Oh, for Heaven’s sake!
With the juicy Manafort trial winding down, another long-fingered scandal was whipping up in western New York. Its district congressman, Rep. Chris Collins, the first of his Capitol Hill breed to endorse Donald Trump, was arrested on a charge of insider trading. I’m not that deeply into understanding Wall Street transactions, but the reports seem serious.
In brief, Collins, a rich Republican operative, sits on the board of an Australian drug company that was trying to develop a miracle drug for multiple sclerosis. When Collins was tipped off that the product was a failure without public notice, he hastily called his son and a few others in the immediate clan to dump the stock, thus saving him a fortune when the value collapsed.
That drove another spike into the GOP’s plans to hang onto the U.S. House in November. Collins denies everything, of course, but that case is likely to drag out past the November mid-terms.
Still, it adds to the murky conditions in the swamp that produced others for Trump’s appointments and his family.
And let us not forget that his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen slipped under a blanket of suspicion for alleged tax fraud as probers figure out the next chapter in his empty life as one of the White House tail waggers. That should leave Trump with a clean hand, or Rudy Giuliani would have you think so in his version of the Comedy Hour.
But wait. Forbes Magazine is saying that Wilbur Ross, the wrinkled secretary of commerce who looks like he just stepped out of the pages of Charles Dickens, “could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.”
According to Forbes: “Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern. Many of those who worked directly with his claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary”.
At the time that Trump handed the job to his crony, the President boasted that by hiring a very rich man to oversee the country’s commerce, it was evidence of his own great managerial style.
A cautionary note: If this keeps up, there soon won’t be any grifters or crooks left to run the country.