Tag Archives: Senate impeachment

Will Bribery Work?

Apparently, today’s Republicans–who sure don’t look like the Republicans I grew up with–are no longer bothering to hide their corruption from public view. All of America has witnessed the travesty of the Senate’s impeachment “trial,” and reports of the party’s operation “Redmap” and other efforts at gerrymandering and voter suppression have become ubiquitous.

Now Politico reports that even garden-variety bribery is out in the open.  

Allies of Donald Trump have begun holding events in black communities where organizers lavish praise on the president as they hand out tens of thousands of dollars to lucky attendees.

The first giveaway took place last month in Cleveland, where recipients whose winning tickets were drawn from a bin landed cash gifts in increments of several hundred dollars, stuffed into envelopes. A second giveaway scheduled for this month in Virginia has been postponed, and more are said to be in the works.

The cash giveaways are supposedly under the auspices of an outside charity, the Urban Revitalization Coalition. That stratagem permits donors to remain anonymous and make tax-deductible contributions. (That adds insult to injury–taxpayers are subsidizing partisan bribery.)

One leading legal expert on nonprofit law said the arrangement raises questions about the group’s tax-exempt status, because it does not appear to be vetting the recipients of its money for legitimate charitable need.

“Charities are required to spend their money on charitable and educational activities,” said Marcus Owens, a former director of the Exempt Organizations Division at the Internal Revenue Service who is now in private practice at the law firm Loeb & Loeb. “It’s not immediately clear to me how simply giving money away to people at an event is a charitable act.”

The CEO of the organization is a longtime Trump ally, and the rest of the Politico report is enough to turn your stomach.

But this is hardly the only evidence that the GOP is trading money for votes. Salon has an article documenting contributions to Republican senators in advance of the sham impeachment trial.

President Trump’s legal team made numerous campaign contributions to Republican senators overseeing the impeachment trial.

Former independent counsels Ken Starr and Robert Ray, who both investigated former President Bill Clinton ahead of his impeachment, contributed thousands of dollars to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last year before they joined the president’s team, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CFPR)….

The contributions came months before McConnell bragged to Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would be in “total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate.”

It would also be enlightening to know how many projects were recently and generously funded by the federal government in states represented by Republican senators–especially purple states.

And I suppose promising that a senator’s head wouldn’t be “on a pike” might be considered a bribe as well..

Along with raising money for senators who will decide his fate, Trump has also been accused of threatening Republicans after a Trump confidant told CBS News that senators were warned: “vote against the president, and your head will be on a pike.”

In all fairness, Trump has never made a secret of his belief that bribery is just part of doing business. According to the Washington Post,

For years, President Trump has criticized a more than 40-year-old law banning companies from bribing foreign officials to win business.

In 2012, he told CNBC that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was a “horrible law.” In a 2017 Oval Office meeting, Trump ordered his then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to do away with it.

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump said, according to “A Very Stable Genius,” a book by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig that published in January.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said recently that the Trump administration is “looking at” making changes to the global anti-bribery law.

Because of course they are.

Honesty, morality and integrity are so last administration.