “projecting” on Mrs. Clinton his own character, or lack thereof. What is astounding is that no matter the “flurry of reports” about Trump and his family increasing their wealth on the election and impending presidency, is that anyone in their right mind is “astounded.” Trump is corrupt in business, if for no other reason than he “stiffs” small businesses and creditors as a matter of course, and he is corrupt as an individual for his disregard for anyone that can’t make him money or won’t let him ‘grab pussy” with impunity.
What should concern all Americans is that Trump is not even attempting to conceal his “emolument” habit and is giving no indication it will not continue when he goes to Washington. Remember, Donald J. Trump exists to increase the wealth of Donald J. Trump, and now that he sees the “high potential” to increase his wealth as the nation’s leader, he will use every corrupt ploy possible to increase his wealth under auspices of the White House.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.