A Handy List (Although He Ran Out of Letters)

Walter Shaub was in charge of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics for 4 1/2 years. He resigned after it was clear our new president had no interest in ethics. Today he listed a few of the president’s offenses:

[By accepting the president’s behavior] Senate Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent that threatens the republic itself. I’m not naive enough to think they would hold Democratic presidents to the low standard they’ve applied to [this bastard], but all future presidents will be able to point to [him] to justify:

a. Soliciting foreign attacks on our elections;

b. Using federal appropriations or other resources to pressure foreign governments to help them win reelection;

c. Implementing an across-the-board refusal to comply with any congressional oversight at all;

d. Firing the heads of the government’s top law enforcement agencies for allowing investigations of the president;

e. Retaliating against whistleblowers and witnesses who testify before Congress;

f. Investigating investigators who investigate the president;

g. Attempting to retaliate against American companies perceived as insufficiently supportive of the president;

h. Attempting to award the president’s own company federal contracts;

i. Using personal devices, servers or applications for official communications;

j. Communicating secretly with foreign leaders, with foreign governments knowing things about White House communications that our own government doesn’t know;

k. Abandoning steadfast allies abruptly without prior warning to Congress to cede territory to Russian influence;

l. Destroying or concealing records containing politically damaging information;

m. Employing white nationalists and expressing empathy for white nationalists after an armed rally in which one of them murdered a counter protester and another shot a gun into a crowd;

n. Disseminating Russian disinformation;

o. Covering for the murder of a journalist working for an American news outlet by a foreign government that is a major customer of the president’s private business;

p. Violating human rights and international law at our border;

q. Operating a supposed charity that was forced to shut down over its unlawful activities;

r. Lying incessantly to the American people;

s. Relentlessly attacking the free press;

t. Spending 1/4 of days in office visiting his own golf courses and 1/3 of them visiting his private businesses;

u. Violating the Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution;

w. Misusing the security clearance process to benefit his children and target perceived enemies;

x. Drawing down on government efforts to combat domestic terrorism in order to appease a segment of his base;

y. Refusing to aggressively investigate and build defenses against interference in our election by Russia, after the country helped him win an election;

z. Engaging in a documented campaign of obstruction of a Special Counsel’s investigation.

aa. Lying about a hush money payoff and omitting his debt to his attorney for that payoff from his financial disclosure report (which is a crime if done knowingly and willfully).

bb. Coordinating with his attorney in connection with activities that got the attorney convicted of criminal campaign finance violations;

cc. Interfering in career personnel actions, which are required by law to be conducted free of political influence;

dd. Refusing to fire a repeat Hatch Act offender after receiving a recommendation of termination from the president’s own Senate-confirmed appointee based on dozens of violations;

ee. Calling members of Congress names and accusing them of treason for conducting oversight;

ff. Attacking states and private citizens frequently and in terms that demean the presidency (see Johnson impeachment);

gg. Using the presidency to tout his private businesses and effectively encouraging a party, candidates, businesses and others to patronize his business;

hh. Causing the federal government to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at his businesses and costing the American taxpayers well over $100 million on boondoggle trips to visit his properties;

ii. Hosting foreign leaders at his private businesses;

jj. Calling on the Justice Department to investigate political rivals;

kk. Using the presidency to endorse private businesses and the books of various authors

ll. Engaging in nepotism based on a flawed OLC opinion;

mm. Possible misuse of appropriated funds by reallocating them in ways that may be illegal;

nn. Repeatedly criticizing American allies, supporting authoritarian leaders around the world, and undermining NATO; and

oo. etc.

… This is only what [he] did while the remote threat of Congressional oversight existed. If the Senate acquits him, he will know for certain there is nothing that could ever lead to Congress removing him from office.


Assuming he’s acquitted, he’ll know he can get away with even more. In other words, stay away from Fifth Avenue.