Ever since Donald Trump left office, Republican lawmakers have been trying to give us their best Trump impersonations. These are startling bizarre. Take Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) screaming at the C-PAC convention “Freedom!” It was a double bad imitation, one of 45 and Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart. It was just the beginning of disturbing.
The ex-president could lie, cheat, steal with impunity, and even get away with trying to overthrow the U.S. government. But the Republicans should take a page from Cruz and realize that they just cannot do a reasonable Trump impression. Of course, they will try anyway and fail miserably. We discover that Representative Steven Palazzo (R-MS) has been trying to misuse his campaign and official funds. Just now, we find that Trump took $3.5 million out of his campaign funds to finance the Stop the Steal insurrection on the Capitol. Republicans cannot reach Master Level unethical.
You sir, Mr. Palazzo are no Donald Trump. The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) has finished a report on the Mississippi representative. It found he not only misused his campaign funds but also used his office to help out his brother. That is in direct violation of the House of Representatives’ rules.
Palazzo used these funds to ready a riverfront property for sale. He even asked his office staffers to run personal errands for him and work on his campaign. Not only that, he even called the assistant secretary of the Navy to help his brother reenlist.
The representative called the riverfront property his headquarters. Coincidentally, or not, Palazzo charged the exact amount as his mortgage, insurance, and tax payment. He said:
‘[It was] during a time of personal financial stress.’
OCE’s report indicated, according to The Washington Post:
‘[There was] limited evidence of campaign use of the property, especially to justify $60,000.00 in rent and thousands of dollars of additional charges to maintain the home and improve its marketability.’
Palazzo came up with an LLC for his “single owner, investment property management company.” He bought this home from his parents in 2017 and tried to sell it, but had to lower the price by $200,000. It sold in 2019.
His campaign financed expenses:
‘That included the $60,000 on rent, $11,348 on utilities, $1,523 on plumbing, $6,325 on landscaping, $690 on cleaning, $1,301 on HVAC maintenance, $214 on pest control, and $960 on a security camera system.’
The representative forced his office staff to work on the house project-managing maintenance and the sale. He even made them send care packages to his kids when they were away from home.
Finally, the OCE reported Palazzo asked a veterans affairs caseworker in his district to assist his brother Kyle Palazzo reenlist in the Navy. Apparently, unethical behavior runs in the family. This even though, The Y’All Politics reported:
‘[The brother] was separated from the Navy for affecting a fraudulent enlistment.’
Ethics panel Chairman Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) and the ranking Republican, Representative Jackie Walorski (IN) released a joint statement:
‘The Committee notes that the mere fact of conducting further review of a referral, and any mandatory disclosure of such further review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.’
The former caseworker said:
‘[S]he did not think it was proper for Rep. Palazzo to assist him in this manner since she did not believe Rep. Palazzo would do so for other similarly situated constituents.’
Spokesperson for Palazzo Colleen Kennedy said:
‘[This was a] direct result of false allegations made by a primary opponent and the Campaign Legal Center. [Payments were] appropriately and legally [used].’
‘Congressman Palazzo welcomes the opportunity to work through this process with the House Committee on Ethics and will fully cooperate with the Committee to show that he has complied with all relevant rules and standards.’
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.