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Op-Ed: Indictment of Trump’s inner circle plus GOP reps jumping ship equal bad news

BY STATE SENATOR JAMES SANDERS, JR.

There was more grave news for the White House this week as the President’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign official Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury. The charges stem from an investigation that was launched by special counsel Robert Mueller, into whether Trump associates were involved in Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.

The 12-count indictment is on “conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.”

This type of behavior by senior officials should give everyone pause. It brings back memories of Watergate and the Iran Contra Affair, which of both occurred under Republican presidents I might add.

Trump has consistently denied that Russia played any role in swinging the 2016 presidential election in his favor and blamed the claim on an alleged plot cooked up by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Trump is still sticking with that story, tweeting on Oct. 29, 2017: “The Dems are using this terrible (and bad for our country) Witch Hunt for evil politics, but the R’s … are now fighting back like never before. There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!” 

However, based on these latest charges against Trump’s inner circle, it looks like he may be caught up in another lie. If more charges are forthcoming, and it is likely that they will be, it could shake the very core of the American presidency.

That’s probably the worst gray cloud hovering over the White House right now, but it’s not the only one.

You know you’re a bad Republican president when GOP senators can’t stand to work with you, so much so that they don’t even want to run for re-election. That is the case with Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. He is not going to run in 2018 and will call it quits when his term is up in 2019.  Flake publicly said: “I just can’t continue with this kind of politics. I couldn’t go on and run the kind of campaign that I wanted to run and win in this kind of Republican Party. He also stated that many more Republican senators would be following his lead.

That’s bad news for Trump. But he’s so busy calling people names and tweeting that maybe he won’t notice. Trump recently targeted GOP Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, whom he tweeted “couldn’t get elected dog catcher” in his own state. Like Flake, Corker has also decided not to run for re-election. Trump alleges it’s because he didn’t endorse him the last time around. Corker, of course, refutes that. He fired back, telling CNN of Trump: “I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth telling, just the name-calling … I think the debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for, and that’s regretful.”

How is Trump going to “make America great again,” if he can’t even unite his own party, never mind the rest of the nation.

GOP representatives, or Democrats for that matter, abandoning ship is unprecedented and something that I have not seen at the national level. This is not something we do as politicals. Ideally, you want to bring together the best people from both political parties so they can have a lively discussion where the best ideas win. It is very sad for our country when you have a situation that is so toxic that modern disagreements are seen as heresy.

On the local level, I hope that we can learn from these bad examples set forth by the GOP and that they may be used to unite Democrats and perhaps start a grass roots movement that spreads across the country.

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