What must it be like to grow up in a family where the law only applies to other people? To believe that others were just marks to be conned? To believe that winning at any cost was fine no matter the harm? Donald Trump Jr. grew up in that family, and now he is under federal investigation.
The president’s eldest son enjoys hunting. He did not go on this hunt for food. Instead, he took a rifle with a laster into the dark Mongolian night and bagged a rare, endangered sheep. This was how he had fun, felt macho, claimed the trophy. According to The Roll Call, animal conservation activists claim that he may have:
‘[V]iolated a federal wildlife anti-trafficking law when he killed a rare sheep during a recent trip to Mongolia and imported parts of the animal back to the U.S.’
Donald Trump Jr. released a statement fo CQ Roll Call. In it, he claimed that he bought his hunting expedition from a National Rifle Association fundraiser. He said that this was in 2015 and well before his father became president or even announced his candidacy:
‘Mr. Trump paid for his trip to Mongolia on his own, flew commercial and timely applied and secured all required permits through a third party outfitter — as is standard in the industry.’
The allegations have been turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The agency will investigate the charges that Don Jr. killed a rare sheep on this hunting trip into Mongolia. The charges included importing parts of the sheep back to America — all illegal acts.
Roll Call reported this week:
‘[H]e shot and killed an argali sheep without proper permits during a personal trip in August. The Mongolian government issued a permit for hunting the sheep after the fact, and it’s unclear what happened to the animal after it was killed, according to the report.’
Trump’s spokesperson denied the charges related to the hunting permit. The spokesperson claimed that Don Jr. bought his hunting permits through a third-party hunting group.
A letter from The Center for Biological Diversity on December 13, 2019 requested that FWS law enforcement analyze whether the “hunt and retroactive permit” according to Roll Call:
‘[V]iolated any U.S. or Mongolian laws. Under the Lacey Act of 1900, it is illegal to import animal trophies in contravention with foreign laws and individuals found in violation can be subject to fines and prison time.’
The letter also questioned whether there were pending permits for importing parts of the killed animal. The Argali are the largest sheep in nature, and their sheep population is protected in Mongolia under “the Endangered Species Act and a 1975 international treaty governing wildlife trafficking.” The letter continued:
‘We urge you to ensure that the protections in place for argali — including from hunters and poachers — are enforced and special access is not provided for wealthy, white hunters from the West, even if their father is the U.S. president.’
FWS spokeswoman Christina Meister said in a Dec. 16 email that the agency “has received the Center for Biological Diversity’s electronic letter and is in the process of reviewing this matter.”
That was not the only problem Trump’s namesake faced. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in Washington requested records from the Interior Department on Dec. 13. This group asked for “all licenses to import Argali sheep granted to Trump Jr. or Kevin Small, a Republican donor who was reportedly also on the trip.”
CREW also requested information from the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department. These were also related to Don Jr.’s hunt. The organization also asked for “communications between U.S. and Mongolian officials and any costs incurred to taxpayers.”
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.