Trump is so obviously corrupt and compromised.
In under five minutes at a recent Oversight hearing, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was able to expose Trump's remarkably brazen corruption, pointing out that members of Congress are "being held to a higher ethical standard" than Trump and that current law allows him "to be a pretty bad guy."
The quick lesson came during a House Oversight Committee hearing, where experts on government ethics were testifying on H.R. 1, the legislation offered by Democrats to address concerns about voting access and election integrity.
Ocasio-Cortez delivered what she described as a "lightning round" of questions with the witnesses, posing as "the bad guy" attempting to get away with unethical conduct.
Her questions revealed, among other things, that it is currently possible for an official to run a campaign with money exclusively from corporate interests, and write or influence legislation directly affecting those interests, even if the elected official held a financial stake in the related industries.
Trump has broken with presidential tradition practiced over decades by both parties by refusing to divest from his personal business or put it into a blind trust.
This has made it possible for Trump to profit from the presidency through his decisions made in the Oval Office, where it is now unclear if he is working in the interest of the country or of himself.
At the same time, outside interests — including foreign concerns — have patronized Trump's private businesses even while they are seeking sign-off from the government Trump heads. It looks a lot like bribery.
Ocasio-Cortez said there are strict ethics rules and regulations that a member of Congress like herself have to follow, Ocasio-Cortez, asking witness Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, "Compared to the Executive branch, and compared to say the President of the United States, would you say that Congress has the same sort of standard of accountability? Is there more teeth in that regulation in Congress on the president or would you say it's about even or more so on the federal?"
"In terms of laws that apply to the president? There's almost no laws at all that apply to the president," Shaub said.
"So I'm being held — and every person in this body is being held — to a higher ethical standard than the president of the United States," Ocasio-Cortez replied.
It's already super legal, as we've seen, for me to be a pretty bad guy. So it's even easier for the President of the United States to be one, I would assume."
"That's right," Shaub replied.
Trump's corruption is all-encompassing. He has mingled his private family interests so thoroughly with the business of the federal government and turned his office into a cash cow for himself.
While other presidents have been led by a moral compass and a sense of shame, Trump has no such limitations. It is open season, and the current Congress knows it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.