Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

Trumpian legacy

The Gift that Keeps Giving

Like an oozing sore that won’t heal, the cost to taxpayers of trump’s legacy lives on while Republican hypocrisy about wasteful spending by Democrats has raised the practice of gall to a high art.
Let me count the ways that trump bilked America. GOP King trump racked up bills of around $144 million for his many golf outings, he profited mightily by renting out his Washington, D.C., hotel to foreign dignitaries, and he used his significant political muscle to strongarm the Republican National Committee to cover up to $1.6 million in trump’s personal legal bills from ongoing investigations that focus on his private business practices. Opposition by Republicans was the sound of one hand clapping, the silence was deafening.
Now we get the first tally of $3.8 million in costs so far racked up by special counsel John Durham who was hired in the spring of 2019, during the waning days of the trump rule, to probe special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into trump and possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mueller’s investigation ultimately cost just under $32 million over two years. Durham’s probe is ongoing and the final costs are sure to be very high.
Trump and his lemmings consistently labeled the Muller probe as a politically motivated, witch hunt. By the time Muller wrapped up his investigation , he had charged 34 people, including top officials in the trump administration and 26 Russian nationals. As of November, Durham had secured single-count indictments against two Americans for making a false statement, and a five-count false statement indictment against a Russian national.
Trump Attorney General William P. Barr first asked Durham to review the FBI investigation into Russian connections. Barr designated Durham as special counsel in October 2020, protecting the probe from any potential change in political leadership and required the submission of a final report that could be made public.
Durham has so far charged two people with lying to the FBI. Michael Sussmann has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he lied about his ties to the Democrats when he looked into possible connections between a Russia-based bank and a computer linked to the trump organization.
A second indictment alleges that Igor Danchenko, an analyst who was a key source for a 2016 dossier of allegations about Trump, had lied to the FBI about where and how he got information. Danchenko also has pleaded not guilty.
Mueller’s probe led to convictions or guilty pleas of 34 people and three companies, including top advisers to President Trump, Russian spies and hackers with ties to the Kremlin. The charges range from interfering with the 2016 election and hacking emails to lying to investigators and tampering with witnesses. Among those charged were trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort; Michael Flynn, trump’s former national security advisor; trump confidant, Roger Stone; and trump’s fixer, Michael Cohen.

You tell me which probe was a witchhunt.
It reminds me of another GOP led, political multi-million dollar boondoggle, in the name of the so-called investigations into the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Republicans in their anger hoped to pin the blame on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Talk about a witchhunt. The investigations concluded in 2016, costing about $7 million. The investigations did not suggest that Clinton was personally responsible for or could have prevented the attack.
The latest trumpian shenanigans involve the reported agreement to sell the lease for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., to CGI Merchant Group of Miami, Fla., for $375 million. One good thing about the sale of the lease is that the Miami group is expected to remove the trump name from the building.
The hotel is on the site of the Old Post Office building and is owned by the federal government. The Trump Organization in 2012 won approval to redevelop the site and leased it from the General Services Administration which will now consider whether to approve the new lease. Can anyone spell conflict?
As far as trump and golfing, a website, trumpgolfcount.com, tracks the faux golfer’s activities. The site says that Trump spent 127 days golfing at his Mar a Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Fla. The cost of 31 flights by Air Force One to Mar a Lago, $60,138,000. He was at his Bedminster course on 86 days and the federal government paid $23,515,500 for Air Force One flights to the course.
The government spent $25,458,300 in security costs during golf trips to Bedminster and West Palm Beach; cost to guard coast off Mar-a-Lago, $29,972,000; luxury car rental at trump’s course in Turnberry, Scotland, $1,260,139; costs to stay at the Turnberry course, $68,800; and the federal government paid $3.6 million for stays at trump’s course in Doonbeg, Ireland.
The grand total of costs passed on to taxpayers so the man with bad hair could have fun golfing: $144,012,739. Wow.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store