Holy shit, it gets more insane every single day, in every single way that corruption can bloom from the mind of Trump. This time, he is instructing the Commerce Department to help a Chinese phone maker found guilty of violating U.S. sanctions and lying in the investigation to “get back into business, fast.” By “get back into business fast” he means no fine.
Dear reader, this was no minor violation. This company sold phones in North Korea and Iran in blatant violation of international and United States’ sanctions (imposed due to their commitment to obtaining nuclear weapons). The violation of international and U.S. law resulted in the Commerce Department imposing a $1.9 billion penalty.
Hear me, this is not a reversal of an Obama Commerce Department finding. We of course expect Trump to reverse anything done under the Obama administration out of pure, unbridled, personal hatred of Obama, screw the United States’ interests. No, this particular penalty was imposed by Trump’s own Commerce Department. That particular detail tells me that someone got to Trump (or Jared, since he’s family) and made a “deal,” to get out of this significant penalty.
Trump is supposed to be about “United States, first.” Yet, we know where that penalty would have gone. It would have gone into the United States treasury both to assist companies hurt by the violation, and into the general fund. Umm, $1.9 billion is a lot of money, even these days. To give you an idea, the military budget alone is somewhere near $700 billion. The fine could have gone to any program, and would significantly add to the treasury, or significantly help pay down Chinese debt, the service of interest being a massive hit to U.S. spending.
But, in this matter, Trump chose “China first.” The direct quote from Trump: “Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” Does that sound like United States, first? Of course not.
The real problem is that we’re to the point now that we can safely assume that this decision springs from a “Trump first, and last, and only,” policy. We just sort of know that someone got to Trump, either through Cohen, or a well-disguised “donation” to the Trump Campaign, or the purchase of some Trump property, or something.
Similarly, he will not enforce sanctions upon Russia that the Senate voted 96-2 to impose. Here, he will not enforce a penalty that his own damn Commerce Department investigated and imposed out of a belief that the company deserved the penalty, and to send a message to other companies that might consider blatant violations of U.S. sanctions. He doesn’t give a shit about the law. He is a dictator, and must be stopped.
We just know, that if we knew the entire root of this decision, it would send a shock wave across the nation, a wake-up call that could not be ignored. Unfortunately, these companies and Trump are awfully good at hiding these deals. Fortunately, people like Robert Mueller are getting ever better at rooting them out.