Syndicate: a group of individuals or organizations combined to promote some common interest.
For the 2016 Presidential Election, a number of well-placed individuals committed to support a self-obsessed, chronic publicity-hound, businessman of questionable repute, Donald J. Trump, and his bid to become the 45th President of the United States. This syndicate was not only committed, but was not above ‘doing whatever it takes’ to win, just like their candidate. And they did do whatever it took, and they did win. Improbably, Donald Trump became the U.S. President.
America has not been the same since. The changes wrought by Donald Trump and his closest advisors and backers, backed by the Republican Lawmakers who control both Houses of Government, to the Country, and its dealings with the rest of the World, have not been for the better.
The governing of America since that fateful day, has been the closest thing to a crime syndicate taking over. Donald Trump and his backers have the same ideals of cronyism, goals of self-enrichment at the public’s cost, conspicuous lack of ethics and morality, disdain for public and environmental protection, the lack of respect for all things lawful and decent, and the swagger and hubris that goes with gangsterism.
But almost form the very first days of this ill-fated Presidency, the long arm of the law started to reach out and touch the most prominent individuals of this syndicate.
As questions began to arise about the shockingly close and questionable relationships of the President and his men to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and some of his officials like the Russian Ambassador to the U.S., and other prominent Russian officials and businessmen, the lies to deny such relationships began to pile up in earnest by Donald Trump, his family, and his closest associates.
With Donald Trump’s administration bald-faced lying became their defining characteristic, above all else, and it literally started on the very first day, with a silly thing like the size of the inauguration crowd. But it didn’t stop there. Daily lying is still the prime calling card of Donald Trump, and most of his closest aides and supporters, and that has further damaged the already deteriorated image of a tainted America that was just starting to heal from all the lying and falsehoods of the disastrous two terms of the George W. Bush’s administration that had left America discredited globally, and its economy in a death spiral in 2008.
But as is supposed to be in the World’s foremost country and its most prominent democracy, the eviscerated vestiges of its institutions withstood the daily assaults by Donald Trump and his enablers, which by now included the vast majority of the Republicans, and improbably, the long arm of the law reached out, and the slow wheels of Justice started to turn, and Donald Trump’s closest advisors started to fall.
One of the first was General Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, for lying to the FBI, among other things. Soon others were being indicted from the inner circle, and the lying and denying in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary became the most common thread in most of the alleged crimes.
Under the scrutiny and questioning of the Prosecutors most of the accused buckled quickly and pleaded guilty, while agreeing to cooperate with them in their larger investigation into Russia’s role in manipulating the 2016 election to damage Hillary Clinton and make Donald Trump the next U.S. President.
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager, didn’t buckle but held out and fought the charges brought against him in Court. Yesterday, August 21, 2018, he was found guilty on eight (8) of the charges brought against him on banking and tax fraud, while 10 charges were declared mistrials as the Jury could not come to a decision on them. But Paul Manafort’s trials are not over yet. He is going to be tried on even more serious charges of money laundering and conspiracy later this year.
At almost the same time, and on the same day, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer pleaded guilty to breaking election finance laws, and misusing funds to influence the 2016 election by paying off two women that alleged that Donald Trump had sexual relations with them. The monies paid these women were ‘hush monies’ to keep them from disclosing the affairs prior to the election day.
Michael Cohen not only pleaded guilty but stated, perhaps more damningly, that he was directed to make those payments ‘by the 2016 election Candidate running for Federal Office’ - in other words by Donald Trump, now the President.
Donald Trump has consistently denied every wrong-doing he has been accused of, and when caught by evidence to the contrary, he has changed his story, more than once. It is his particular M.O. (modus operandi), and no doubt he will deny this too.
But the law is closing in, and the men closest to him have been falling, and are pleading guilty to numerous crimes. In their various testimonies to the investigators are details that are getting close to Donald Trump’s affairs (pardon the pun). And today, his closest confidant, his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, implicated Donald Trump directly by stating that he was directed by his client the 'candidate', Donald Trump, to make illegal payments to two women as hush money, thereby breaking Federal Law.
This testimony by Michael Cohen has opened the door to Donald Trump himself and one can bet the long arm of the law is already reaching in.