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Blog Post | December 1, 2020

It Will Take Years To Recover From Trump's Historic Corruption

Congressional OversightEthics in Government
It Will Take Years To Recover From Trump's Historic Corruption

The 45th President of the United States was the most corrupt and dangerous in our history. Prior to setting his sights on the White House, Donald Trump was a failed wannabe real-estate tycoon who parlayed his braggadocious public persona into a television and branding deal that barely kept his business afloat, all the while cheating on his taxes, short-shrifting workers and contractors, and demonstrating open, ugly defiance of any law or social compact in existence. Having profited so handsomely from a governing status quo indifferent to elite lawbreaking, it is hardly a surprise that his presidency has been dedicated to further entrenching this unjust reality. 

In an election between two historically unpopular nominees, Trump barely scraped into an electoral college victory. He proceeded to spend four years looting the federal government and systematically destroying any of its protections against social injustice or corporate power. His lawlessness, cravenness, and wanton destruction of our economy and planet have been ably documented by dedicated journalists — yet surely, there is still more corruption and social devastation that was simply never reported or found while Trump was in office.

Starting from before he even took office, the Revolving Door Project was documenting what corruption we could, while urging House Democrats after the 2018 midterms to use their subpoena and oversight powers to more fully expose Trump’s misdeeds. We believed then and believe now that showing how figures like Trump fail to provide the people with a government that responds to their needs, while simultaneously bending over backwards to please corporate interests and the wealthy, is the most effective way to defang faux-populists’ sway and make genuine advocates for the people shine all the brighter. 

We firmly believe that the incoming Biden administration must make a yearslong project out of exposing, explaining, and correcting Trump’s degradation of the federal government. Each agency and department must conduct ongoing investigations into just what happened over the last four years, so that ongoing misconduct is stopped, misdeeds are documented, the public is informed, and safeguards are put in place to prevent such corruption from occurring again. After four years of Trump’s faux-populism, moreover, what the people need is not a return to the same old alienated governance of lobbyists and smoke-filled rooms. Rather, it is time to answer Trump’s corruption with an ethical, dedicated, and bold administration committed to using every power available to improve the lives of the people in tangible ways.

Here is a selection of Revolving Door Project’s work from the Trump era:

Biden Administration Must Remove Trump Holdovers On Day One (11/23/20)

GSA Head’s Transition Refusal A Predictable Consequence Of Too Many Political Appointees | The Hill (11/17/20)

A Lame Duck Trump Admin Will Do All It Can To Pilfer Before Jan. Dems Must Be Ruthless In Thwarting It. | Talking Points Memo (11/2/20)

Donald Trump Politicized The Federal Bureaucracy: The Next President Needs To Reverse That | Public Seminar (10/21/20)

Revolving Door Project Seeks To Uncover Politicization Of Career Hiring Under Trump (9/1/20)

Why Hasn’t The Trump Administration Released Their Organizational Chart For The Office of Management and Budget? (8/10/20)

House Democrats Must Do More To Hold Trump’s Cabinet Accountable (7/24/20)

Trump’s Tax Returns Remain Hidden. Blame Richard Neal. | American Prospect (7/13/20)

How The Trump Administration’s Small Business Protection Program Has Failed Communities Of Color | In These Times (7/8/20)

The Quiet Seizure Of Independent Agencies | American Prospect (6/24/20)

A Brief Introduction To Your New Comptroller of Currency (6/4/20)

We Can’t Let Him Get Away With It: Trump Chose Wall Street Over Main Street | Talking Points Memo (5/20/20)

Trump Stimulus Plan: Still Getting Everything Wrong (3/20/20)

Trump Is Screwing Up His Response To The Coronavirus. House Democrats Are Screwing Up Their Response To Trump. | Daily Beast (3/13/20)

Trump’s Failing Coronavirus Response Is Standard-Issue Republicanism In 2020 | Talking Points Memo (3/13/20)

The Coronavirus Crisis: A Who’s Who Of Trumpian Mismanagement (3/11/20)

The Trump Administration’s Contemptuous, Pro-Corporate Response To Coronavirus | American Prospect (2/27/20)

The Impeachable Offense That Democrats Should Stop Ignoring | Talking Points Memo (11/1/19)

Trump’s Hidden Attention To Detail In Avoiding Accountability (10/23/19)

House Democrats Are Failing To Protect Farmers From Trump | Washington Monthly (10/19/19)

Revolving Door Project Joins Partners To Tell Trump: Rescind Executive Order Cutting Federal Advisory Committees (10/4/19)

Don’t Stop With Donald Trump, Democrats: Impeach Attorney General Bill Barr | Daily Beast (10/2/19)

The Kitchen-Table Case For Impeaching Trump | Washington Monthly (9/19/19)

Trump’s Going To Manipulate The Government To Stay In Power | Daily Beast (9/10/19)

2020 Dems Must Use Trump’s Incompetence Against Him | Daily Beast (8/29/19)

Corruption Needs To Be A Kitchen-Table Issue In 2020. Start With Betsy DeVos. | Buzzfeed News (5/24/19)

The Overlooked Executive Branch Scandal Of The Trump Era — Independent Agencies (3/28/19)

Boeing Debacle Shows Need To Investigate Trump-Era Corruption | The Hill (3/18/19)

Americans Should Fear Trump Apathy | Al Jazeera (2/24/19)

NYT’s Whitewashing Of Revolving Door Figure, Robert Khuzami (2/21/19)

Letter To The Federal Housing Finance Agency And Treasury Inspectors General (2/14/19)

How The Trump Team Might Make Some Hedge Funds Solvent Again (1/29/19)

One Trump Appointee, Two Jobs, Too Many Causes For Concern (1/16/19)

Prosecute Donald Trump To The Full Extent Of The Law | HuffPost (1/12/19)

Wanna Beat Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee? Focus On Marijuana | Daily Beast (7/30/18)

Trump-Russia Issue Helps Highlight Exactly What’s At Stake In Kavanaugh Fight | American Constitution Society Blog (7/27/18)

Trump’s Federal Trade Commission Pick Has A History Of Advising Corporations He Will Now Regulate | Buzzflash At Truthout (5/22/18)

Trump’s Corruption: The Single Most Important — And Neglected — Campaign Issue Of 2018 | ReWire

How Jeff Sessions Is Sneaking Trump Allies Into Key DOJ Positions That Normally Require Senate Confirmation | Slate

Revolving Door Project’s Director Jeff Hauser Reacts To Potential IRS Commissioner Nomination (1/25/18)

Steven Mnuchin’s Stealth Conflict of Interest (12/18/17)

Trump Tax Returns: Necessary, But Not Enough (3/17/17)

Obama And Senate Can Act Against Trump’s Conflicts Of Interest (12/6/16)
Non-Familial Trump Era Corruption? (11/23/16)

PHOTO: “Donald Trump (27150816364)” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Congressional OversightEthics in Government

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