During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidate promised potential voters that he would “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. and “make our government honest once again.”
President Trump is unquestionably the most prolific liar in our presidential history. The Washington Post reported in November 2018 that the president had made more than 6,400 false or misleading claims. That same month CNN reported that Trump did not tell the truth 83 times on one day in October 22, 2018. He is averaging roughly 30 lies a day.
The only way President Trump can make “our government honest once again” is by issuing an Executive Order commanding Webster’s to change the definition of “truth” to that of “lies.”
Mastery of Doublespeak
In effect, Trump has co-opted a page out of George Orwell’s “1984” doublespeak to make a lie the truth and the truth a lie. The president wants only one truth—whatever he says, no matter how bizarre or fantastical, must be accepted as the truth.
As for draining the swamp, Trump and his family, through the Trump Organization, have profited by hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. presidency. The Trump empire has corrupted the American presidency as no other president in modern history has. The entire Trump adult family and their organization are now under at least a half dozen criminal and civil investigations.
Record Setting Corruption
Added to this staggering corrupt and unethical presidential behavior is the fact that five former Trump aides and his personal “fix-it” attorney have pled guilty in federal court to criminal wrongdoing; and at least four of his cabinet appointees have resigned under investigation for either criminal or ethical lapses; and a slew of other Trump administration officials have resigned for a host of potential criminal and conflict of interest issues.
Yet the president is quick, even eager to remind us that his presidency is the “greatest” of all time and there is no scale by which to measure its “greatness;” that he, and only he, has truly made “America great again.”
White Collar Crimes Get Pass, Immigration Crimes Increase
Yet three reports (here, here, and here) issued by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (“TRAC”) point out that white collar crime prosecutions continued to decrease in 2018 under the Trump administration. Simultaneously, while white collar crime prosecutions decreased, the latest TRAC report revealed the federal prosecutions overall have dramatically increased largely driven by immigration-related prosecutions.
For example, in October 2018, Trump’s Justice Department initiated 18,135 new prosecutions—an increase of 6.7 percent over the month of September 2018 and an increase of 57 percent over the October 2017 level of prosecutions. Nearly 70 percent of the more than 18,000 prosecutions in October 2018 were immigration-related.
The total number of federal prosecutions in Fiscal Year 2018 was 165,070—the highest number since 2013 and a 37 percent increase over FY 2017. Roughly 61 percent of the more than 165,000 prosecutions in FY 2018 were immigration-related.
Racism and Xenophobia Dominate Policy
President Donald Trump has a long history of racism and the increased level of federal prosecution of immigration related offenses by Trump appointed U.S. Attorneys is a manifestation of the president’s deeply held personal and political racist views. Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man with a long history of racism himself and one of the earliest supporters of Trump-for-president, was the architect of Trump’s demand that there be increased immigration related prosecutions before he was fired by the president for disloyalty.
The Trump administration, through its Department of Homeland Security, has taken its racist immigration policies so much to the extreme that immigrant children are treated as common criminals. These policies have not only legitimized racism among a disturbing number in the so-called “Trump base” but have also unleashed increasingly violent racial divisions in our society.
1% Loot the Country While Petty Immigration Crimes Take Priority
It is nothing short of tragic that while the bulk of resources for federal prosecutions are being wasted on many immigration related cases, the president himself, his family, his organization, and his white collar criminal friends/associates are being given a collective free pass by Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys. Trump has made it clear that there would have been no indictments of his former aides and associates had he had complete control over the Justice Department—something he is currently working desperately to achieve in order to stave off his own possible criminal indictment.
White collar crime and political corruption will continue to enjoy glorious days so long as Donald J. Trump is president of this country and he keeps the nation racially polarized.