The Increasingly Criminal Republican Party.
The Republican Party so far has four viable candidates for Congress with criminal convictions. They are:
- Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio — Convicted for contempt of court for his long term, deliberate and systemic abuse of police power through racist targeting of minorities. He was pardoned by Trump before sentencing but the conviction stands. He is running for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Flake.
- Don Blankenship — Coal mining mogul who served a year in prison for conspiring to evade safety laws after a mine explosion killed 29 of his employees. He seeks the West Virginia Congressional seat currently held by Democrat Joe Manchin.
- Former Representative Michael Grimm — Resigned from his seat after pleading guilty to felony tax fraud. He also admitted to perjury, hiring illegal immigrants, and committing wire fraud. He was sentenced to eight months in jail. He seeks to regain the Staten Island seat he once held and currently held by Republican Dan Donovan.
- Representative Greg Gianforte of Montana — Is seeking reelection after pleading guilty just last year to assault after body slamming a reporter to the floor. After apologizing in his acceptance speech he was later sentenced to 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management, a 180-day deferred sentence, and fined. He also settled a potential civil suit against him by making a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Of these four only Gianforte is repentant. The other three are wearing their convictions as a point of pride claiming to be innocent and hapless victims of the Obama Administration.
Grimm now claims “the entire Obama Justice Department weaponized against me,” but he plead guilty rather face a jury of American citizens. Take a look at the stipulations of fact he signed as part of his plea agreement. After admitting to tax evasion and perjury he also admits that “the government is in a position to prove all of the above beyond reasonable doubt.”
Blankenship claims he was an Obama “political prisoner” but he was convicted by a jury of ordinary American citizens. The evidence showed he engaged in systematic practices designed to hide safety violations from government inspectors.
Arpaio is running on advancing the Trump agenda. While Trump has not yet formally endorsed Arpaio (or any of the other candidates), this certainly sounds like an endorsement:
Arpaio, in addition to his criminal abuse of power, is well known as a Birther and he recently doubled down on that declaring “there is no doubt” Obama’s birth certificate is fake. Trump has supported him on that too:
While Arpaio claims his prosecution was a witch hunt . . .
A recent poll showed Arpaio in a statistical tie with his potential Republican opponent.
No discussion would be complete without mentioning Roy Moore, who while not convicted of anything, was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for misconduct and barely lost a seat in the United States Senate even after credible allegations of child molestation and sexual assault were made against him. Republicans are thanking God for the statute of limitations.
Then there is a Trump Administration which already has two former campaign and/or administration officials convicted and two more indicted in the still ongoing Mueller investigation.
Edit & Update: Rob Porter, the President’s Staff Secretary has recently resigned due to allegations from his both his prior wives. The allegations prevented him from getting a permanent security clearance. Members of the Trump Administration, and Trump himself, defended him against the allegations until this picture emerged of the abuse.
Put simply, Porter’s wife was not believed just as the many more Trump accusers are still not believed.
There remain dozens working in the White House who lack permanent security clearances because of investigations into them of potential criminal conduct. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is among them. Kushner is a central figure in the on going Russia Gate investigation that has already convicted two and indicted the two more as discussed above. As did Porter, these dozens without permanent clearance continue to work with and handle classified materials under less rigorous interim security clearances. Porter is not the first wife beater Trump has supported. Apparently Trump’s “extreme vetting” concept does not apply to his own people handling classified documents.
To be fair, the Democrats might have one person with a criminal conviction running for Congress. David Alcon was convicted for stalking ten years ago and recently arrested again for stalking another woman. He is one of nine candidates who have declared in the Democratic primary for the seat. The New Mexico Democratic Committee described the allegations as “despicable and serious” while completely disavowing him as “not fit to run for office in New Mexico or anywhere else.” No similar disavowals for any of the four Republican candidate/convicts from their respective Republican Committees has yet to occur.
Edit & Update: The prosecutor decided to move Democrat David Alcon’s case from criminal court to a mental health court. It also appears that Alcon did not timely file his paperwork to run. If so there are no Democrats to match the four Republican convicted criminals running for office.
Stand proud Republicans. This is your party today. Not really the party of law and order.