When is the Republican Congress going to say “enough” and hold Donald Trump, his associates and his family accountable for their many blatant examples of bribery?
Former George W. Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter addressed this issue in a tweet sent out in response to the latest egregious Trump ethics violation concerning a bailout of Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE:
“This is bribery. The Constitution expressly provides that bribery is an impeachable offense. If the House and Senate don’t act now they must be voted out in November. Americans are fed up!”
This is bribery. The Constitution expressly provides that bribery is an impeachable offense. If the House and Senate don’t act now they must be voted out in November. Americans are fed up!https://t.co/DAnJhq7DoQ via @HuffPostPol
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) May 15, 2018
Others have expressed the same opinion, but the Chinese phone bailout (coupled with a $500 million dollar loan from the Chinese government) was not the only instance of Trump bribery currently being discussed on Twitter.
Avenatti had tweeted this:
“Why was Ahmed Al-Rumaihi meeting with Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn in December 2016 and why did Mr. Al-Rumaihi later brag about bribing administration officials according to a sworn declaration filed in court?”
Why was Ahmed Al-Rumaihi meeting with Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn in December 2016 and why did Mr. Al-Rumaihi later brag about bribing administration officials according to a sworn declaration filed in court?
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 13, 2018
So now we know that Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen met in Trump Tower in December of 2016 — after Trump had been elected — with a businessman from Qatar who was on record bragging about bribing the Trump administration.
By the way, it is very likely that Special Counsel Robert Mueller already knows what was discussed in that meeting since apparently Mueller witness Michael Flynn was also in attendance. And whatever Flynn knows Mueller and his team also know.
And let’s not forget the Carter Page/Rosneft bribery scandal either. As Seth Abramson tweeted:
“The Steele Dossier says Carter Page was one of the Trump aides used as an intermediary in the bribery of Trump. Where was Carter Page on the day Flynn and Cohen met with the Rosneft buyer (December 12, 2016)? Moscow. Was he meeting with Rosneft people? Yes.”
10/ But it gets worse. The Steele Dossier says Carter Page was one of the Trump aides used as an intermediary in the bribery of Trump. Where was Carter Page on the day Flynn and Cohen met with the Rosneft buyer (December 12, 2016)? Moscow. Was he meeting with Rosneft people? Yes.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 14, 2018
So where does this leave us? An article posted late last night on Slate.com provides more details of the Rosneft bribery situation:
“Avenatti tweeted the images that appeared to show Al-Rumaihi entering an elevator in Trump Tower on Dec. 12, 2016, five days after news broke of the multibillion-dollar sale of 19.5 percent of the Russian fossil fuel giant Rosneft to Swiss trading firm Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign investment fund.
“The Rosneft deal features prominently in an investigative dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. A central claim of the Steele dossier was that Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, during an alleged meeting with Rosneft officials in summer 2016, promised that a Trump administration would undo sanctions against Russia, in part, in exchange for brokerage of the Rosneft deal. In May 2016, Al-Rumaihi reportedly took over as head of a major division of the wealth fund ultimately involved in the Rosneft deal.”
In March we published a story entitled “Mueller Is Measuring Jared Kushner For Handcuffs By Investigating Him For Bribery” which gives even more details of Trump family corruption. In this article the following relevant quote appears:
“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has asked witnesses about Kushner’s efforts to secure financing for his family’s real estate properties, focusing specifically on his discussions during the transition with individuals from Qatar and Turkey, as well as Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates.”
“What the feds are investigating is a basic case of influence peddling and bribery. If Kushner took money from foreigners for his businesses and then used his position as a senior White House advisor to influence US government policy, that’s a crime.”
Clearly, the ZTE case is only the most recent example of Trump’s violation of bribery laws as well as the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution (which may be considered a prohibition of foreign bribery of U.S. presidents.)
With Flynn already cooperating with Mueller, and with Michael Cohen likely to flip soon, it is only a matter of time until Trump, Kushner and other guilty parties face the music for their blatant violation of bribery laws.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.