Clinton was widely accused by the conservative press of engaging in a ‘pay for play’ scheme. In most cases what charges against her amounted to were simply the appearance of wrong doing. Sort of like her email situation that didn’t ultimately amount to any serious infractions but was never the less complicated and deserving of inquiry.
She pointed out – to deaf ears – that Trump had literally engaged in something akin to pay for play. He had given thousands of dollars to a judge that was crucial in making preliminary decisions about one of his lawsuits and even later helped her with fundraising efforts. This was a clear violation of corruption laws and a conflict of interest. He was actually fined for it. No one disputes that he did wrong in this case. Of course, for whatever reason, things like that just seemed to slide right off of him.
Now that Trump is the president elect he seems to be willing to engage in open corruption while dismissing allegations without any real argument as to why what he’s doing isn’t unethical. He claims that his businesses will be given over to his children, which isn’t actually a blind trust unless he pledges not to talk to them while serving as president. Now he’s even trying to get around nepotism laws to get his children involved in his administration. A move that would tie his private assets even more directly to his administration.
But Trump’s most direct infringement came just this week when dozens of international diplomats paid tens of thousands of dollars to Trump’s private hotels in order to get a word with him. At a gathering this weekend, one attendee said that most came to the hotel not simply to take a vacation but to see “how are we going to build ties with the new administration.” Another addressed the implication directly:
Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’ Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’
In addition, Trump also met with several business partners from development firms in India. Trump’s campaign said that it wasn’t an actual business meeting, though his partners seemed to tell a different story. By all appearances Trump plans to just smile and nod whenever anyone mentions his massive conflict of interest problem while continuing to personally profit from his job as president.
Featured Image via William Thomas Cain/Getty