Donald J. Trump as a candidate talked nonstop about draining the swamp, and he continues to talk about that when doing his rallies. However, his track record is that he has injected more swampiness into the political arena, and more corruption, than anyone else who has occupied the White House. So much winning, our heads are spinning.
To date, we have had the following close confidantes of Trump charged with major crimes or pleading to crimes:
• Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager/chair – on trial for bank and tax fraud
• Rick Gates, deputy campaign manager – indicted, testifying against Manafort
• Michael Cohen, fixer / personal lawyer / RNC finance official – being investigated for possible tax fraud
• Representative Christopher Collins, Trump’s first Congressional endorser, indicted for insider trading, arrested yesterday
• George Papadopoulos, Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI
• Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI
The swamp has not been drained, but rather appears to have been expanded. This list does not include the thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian companies, Richard Pinedo, Alex van der Zwaan, Konstantin Kilimnik, or the 12 Russian GRU officers that have all been indicted to date by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
It also does not include Wilbur Ross and the reports this week of his grifting, or Zinke or Pruitt, or any other scandals or future indictments. It does not include friends and family of Donald Trump, many of whom likely are being investigated for their conduct. Surely, the “winning” will continue as the Mueller team continues to investigate, indict and prosecute the gaggle of swamp creatures that Trump added to the swamp in the last two years.
Daniel Cotter is a lawyer writing and teaching about SCOTUS, and married father of two boys living in Chicago, Illinois.