Let others wallow in Watergate, we are going to do our job.”–Richard Nixon, July, 1973
We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.–Leona Helmsley
I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?–Donald Trump, Jan 23, 2016
Does every lobbyist in the Capitol launder money, cheat on taxes, and expect to go unpunished. “How do they get away with it?,” I wondered. I found that I wasn’t the only one to wonder. Jesse Eisinger addressed this question in The NY Times.
Trump has consistently telegraphed his crimes:
- Doesn’t release tax returns.
- Don’t look at my finances.
- My family is off limits.
- Don’t question my lawyer.
- If not collusion with Russia, then there is nothing to see.
Could all these clues have been overlooked?
Why is Donald Trump so obsequious toward V. Putin? Is it as alleged, that Trump has been laundering money for Russian oligarchs for decades? How could that have gone unnoticed?
Eisinger gives some answers; he writes:
The answer is more disturbing than the questions: We don’t know. We don’t know because the cops aren’t on the beat. Resources have been stripped from white-collar enforcement. The F.B.I. shifted agents to work on international terror in the wake of Sept. 11. White-collar cases made up about one-tenth of the Justice Department’s cases in recent years, compared with one-fifth in the early 1990s. The I.R.S.’s criminal enforcement capabilities have been decimated by years of budget cuts and attrition. The Federal Election Commission is a toothless organization that is widely flouted.
Still it is astonishing if neither the FEC, SEC, IRS, nor any of our vaunted intelligence agencies had no inkling of money laundering and tax evasion by Trump, Manafort, Cohen, and uncounted others.