Andrew Smith is Trump's chief of the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau, in charge of investigating companies that abuse Americans -- but he can't, because he has previously provided services for over 100 of America's largest companies, including Facebook, a whack of payday lenders, Amazon, American Airlines, Amex, BoA, Capital One, Citigroup, John Deere, Equifax, Expedia, Experian, Glaxosmithkline, Goldman Sachs, Jpmorgan, Linkedin, Microsoft, Paypal, Redbubble, Twitter, Sotheby's, Transunion, Uber, Verizon, Visa, Disney and Wells Fargo. Read the rest
Paul Manafort, lobbyist for tyrannical foreign leaders and Trump's former campaign manager, is currently being tried on a 32 counts of tax fraud and offshore money laundering. This video by the Washington Post shows how well connected he was (he worked for Reagan and Bush), and how awful he is (he lobbied to arm murderous warlords and worked to change the image of thuggish Eastern European leaders). Is this the end of the road for Manafort? If the kooky judge presiding over Manafort's trial doesn't keep him out of prison, Trump will might give him a pardon, but he could still get nailed for violating laws in New York or another state. Read the rest
EPA head Scott Pruitt has gone on a multi-million dollar luxury item spending spree at taxpayers' expense. With his soundproof booth, bulletproof limousines, and chartered private jets, he seems to think people care who he is and are out to get him, when in truth he's just one of the indistinguishable swamp creatures appointed by Trump to dismantle the federal government's regulatory agencies.
His expensive form of ego gratification has become so flagrant that various organizations in the federal government are finally doing something about it. “Scott Pruitt Is now being investigated by the House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Office of Management and Budget, Government Accountability Office, and EPA Inspector General,” tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (Dem, VA).
Scott Pruitt Is now being investigated by the House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Office of Management and Budget, Government Accountability Office, and EPA Inspector Generalhttps://t.co/NDMMt8njHe
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) April 18, 2018
From Beyer's press release:
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This week the number of investigations into embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethics lapses and wasteful spending grew substantially, and more may be announced in coming weeks.
The latest wave of investigations came as the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report saying that Pruitt had broken laws when he ordered the installation of a $43,000 “secure privacy booth” without informing Congress:The General Accountability Office has already determined that Pruitt broke laws when he installed a privacy booth at exorbitant expense; the nonpartisan investigator has also been asked to look into the raises Pruitt gave to staff using an obscure legal loophole and his purges of the EPA’s advisory boards.