Last night an international consortium of journalists published the Paradise Papers, which included evidence that a number of members of the Donald Trump administration have secret financial ties to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Now multiple sources are suddenly pointing to anywhere from one to six resignations forthcoming – and some of the names are very high profile in nature.
The Paradise Papers exposed evidence that Donald Trump’s Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, his Ambassador to Russia Jon Hunstman, and others in the administration have secret financial ties to Russia, which they’ve tried to disguise along the way. Now today there are reports that both of them could resign, along with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
Here’s how political insider and MSNBC guest commentator Scott Dworkin has framed the matter today: “I’ve received reports today saying DeVos, Huntsman, Ross, Sessions, Tillerson & Zinke are resigning for ties to Russia &/or for corruption.” (link). But he’s not the only source talking resignations today. The news outlet Salon is reporting today that Betsy DeVos is expected to resign due to what her allies categorize as frustration with the Secretary of Education bureaucracy (link), in what could simply be an excuse to bail on the job before things get scandalous.
Jeff Sessions has been caught telling several lies about the campaign’s involvement with Russia. Ryan Zinke is caught up in the chartered flight scandal which has already led to the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price. Rex Tillerson has long been rumored to be on his way out, both due to his frustration on the job, and his “moron” debacle with Donald Trump. If any one of these six resignations takes place, in the context of how weak and scandalized Trump already is, it could be a bodyblow to him. If several resignations do indeed take place, it could be the ballgame.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report