It is said that one should never shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, for that could cause a stampeded and injurer or possibly kill innocent people. Yet this tactic in the principle sense is used all of the time by men of power or seeking power in order to manipulate society to get what they want regardless of who they hurt, or to deceive people in order to cover their own actions with a coating of “legality”.
Laundering money in order to evade paying taxes or other laws is a well-known issue among businessmen and those particular individuals and groups of people who are inclined to financial crimes.
Money laundering can take many forms. Grocery stores, for example, were used by Sicilians, Arabs, Turks, and Jews and still are for this purpose because profits as well as losses can be manufactured due to the perishable nature of foodstuffs. Buying real estate or large tracts of land is a favored tactic of wealthy Asians, especially Chinese and Koreans. Using precious metals, rare-earth elements, or gift cards to transfer wealth is favored by Indians and Pakistanis. Africans are known to use gold or diamonds to do this. Wealthy people in America and western Europe, especially Anglos, Germans, and Jews, are known for using complex corporate structures in combinations with real estate or other kinds of businesses, such as “consulting,” to launder money. While fraud and the ability to commit fraud by a particular means, there are certain types that tend to appear in certain cultures and groups.
Trump is lauded for being a “knowledgeable” businessman, but how knowledgeable is he, especially considering that most of this “investments” tend to fail miserably. Trump’s family wealth appears to have come originally from wealth earned by prostitution rings operated by his grandfather. Since income earned by way of prostitution is notoriously illegal, such income is frequently laundered.
Now there have been accusations made against Trump for many things, such as “racism” or “Russia involvement,” both of which are things that are what he wants because they are a distraction from his personal failure to live up to his promises as well as his own personal financial misconduct using his series of companies as a shield, never minding the infamous Epstein scandal that was quickly closed and forced into oblivion from public view.
Trump is known for being a hotel owners, and as noted above, property can be a front for business fraud. One of the most common ways to do this is to say that there are “rooms” which are booked or events booked and paid for, but nobody is attending them. The Chinese are known to do this not only in the Western world, but also overseas with the creation of entire cities that are inhabited by no one. These kinds of modernesque “Potemkin villages” are meant to show off Chinese “prosperity” when they are really a cover for financial fraud or an economy that is not healthy.
According to a recent report from Politico, House investigators are looking into allegations that Trump may have received bribes or other financial gifts from various groups who tried to ingratiate themselves to current President Trump by booking rooms at his hotels but never staying in them.
“Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a House Oversight Committee member who chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Trump’s hotel in Washington. “That was the risk from day one — foreign governments and others trying to seek favor because we know Trump pays attention to this…. It’s an obvious attempt to curry favor with him.”
The investigation began after the committee received information that two entities — a trade association and a foreign government — booked a large quantity of rooms but only used a fraction of them, according to a person familiar with the allegation who isn’t authorized to speak for the committee. (source)
If Trump was caught doing this, then it is a huge blow to him, his campaign, and what he has left of his image. Much of his base has already been eroded, and many who remain are genuine believers in that in spite of the clear issues that Trump has, they continue to support him.
Trump came into office saying that he would “drain the swamp,” for those who remember, referring to the political corruption endemic within Washington. Now while some deals considered financially unethical may not be immoral, the issue here is one of principle and not Republican or Democrat, because while it is not unknown for politicians to use their positions of power to get special advantages for themselves that are not afforded to the general public, the public- which is becoming poorer, unhappier, and just overall more miserable with each year -who voted for Trump did so on the promise that he would attempt to make conditions better for the US.
Likewise, there is the issue of money laundering itself, which while the poor man or foreigner may be accused of it, many wealthy individuals are allowed to legally abscond with said funds. Consider that for all of his crime, the infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone was not arrested for his objective criminal actions, he was arrested for tax evasion.
“The unifying theme of congressional investigations is examining the president’s abuse of his office and his power to advance his personal political agenda and his goal of financial self- enrichment,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the House Oversight Committee.
Trump has faced criticism for not fully separating from his namesake company after he was sworn into office. The president still owns his business but placed his holdings in a trust designed to hold assets for his benefit. He can receive money from the trust at any time without the public’s knowledge.
“Potential violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution are of grave concern to the Committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment,” wrote Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Oversight Committee and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Trump is already facing numerous lawsuits that he violated the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign officials at his resorts and hotels. this comes at a time when it has been reported that revenue increased at many of the resorts Trump visited in 2018, even as Trump’s overall income dipped slightly from $450 million in 2017 to $434 million in 2018. Trump has also in spite of promised refused to turn over tax information and has worked to obscure his investment connections with Deutsche Bank, who is a regular client of Saudi Arabia.
It is true that “Democrats” are leading these charges, and there is much hypocrisy that can be referenced in this. However, this is not a Democrat or Republican issue, but a principle issue.
The question ultimately is simple- was Trump laundering money or not? And it is highly difficult to say that “Trump didn’t know” if is was to be caught because he is so invested into his own properties.
It is not as though knowing if he did this or not at the current time will change the likely political trajectories, and barring a major reason, one should not expect it to. Rather, if this is true, it should be a reminder that the political system is not going to help generally change the country at this point, and instead of worrying about who did or should have done something, to mark it down into the annals of history and use it as a reminder for why one needs to prepare himself for the future to help himself and those near to him.