As President Trump visits Asia for the next week, we are dealing with his choices of officials back in the United States. At the end of October, indictments were issued against Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, a guilty plea by George Papadopoulos was announced and there are reports of a Michael Flynn indictment being in the pipeline.
As the extensive connections from these government officials are uncovered, the questions arise: what is the extent of these men’s deeds and how does this, in turn, affect Trump’s standing? The indictments are not light accusations. The government charged Manafort and Gates on a total of twelve counts, primarily related to two issue. The first issue is money laundering, and the second is neglecting to inform the U.S. government of these interactions with said foreign countries through the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
The publicized indictment papers describe in precise detail Paul Manafort and Richard Gates’ work experiences over in Ukraine. Charging the men for “acting as unregistered agents” for Ukraine’s government, the indictment specifically details how Manafort and Gates “generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work” and then proceeded to “hide the existence of the foreign companies and bank accounts, falsely and repeatedly reporting to their tax preparers and to the United States that they had no foreign bank accounts.”
As for Michael Flynn, despite an indictment not physically written out for him, he is in much the same trouble. The investigations by Robert Mueller expand to all government officials and this includes Flynn, as the former national security adviser, even though he was already removed from his position. Flynn is also in hot water for his interaction with Israel and Egypt as he worked to get nuclear reactors for them.
With Robert Mueller’s investigations following both men so carefully, I’m not sure how Manafort and Flynn expected to avoid being caught after lying that often. They remind me of Scooby Doo villains after they have been unmasked. They just stand there with a net over their head, appalled at being caught and mutter “I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for your meddling investigations.”
With these indictments and the surrounding speculations, the American people have much to be concerned with. Our government officials have been playing in multiple arenas around the world. It seems like Manafort and Flynn decided to work against their country’s best interests and work alongside some troublesome people doing questionable jobs for their own monetary gains and increased hierarchical positions. This, in turn, makes trouble for President Trump, who hired them in the first place.
So, what does this do for President Trump himself? President Trump has been seen distancing himself from both Manafort and Flynn and leaving them to fight their own battles. For the President to turn on his own men to keep own skin safe is troubling and begs the question of what else he’ll let happen.
The speculations don’t stop at these officials though. President Trump’s own family are now getting dragged into this with Donald Jr. drawing attention to himself from his June 2016 meetings with Russian officials. Many analysts are beginning to wonder if President Trump will also get into trouble seeing that it is questionable that Manafort and Flynn worked solo in these external affairs.
With so much division within the White House, what does this mean for America? We are losing trust in the personnel running our governments. Lies and deceit are not great attributes to run a country through. That said, it is unclear how the Mueller investigation will proceed. But one thing is certain: if there are many more indictments, we may eventually have a more empty white house.