If you’re a corrupt criminal like Donald Trump, you generally have to hire people who are also corrupt criminals – even if you’re hiring them for supposedly legitimate job positions. That creates two liabilities, and in the past twenty-four hours, we’ve seen that blow up in Trump’s face on two different fronts.
First, when you need to hire people for legitimate jobs who are as overwhelmingly corrupt as you are, it severely limits the hiring pool, thus decreasing the odds of being able to find anyone who’s competent at the job. Second, because everyone you’re hiring is corrupt, some of them eventually are going to get caught, thus creating even greater liability for you. The trouble for Donald Trump is that he not only hires criminals who are incompetent at their official job duties, he also tends to hire criminals who are incompetent at being criminals.
Take, for instance, Donald Trump’s decision to hire Paul Manafort as his campaign chairman and campaign manager. Trump and Manafort were both career criminals and were both financially dependent on the Kremlin, so it probably seemed like a good fit at the time. But it turned out Manafort was quite a sloppy criminal, and ever since he got caught, he’s been even more sloppy at covering it up.
In fact yesterday a federal judge confirmed that Manafort colluded with a Russian spy during the election. This ruling only happened as a result of Manafort’s sloppiness in trying to undermine his own plea deal. The judge all but announced “yes collusion” yesterday, at a time when Donald Trump is clinging to the “no collusion” argument more tenuously than ever. This only happened because Manafort is a such a screw-up.
Then there’s the case of Matt Whitaker. Trump must have sensed from his Fox News appearances that Whitaker was eagerly corrupt, and sure enough, he got his man in that regard. The trouble was, Whitaker turned out to be the kind of bumbling scammer who couldn’t stick to the script of refusing to answer Trump-related questions, and nervously blurted out an obvious lie while under oath. Last night the House Judiciary Committee publicly informed Whitaker that they’d found proof he committed perjury. Now Whitaker can either be indicted for it and go to prison, or he can come back to the hearings and publicly rat out Trump for obstruction of justice.
Yet Donald Trump just keeps hiring corrupt criminals who don’t seem to be particularly good at, well, anything. They do corrupt things in his name, they get caught, and they either cut a plea deal against him (Cohen, Flynn, Gates, etc) or they unintentionally make things worse by trying to help him (Manafort, Whitaker). These things just never go well for Trump, do they?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report