The Great American Heist

Jun 2013
The following are excerpts from Jack Holmes' December 5, 2018 article headlined "The Trump Family Is Strangling the American Republic With Conflicts of Interest" with the subheading "Junior's hydroponic lettuce venture ensures the Great American Heist rolls on."

(Begin excerpts)
....The President of the United States ... has overseen a festival of corruption since entering the White House. Many of our nation's least scrupulous citizens seem to have seen his improbable election as an invitation to smash the glass and grab everything they could. That includes, of course, The Kids.

....the Trump family has mixed their private business interests with public "service," a habit that continually presents conflicts-of-interest and prompts questions about whether American policy is being made to benefit Americans or the Trumps.

The most infamous recent example is "The Moscow Project," which former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty to lying about under oath last week. The Trump Organization pursued a deal for a Trump Tower Moscow through June 2016, not January as Cohen initially lied, and Donald Trump received regular updates on those efforts as he pursued the Republican nomination. This, of course, raises the question of whether Trump's relentless public support for Russia and President Vladimir Putin—who was reportedly set to receive the $50 million penthouse in the new tower, his kickback for supporting the deal—was tied to anything other than putting more money in his own pocket. The Kids were reportedly involved in this one, too. Ivanka Trump recommended an architect.

Ivanka herself has earned some headlines recently for committing the same sins as Hillary Clinton when it comes to email protocol—the kind of rank hypocrisy which no longer resonates at all in our politics. But she also harbors a viper's nest of conflicts-of-interest in her dual role as senior adviser to the president and private businesswoman. Ivanka made $3.9 million off the family's D.C. hotel in 2017, the same hotel that has become the shining beacon of the New Swamp. Foreign dignitaries stay there—and spend their money there—to curry favor with the regime, which is controlled by the hotel's proprietors. In return, these foreign entities hope that American policy is crafted with their interests in mind.

One of the groups spending an awful lot of money at Trump properties is the Saudis. Their relationship goes way back: "In Trump's hard times, a Saudi prince bought a superyacht and hotel from him," according to The Chicago Tribune, and the Saudi government bought $4.5 million apartment from Trump in 2001—but has taken on a new sheen after his election. That same Tribune article tracked how Trump's hotels in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. all saw a significant uptick in Saudi business since he entered the White House. That's just the surface of his dealings with the House of Saud, an arrangement he used to trumpet: "I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much."....

What seems to be developing in the United States isn't that far afield. The president's Cabinet is full of savory characters like Wilbur Ross, who stands accused of stealing $120 million from his business partners over the years. Or there's the various private-jet aficionados like Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of Interior—a department lobbied by Junior's lettuce outfit—who also accused a sitting congressman of being an alcoholic last week and using $50,000 in taxpayer funds to cover it up....

It's the Great American Heist, folks. All that's left to steal is the republic.... (End excerpts)

Source: Donald Trump Jr.'s Investment in Lettuce Company That Sought Federal Government Help Draws Scrutiny