They are whooping it up at the Trump-Haters Club, because President Trump will have to pay $2 million in damages to nonprofit groups as a penalty for what can only be called a fraudulent use of his foundation in 2016. As part of the settlement agreement, the President had to admit misusing funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accessing them to assist his campaign, pay off debts of businesses he owned, including Mar-a-Lago and the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, and, as an especially obnoxious move, purchasing a $10,000 portrait of himself to hand in one of his Florida hotels. New York’s Attorney General filed suit accusing the Trump family of using the foundation to benefit various businesses and assist Trump’s presidential run. You can’t use a non-profit like that; this is the kind of scam that got Tom DeLay thrown in prison.
The President admitted that the alleged charity charity gave his campaign complete control over the $2.8 million that the foundation had raised at an Iowa fund-raiser for veterans in January 2016. It was in fact a fund-raiser for the campaign, not veterans.
Yet this is just more evidence of what we already knew, or should have. Donald Trump has the ethics of a street pimp…an unethical street pimp. Not only was this widely known when he ran for President, he didn’t make much of an effort to hide it. As a businessman, his routine has been to see what he could get away with, then deny, fight and delay until the jig is up, and then cut the best deal he can.
I’m sick of explaining this, so I’ll default to the short version: knowing his character flaws and history, the public elected him President anyway. That decision is valid, and must be respected, especially considering the alternative (talk about misusing foundations!) Anything that the President did before he was elected short of a capital crime or treason is irrelevant. Presidents should not be impeached because of their past acts or their revealed character; that is not what the Constitution directs, not what the Founders intended, and not the standard the nation has observed.
When I pointed out the idiocy and corruption indicated by Virginians electing a statutory rapist to the Virginia Senate, perhaps my most Trump-Deranged friend, as I assumed he would, immediately argued that it was hypocritical for me to condemn Joe Morrissey, when I have consistently argued that President Trump’s election demanded a level of support and respect his “sex crimes.” and other unsavory conduct. I told him that when Virginians held “Not my Senator!” protests regarding Morrissey and Virginian Republicans and the news media set out to harass him and obstruct his efforts to do the job he was elected to do, I would take exactly the same position regarding the new state senator that I have with President Trump.
Only leaders of exemplary character should be elected President in a perfect world. The United States has been fortunate to find many leaders who approach that standard; it has also elected quite a few Presidents with deficits of character that approached Donald Trump’s or exceeded them. Some of those Presidents were among our most revered, successful and effective. Character is important; so are results. None of the previous Presidents with hard-wired unethical instincts—I put Wilson, FDR, Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson and Clinton in this category, among others—faced what President Trump has faced from the beginning of his first term. One more piece of evidence that this President is who he is doesn’t change the verdict here that his treatment by his enemies has been unfair, unjust, undemocratic, divisive, and destructive.