Former Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub says that Trump needs to be investigated because he may have committed a crime by awarding the G7 to his own golf club.
Shaub said on MSNBC’s AM Joy:
I think the first thing, to put it in context, is it’s important to emphasize that this is not different in scale or seriousness. This is different in nature from his other corruption. This isn’t wasting money. This is reaching in and taking money. We have a president who participated in a contract award to himself. So, then that raises a number of questions, including the domestic emoluments clause and concerns about what procurement process they used and whether that complied with procurement but it also potentially implicates the Procurement Integrity Act, and I’m not claiming a violation has occurred because they’ve concealed the facts, but they’ve revealed enough facts to know that an investigation is absolutely warranted, because it’s actually a crime for a business owner like trump to obtain confidential site source selection information or competitors’ contract or bid or proposal information.
And you know, the president was personally involved in this. Mick Mulvaney’s description of what happened makes it sound like he was involved in framing how they were going to select a source. And the statement that he’s supposedly doing it at cost, which is a ridiculous, meaningless term, suggests that he possibly could have lowered his price to match other competitors. Last month he gave a press conference in which he said some of his competitors allowed this or didn’t allow that, in his words, which raises a question of did he know what they were offering to do?
So, I think we don’t have enough to say that a violation of the Procurement Integrity Act occurred, but we do have enough to say there’s a very serious need for an investigation, because it may have occurred. And there are criminal penalties and civil penalties for that. And unlike the conflict of interest statute, the president is covered by that statute.
Walter Shaub on Trump's potentially criminal Doral G7 fiasco, "This is different in nature from his other corruption. This isn't wasting money. This is reaching in and taking money. We have a president who participated in a contract award to himself." pic.twitter.com/Em8viDgZEj
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 19, 2019
Shaub was correct this is a different form of corruption than Trump’s usual bilk the taxpayers by visiting his properties scam.
The President Of The United States used the power of his office to award the contract for a summit, which the taxpayers will be paying for, to his own company. This conduct raises a minefield of concerns about Trump’s personal involvement in the site selection process, what he knew about the bids of his competition and any insider information that he may have had that allowed him to underbid his competition.
Trump has committed a black and white emoluments clause violation, but more importantly, he may have committed a crime worthy of prosecution after he leaves office.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association