Although President Donald Trump may have thought that he could get away with wielding baseless allegations of corruption against the Bidens, it’s not happening. Now, the Biden presidential campaign itself has released a comprehensive anti-corruption policy plan that singles out Trump by name as an example of what it’s meant to safeguard against, pointing out that he’s “abused the presidency to enrich himself — spending countless tax dollars at his own properties.” The plan, which Biden would work to enact if elected president, mirrors a comprehensive government ethics reform package that House Democrats passed months ago but Senate Republicans (led by Mitch McConnell) have refused to take up.
Biden’s plan reads, in part:
‘We must elect leaders with integrity, for whom the public interest is paramount. But that’s not enough. We also must strengthen our laws to ensure that no future president can ever again use the office for personal gain.’
To that end, the policy changes that the plan proposes include a constitutional amendment to block private funds from federal elections, replacing them with public financing, and the plan also includes an executive order to block the White House from meddling in federal investigations like Trump has.
By the time the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller came to a close, Trump’s frantic meddling attempts had reached such a fever pitch that there was a whole second volume of the report dedicated to addressing the obstruction. He veered from asking subordinates to kick Mueller out to demanding that the investigation’s scope be limited and more.
The plan from the Biden campaign also addresses one of the most high-profile corruption-related flashpoints of the Trump presidency — his tax returns. Breaking with decades of precedent, Trump has refused to release his tax returns, which would provide a chance to examine the president’s financial ties and see any conflicts of interest. A D.C.-area appeals court ruled last week in favor of a House subpoena demanding the documents, but there’s still a way to go in that case, with options on the table including the Trump team appealing the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
As part of a stated goal to protect against “even the appearance that [presidents’] financial holdings could influence decision-making,” the Biden plan, if enacted, would require every candidate for federal office to release at least ten years of their tax returns. This point also mirrors already ongoing Democratic efforts — recently, California went so far that they passed a law blocking any presidential candidate from their state’s primary election ballots if they don’t release their tax returns. A court case over that law is ongoing.
Other included policy points include a total ban on lobbying by foreign governments.
Biden has faced rounds of criticism from Trump and his cronies for his family’s own supposed corruption, including allegations that he pressured Ukrainian authorities to fire a top prosecutor to protect family financial holdings that prosecutor was supposedly looking into. There’s no evidence of even a shred of impropriety on the former vice president’s part. Meanwhile, Trump administration money keeps suspiciously ending up at Trump-branded properties, and the list goes well on from there…
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