Veterans sue Trump for letting his Mar-a-Lago cronies control the VA


Members of the U.S. military are demanding accountability from Trump's secretive advisers.

American veterans are fighting back and demanding accountability from the secretive triumvirate of Trump pals who have been given control over the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs.

On Thursday, Democracy Forward, working on behalf of VoteVets, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court to effectively shut down what they refer to Trump's "Mar-a-Lago Council."

"The new suit asserts the Mar-a-Lago Council is violating federal laws that regulate the ability of private interests to shape federal policy," VoteVets announced in a statement on Thursday. "In flouting these rules, the Council has exercised sweeping, unlawful influence at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over critical issues, such as the makeup of VA leadership and the privatization of VA health care services."

“The health and safety of America’s veterans isn’t a game for President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago members to play with between rounds of golf,” added Will Fischer, Iraq War veteran and director of government relations for VoteVets.

As ProPublica revealed last week, three Trump cronies with no experience in government or the military are secretly exerting stunning influence over the VA. And they're doing it without any public accountability.

Both of Trump’s appointed VA secretaries — David Shulkin, and then Robert Wilkie — felt obligated to fly down to Florida to meet the Mar-a-Lago Council during their tenures.

The shadowy group is made up of a reclusive movie studio executive, a private attorney, and a Palm Beach doctor who helps his wealthy clients obtain “concierge” medical care. All three men are members of Trump’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago Florida resort.

By all indications, the three Trump cronies — Marvel Entertainment Chairman and CEO Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz, and lawyer Marc Sherman — are doing a awful job, as the VA flounders under Trump.

In May, New York Times documented the “chaos” that has engulfed the VA under Trump, and particularly its medical system. As he has “plunged the department into turmoil,” doctors are burning out and veterans are being left behind.

Recall that after Trump fired VA Secretary Shulkin via Twitter, he tried to install his White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, into the top VA leadership role. But that turned into a spectacular failure. 

U.S. veterans deserve so much better. They also deserves transparency at the VA.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.