Trump Considers Abolishing Law Banning Foreign Bribes

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The saga of the Trump administration’s brazen corruption continues. Now, top Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow has seemingly confirmed that the president’s team is considering changes to a 1977 law that forbids U.S. businesses from bribing foreign officials in exchange for business opportunities. Yes — the president who’s been impeached for attempting to bribe a foreign country into investigating his domestic political opponents is considering tearing down at least some legal barriers to those bribes. His global business operations could even directly benefit from the rules change.

On Friday, a reporter asked Kudlow about the administration’s take on that 1977 law, which is called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and Kudlow commented:

‘We are looking at it. I would just say: We are aware of it, we are looking at it, and we’ve heard complaints from some of our companies. I don’t want to say anything definitive policy-wise, but we are looking at it.’

The Trump administration’s treatment of the law is under the microscope thanks to an upcoming new book called A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America, which is authored by reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig. According to Bloomberg’s description, that book “reports that Trump has complained about existing rules, and that he clashed with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in 2017 when Trump pushed to scrap the FCPA.” That’s right — Trump was just trying to throw the law out entirely, which would open up a free-for-all in which companies can bribe whatever foreign leaders they want, presumably.

According to the book, Trump has complained:

‘It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas. We’re going to change that.’

Again — this might be from personal experience. Trump has done business in an array of countries with questionable at best anti-corruption practices, including Russia.

While campaigning for president in 2016, Trump was also pursuing a possible Trump Tower Moscow. Perhaps he wishes that he could have just outright bribed Russian leaders into pushing his plans through? His company was already heading down that path with plans like a penthouse for Vladimir Putin himself in the planned development, which was never actually produced.

Meanwhile, Trump is still hurtling towards his Senate impeachment trial over his Ukraine bribery scheme. The trial’s opening arguments are set to begin early this coming week, and he’s losing it. The other day, he railed on Twitter:

‘Cryin’ Chuck Schumer just said, “The American people want a fair trial in the Senate.” True, but why didn’t Nervous Nancy and Corrupt politician Adam “Shifty” Schiff give us a fair trial in the House. It was the most lopsided & unfair basement hearing in the history of Congress!’

And the posts like that, from the president of the United States, just go on and on.

He also tweeted:

‘Republicans are fighting for citizens from every background, & from every race, religion, color & creed. We are a movement for ALL AMERICANS who believe in fairness & justice, equality & dignity, opportunity & safety. We are a big tent, & a big party, w/ BIG IDEAS for the future!’

That’s just ridiculous. This is coming from the same guy who rose to power on promises like a plan to deport more than ten million people and close the borders to many marginalized groups.