Just when you thought the Trump administration might be running out of ways to prove corrupt in office, something like this story rolls out. Following the revelation that Vice President Mike Pence stayed at a Trump-branded resort while in Ireland for two nights recently — and taking meetings some 180 miles away from his Trump-profiting accommodations — leading Democratic presidential primary candidate and Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined the fray demanding answers.
She’s seeking details about the trip from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, telling him in a letter:
‘This transaction — another example of what appears to be open corruption in this administration — deepens my concerns about the ongoing ethics issues related to the President’s continued financial relationship with the Trump Organization and the abuse of taxpayer funds to enrich the President and his family through their business interests.’
She wants details including any awareness inside the State Department of an at one time claimed but since denied suggestion from President Donald Trump himself for Pence to stay at the Ireland property with his name on it. She’s also seeking details about the costs of Pence’s time there and how it compares to what he could have saved by staying even in the general area of where his meetings actually were, and she wants to review any and all available pieces of communication between staff at the State Department and those working for Pence about the vice president’s recent trip, including those covering any ethics review process. It’s Pence’s own chief of staff who initially claimed Trump’s suggestion had helped spark his boss staying at Trump Doonbeg.
Warren is far from the only one seeking answers about this situation. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s top Democrat Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.) wrote directly to Pence himself to demand information about what went on, including a cost analysis similar to what Warren is after. Led by Democrats, the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees are also seeking their own crops of information about the incident.
There’s not any particularly compelling indication at present that Trump administration officials will actually go along with any of these demands for information. Trump’s personal assertion that he would fight “all the subpoenas” still hangs definitely heavy over the situation, and there’s a definite precedent for deflection established via the many times Trump officials have even defied subpoenas.
They have what some would call a good reason for the deflection, considering the continued wide scope of their corruption. Just recently, Trump himself kickstarted an outlandish push to host the next G7 summit of world leaders at a resort branded with his own name down in Florida. That would entail the sitting president of the United States financially profiting big time from what’s supposed to be a relatively unbiased forum for the examination of world events, even though he made a show of trying to unceremoniously claim otherwise. That’s not supposed to happen!
Trump has not financially divested from his businesses, despite the precedent of other presidents taking similar moves.
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