What do Jared Kushner (Senior White House advisor and son-in-law to Donald Trump), Lara Trump (Eric Trump’s wife), John Pence (Mike Pence’s nephew) and Sean Dollman (Trump campaign CFO) all have in common? That’s a question that is going to become increasingly relevant to DOJ prosecutors and investigators as the pirate ship known as the Trump administration winds down into irrelevance.
It turns out that Kushner helped to create a shell corporation called American Made Media Consultants Corporation, also known as American Made Media Consultants LLC. Kushner named Lara, John and Sean to the board of that corporation. Some $617 million was funnelled to that corporation to spend as it saw fit. Some of the spending was legitimate. But $170 million of it was not. That money found its way into the greedy pockets of the Trump family. And that, my friends, is what’s known as campaign finance fraud — writ large.
The $170 million was laundered as unearned salaries for various members of the Trump family together with a slush fund for various types of spending. But it all ended up being used for the personal gain of Trump family members.
Why was this done? The shell corporation was created in order to hide from Trump’s donors the fact that their money was being funneled directly into the pockets of Trump family members, and not for the Trump campaign or to help in the defense fund to reclaim the “stolen” election. In other words, those members of Trump’s following who dug deep into their own pockets to help their “Dear Leader” win re-election, and later, to help him take his “rightful place” to a second term, are really just losers and suckers financing the lifestyles of the already rich.
It turns out that the Department of Justice (that’s right, Bill Barr’s very own DOJ) is already looking into this. (Apparently, when you inherit a contraption the size of the DOJ you can’t always control all of its moving parts.) Once President Biden’s administration takes over it can pick up where they left off.
It’s probably no coincidence, therefore, that the defense bill that Donald Trump wants to veto also contains a rider intended to crack down on the creation of just such shell corporations as American Made Media Consultants LLC. The more you drill down, the more self-serving and incestuous the relationships become.
Naturally, so many of Trump’s followers are such thoroughly glassy-eyed dybbuks that they won’t care about this scam, but some of the not yet thoroughly zombified will. Whatever the case, one does not create a shell corporation for just such an operation unless one has something to hide.
The whole thing could have been done right out in the open. The truly hilarious part is, if they had done it right out in the open the entire shell game might have been missed. The very act of behaving guilty is what drew attention to their guilt. Let’s hope it sees each and every one of them safely to their well-deserved destination: prison. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.