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After it was announced that Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s lawyer and “fixer”, had pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, one count of causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution and implicated Donald Trump in a federal crime saying:
“In coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office, I participated in this conduct…for the principal purpose of influencing the election.”
the same day, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes – five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud, carrying a maximum of 80 years in prison.
Trump is in a very, very bad place and time. History will care about, in a nation committed to the rule of law, the alliance of a campaign manager, a personal lawyer, chief financial officer, journalist/publisher and advisors to the executive branch of government.
Rightfully, none are above the law!
Regardless of the legal jeopardy for Trump, contrast Allen Chastanet, aka Tropical Trump, whose comparable inner circle is the best evidence that ties together the same philosophy of political loyalty and business ventures, harbouring conflict of interest concerns.
There is also a possible twist of fate in questions of election legitimacy in both cases as a result of what is known of Cambridge Analytica/SCL and ongoing external investigations.
Meanwhile, the blatant dishonesty and the culture of untruths [mind bending] contradict the moral authority and legitimacy of the executive branch of governance.
The apparent similarities between Trump and Tropical Trump’s campaign manager, personal lawyer, chief financial officer, journalist/publisher and advisors to both the executive branch of government and the political arm are perhaps the “covfete boys” symbiotic thread that enabled the cast of participants wittingly or unwittingly to become unscrupulous corroborators.
Of course, there’s the operating persistence within the five-year cycle of economic survival, consumed within “a political economy complicit with schemes deceiving the country as to who gets what, when and how”.
After all, whether or not there’s another uncovered scandal and/or separate political questions, these are for a later date. But that does not preclude having some explaining to do, as it pertains to comparable bedfellows.
• Who was the campaign manager for Tropical Trump, including the quality of investment and business transactions Saint Lucia is considering?
• Who is the ‘legal eagle’ for citizenship by investment, Desert Star Holdings, and chairman of the Tourism Authority?
• Who is Tropical Trump’s personal lawyer and God knows what else?
• How come the fearless publisher and his “catch and kill” journalism practice has become a Chastanet sycophant?
At the same time, think Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s chief financial officer who most believe not only know where every financial body is buried but that he still has the picks and shovels at his disposal to deliver the goods to Robert Mueller.
Think of David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer and a longtime friend of Trump, granted immunity and providing investigators with details of the hush-money payouts by his tabloid magazine’s “catch and kill “ journalism to protect Trump from bad publicity.
The principle is simple as in Watergate; follow the money and the conduit that connects the dots and things will arrive at the correct legal conclusion.
In this circumstance, the remaining questions are if Trump is “dirty”, his former campaign chairman has been found guilty, his fixer lawyer has flipped, his chief financial officer and journalist/publisher granted immunity, will others keep the financial books, kinship and loyalty for crooks and stay clean without flipping into Mueller’s net?
“This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping. It almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News.
There is an old folk saying: “There are no facts in Jamaica, only versions.”
Without a Mueller equivalent of an FBI in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean region, it is hard not to be concerned over Tropical Trump’s play of overreach to the immense challenges that lie around irregularities, incompetence and his low level of credibility, not to mention “dump leadership”.
At the very least, it is reasonable to consider that reckoning is at hand for Trump and Tropical Trump, as leaks of insider information and confidential documents constantly qualify that truth and facts triumph “alternative facts” and the misguided notion that “the truth is what you believe the truth to be”, regardless of wild assault and entanglements.
“Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins.” ~ Senator Ted Kennedy
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant, a long-standing senior correspondent and a contributing columnist to Caribbean News Now. His areas of focus include political, economic and global security developments, and on the latest news and opinion. His philanthropic interests include advocating for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality. He contributes to special programming on Radio Free Iyanola, RFI 102.1FM and News Now Global analysis. He can be reached at [email protected]