The Portland Hell-Raiser: This Week in Trumpland Corruption

From mayhem in the Rose City to country club shenanigans, it was a week to remember

Max Ufberg
Published in
3 min readJul 29, 2020
Photo illustration. Source: State Department

Is there enough graft, double-dealing, and self-interested chicanery in the Trump administration to publish this column every week? Only time — and Trump — will tell. (But we feel pretty confident.) Presenting this week’s installment of the Trump Corruption Index.

Parscale’s wager

A complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday by the Campaign Legal Center alleges the Trump campaign and its fundraising committee has disregarded campaign finance law by funneling more than $170 million through shell firms headed by Brad Parscale, Trump’s former campaign manager. The Campaign Legal Center claims that these companies would then “disburse the funds to the campaign’s ultimate vendors, thereby concealing the campaign’s transactions with those vendors,” potentially allowing the Trump team to shield indirect payments to its own staffers and their associates. Vice points out that, if proven true, this would put the Trump campaign in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which mandates that campaigns disclose the name and address of any person or entity that receives over $200.

  • Corrupt-o-meter (out of a possible 5 emojis): 💰💰💸💸

A cadre of grifters

Newly obtained internal emails show that senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner was advised in December 2019 by the top White House ethics official to divest his interest in Cadre, a real estate investment platform, to avoid any conflicts of interest. Yet Kushner has thus far ignored that advice, and CNBC reported earlier this month that he has decided to remain an investor in Cadre. In May, the company announced it would create an opportunistic fund to target investment opportunities brought on by the pandemic.

  • Corrupt-o-meter: 💵

A swing and a miss

The New York Times reported last week that in February 2018, Trump convinced the U.S. ambassador to Britain, Robert Wood Johnson IV, to ask the U.K. government to relocate the British…



Max Ufberg
Writer for

Writer and editor. Previously at Medium, Pacific Standard, Wired