Graft is Grease for the Machinery
Graft is a specific type of corruption whereby an official uses his public stature to gain illegal benefit. For instance, a senator who sits on the armed services committee in the U.S. senate cannot use his knowledge of military contracts to buy stock in a defense contractor’s company. His position gives him unfair advantage over other investors. It is similar to the notion of insider trading in business. A recent example is the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was accused of soliciting cash from suitors in exchange for appointment to an empty senate seat that he controlled.
Fast-forward to slush fund that is the Trump Inaugural Fund. Convict Blagojevich only wanted $50K in exchange for his favoritism — it now seems the “rates” have gone up for Quid-pro-Quo “kickbacks” in the reign of Trump.
A Tennessee real-estate developer who owns the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant site in Alabama reportedly sought help from President Donald Trump’s embattled former personal attorney to get a $5 billion federal loan to complete construction of the nuclear power project.
Franklin Haney, a major donor to President Trump, agreed to pay $10 million to Michael Cohen, Trump’s then-personal attorney, if Cohen successfully helped obtain funding for the plant site, including a huge loan from the Department of Energy (DOE), the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The business tycoon, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, reportedly reached the agreement with Cohen just days before federal agents raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room. After the president’s victory in 2016, Haney donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural fund, even though he had previously been a long-time donor to the Democratic Party.
by Mark Hand, ThinkProgress — Aug 3, 2018
In a by-gone era, before the “Swamp-drainers” came to town — such a blatant exchange would end up with the instigators in the slammer.
In the current day and age, where Trump could sell-off the entire contents of the Lincoln-bedroom, and none of his supporters would mind — such blatant exchanges, have become par for the Trump course.
Afterall, what’s a Million Dollar Kickback really cost you, when Rick Perry at the DOE, will see to it that 5000X that is floated your way from Uncle Sam.
That’s what you call a “smart investment” in the Era of Trump — with the Taxpayers footing the Bill.
Nevermind that Russian
Oligarchs “Businessmen” were told to make use of the very same Inaugural Fund:
Among the previously unreported transactions were payments last year of about $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment firm in New York whose biggest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, the Russian oligarch. A lawyer for Columbus Nova, in a statement on Tuesday, described the money as a consulting fee that had nothing to do with Mr. Vekselberg.
The payments by Columbus Nova occurred between January and August of last year. Andrew Intrater, the company’s American chief executive and Mr. Vekselberg’s cousin, donated $250,000 to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, campaign finance records show. He and Mr. Vekselberg attended the event together and met with Mr. Cohen there, according to a person briefed on the matter. Columbus Nova retained him as a consultant soon afterward.
Perhaps we should start calling it the Trump Inaugural SLUSH Fund — since no serious accounting has been provided by the King of the Grifters himself — for the $100 Million plus that got tossed over his transom.
In a by-gone era, they would have simply called it “paying Tribute” to the Don.
The cost of “doing business” in a time when Law & Order (in the form of Regulations) will be simply thrown out the Trump window. Somewhere on 5th Avenue, their death is not mourned.
[… Elliot] Broidy, once convicted of bribing government officials to enrich his own company, in the position of soliciting giant donations for Republican causes and candidates. The inaugural committee, which is separate from the RNC and the presidential campaign, broke records for fundraising. According to an analysis by the nonpartisan OpenSecrets.org, most of the $107 million raised came from industries that stand to gain from Trump administration priorities.
by Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, wnyc.org — May 25, 2017
Trump’s inaugural committee took $1 million from a Russian-American whose money the GOP rejected
by Max de Haldevang, qz.com — Apr 19, 2017
— more evidence of that Trump Corruption & Graft here —
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Kind of sounds like a winning message to me.
Just call it The Blagojevich Factor — On Steroids.