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Trump's Political Connections

Though they are out of the limelight because of the recent comeuppances of famous sex predators in politics and entertainment, the indictments of several of Donald Trump’s key campaign personnel have not faded in importance. Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, who functioned as political consultants for the Republican Party, have been accused of serving the interests of major Ukrainian political parties, trying to conceal their actions, and laundering the money gained from this illicit involvement with foreign powers. The law requires American citizens to disclose payments from and service to foreign powers and also any bank accounts held by foreign powers to which they had access. According to federal prosecutors, Manafort and Gates violated all these requirements. Trump maintains that the accusations against his associates are false and persecutory. He has also insisted that he had nothing to do with any of Manafort and Gates’ wrongdoing.

Trump is already under suspicion of collusion with Russia, or of becoming a puppet in the hands of the Russian government. The charges against his associates do not improve his public image. These speculations may appear childishly conspiratorial, but there is ample evidence that suggests an inappropriate connection to his political ties--perhaps even collaboration between the two heads of state. Trump’s choice of cabinet members and federal appointees have demonstrated his lack of respect for transparent government and the principle of meritocracy; it remains to be seen whether his political associations render him a criminal.

- Sam St. John '18