The Trump Campaign Is on an Electoral Crime Spree
Cash-strapped and facing lagging polling numbers, President Trump is cheating — knowingly breaking the norms, rules, and laws of our political system — to remain in power. It’s not as if we shouldn’t have seen this coming: When the Senate failed to remove Trump for threatening to withhold federal aid from Ukraine unless it investigated Joe Biden and its — not Russia’s — role in the 2016 election, many warned he would read it as a green light to cheat even more aggressively in the election this year. Sure enough, here we are.
The scale of Trump’s cheating is breathtaking: using government resources for his reelection, including partisan attacks on Biden at official, taxpayer-funded events; appropriating the White House itself for partisan activity; launching a clearly illegal $250 million media campaign by Health and Human Services right before the election; sabotaging the U.S. Postal Service; wrecking the census; undermining the legitimacy of the electoral process itself; creating political space for Russia to once again intervene in U.S. politics on his behalf; brazenly manipulating media and using other disinformation tactics; employing deceitful campaign accounting to hide suspicious activity; coordinating with the absurd Kanye West campaign; and too many of Bill Barr’s activities to fit into one column. There is also the Senator Ron Johnson–led probe into a debunked conspiracy theory about Joe Biden and Ukraine — a project that reeks of partisanship and which U.S. intelligence has warned will only help Russia’s own disinformation campaigns.
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As someone who has been working in national politics and campaigns since the 1980s, I can tell you that this level of rule-breaking is unprecedented. In a very Trumpian way, what we are seeing looks more like an electoral crime spree than a traditional campaign.
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