Tag:Trade Talks

Trump Committs SEC Violation: Lies About Call With China

File this under “Of course he did.” If you recall, last week at the G7 meetings in France, Trump told reporters that Chinese officials had “reached out to him” to “ask that trade negotiations be re-opened” and that it would happen soon. “They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it,” Trump said. “This is a very positive development for the world. I think we are going to have a deal.” Of course he did. I am sure you know what is coming … Shortly after, Chinese officials said they had no idea what the president* was talking about and there had been no high-level calls. It seemed to be just another lie from a guy who would tell you it’s sunny outside during a hurricane. So, yes, he lied. Right. How is that any different than any other lie? It is different when one adds this salient fact: . CNN reported this week that Trump’s “aides privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn’t happen the way he said they did. Instead, two officials said Trump was eager to project optimism that might boost markets.” He lied to project optimism to “boost markets”? That is a crime. Uttering a lie with the intent to manipulate market prices is, indeed, an SEC violation that carries severe penalties. market manipulation is “intentional conduct designed to deceive investors by controlling or artificially affecting the market,” I realize that we are now reporting the second crime that we believe Trump might have committed this week, second to the release of possible classified materials for his own purposes, not properly “declassified.” So, it is not “shocking” that we are reporting that Trump committed a crime. But let yourself be shocked, because Presidents generally know that their statements move markets and are thus “generally” very cautious about making any statement at all, let alone lie, to boost markets. As Rawstory notes, the trouble with these types of crimes is that it is difficult to detect intent to manipulate the markets. Except, this time, his aides simply told CNN that he did, in fact, lie in order to boost the markets. That’s it, that’s a crime. I realize that it is near impossible to track each and every crime Trump commits. Indeed, Dahlia Lithwick at Slate has an impressive run down of each impeachable offense Trump committed just this last week. Yet, just as Lithwick notes, just because it is near impossible, doesn’t mean we should ignore each and every crime. If one were to consider, again, the articles of impeachment against the three sitting presidents who have historically faced impeachment proceedings, not only has Trump clearly achieved all of them—he actually now achieves most of them in under a week. Exactly. We should not sit on our hands and shake our heads, wishing there was just something we could do about it. We should demand action from the one person who could actually ‘do something about it,” Nancy Pelosi. And Nancy Pelosi still believes that it is wrong to go forward on an impeachment inquiry because “the public doesn’t support impeachment.” Which “public,” Speaker Pelosi? Regardless, keep tabs, we have to. Because the crime above? The SEC violation? It didn’t even make Dahlia Lithwick’s list. […]

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