Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump

The lesson to be learned from the latest revelations about former President Donald Trump's misuse of highly sensitive classified documents concerns the character of the former president and his cronies: They constantly accuse their political adversaries of the crimes and misdemeanors they have committed — or will perpetrate — themselves.

And the more information that is uncovered, the less culpable Trump's targets appear to be - while his own guilt, and the guilt of his associates, is established ever more firmly.

Nobody who has read the lengthy Florida indictment of Trump, which alleges more than 30 violations of the Espionage Act, can doubt his narcissistic attitude toward the protection of national security secrets. Nor is there any question that he repeatedly lied and conspired to conceal his violations of the law.

But where his behavior once seemed mysterious, we now can see at least one clear motive behind his bizarre and dangerous conduct: the desire for revenge against everyone who had sought to uncover the truth about Russia's illegal support for his 2016 campaign. The "Crossfire Hurricane" folder that disappeared from the White House during the final days of his administration has never been located, which has raised grave alarm in the intelligence community over the potential exposure of sources and methods to our adversaries in the Kremlin.

It is no exaggeration to say that those concerns include the possibility that Trump himself might expose those sources to his friends in the Putin regime. His loyalty to the West is questionable and his debt to the Russian dictator is undeniable.

Yet as the underlying events of Crossfire Hurricane unfolded, Trump and his campaign were shrieking incessantly about Hillary Clinton's emails — urging federal authorities to "lock her up" for these supposed offenses against national security. The facts that have emerged since then have proved that the number of classified documents jeopardized by her actions amounted to exactly zero.

The same pattern of false accusation and true culpability applies to the Clinton and Trump foundations. In 2015, the far-right "strategist" and publisher Steve Bannon, who then became Trump's campaign manager, launched a multimillion-dollar smear campaign against the Clinton Foundation that succeeded beyond his wildest dreams — including a ludicrously false accusation featured as an "investigation" on the front page of The New York Times. The real achievements of the Clinton Foundation in saving many millions of lives and stemming the AIDS epidemic were submerged beneath a sewage outflow of phony conspiracy claims.

Largely ignored amid Bannon's publicity jihad against the Clinton Foundation were the grotesque abuses of the Trump Foundation, which accomplished no good works and more closely resembled a racketeering conspiracy than a nonprofit charity. Trump's self-serving manipulation of nonprofit tax laws was both comical and shocking. And then a few years later, Bannon himself established an abusive nonprofit — "We Build the Wall" — from which he and his criminal confederates admittedly stole millions donated by naive conservatives. He's an unrepentant crook and may yet go to prison, despite the pardon bestowed on him by Trump.

Making a hollow accusation to conceal suspicious behavior (or actual crimes) remains the modus operandi not only of Trump and Bannon, whose corruption is well established, but of the Republican Party leadership they have suborned. That is why congressional Republicans have mounted a fake impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, despite the complete absence of any evidence that he profited from his son's foreign business dealings — or that those dealings had any effect on public policy while Biden served in the White House.

There is nothing to those charges, as the Republican investigators have inadvertently proved with their bumbling displays of malice. But several indiscreet politicians have disclosed the Biden impeachment's real purpose: to distract voters from the pending indictments against Trump — not to mention the massive profiteering by Trump, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner during their years in the White House.

Every accusation they utter is an indictment of their own misconduct.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

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Ultra-Right Mega-Donors Are Financing Election Denial Operations

Kari Lake and Glenn Youngkin

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In an article published on November 3, the Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger reported that “nearly 80 percent” of the $1.7 million that right-wing shipping magnates Dick and Elizabeth Uihlein donated to Republican candidates “between January 7, 2021 and August 31, 2022” went to “campaigns or committees tied to the 147 Republicans who voted, on January 6, (2021), to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.” But their fondness for MAGA election denialists, according to Sollenberger, goes beyond donations.

Now Sollenberger, writing for the Beast in an article published on November 28, reports that in 2021, Arizona Republican Party Vice Chair Gina Swoboda was hired as executive director for “the Uihlein-backed dark money nonprofit Restoration Action Inc.” Her salary was $108,750 per year.

“Swoboda, a former Trump campaign official and the vice chair of the Arizona Republican Party, is now leading a misguided charge against the ballot count in that state on behalf of GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake,” Sollenberger explains. “Swoboda currently serves as ‘election integrity’ coordinator for Lake, whose repeated false claims of voter fraud have ingratiated her to former President Donald Trump and who still refuses to acknowledge her election loss to (Democratic Arizona Secretary of State) Katie Hobbs.”

The Beast reporter continues, “After the election, Lake promoted Swoboda’s appearance on a right-wing podcast. In addition to hiring Swoboda, the filing shows Restoration Action’s accounts swelling for the second year in a row. According to the filing, in the 12 months following the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Restoration Action’s revenue topped $20.5 million — double what the group raised in 2020, and light years beyond its $64,000 haul in 2019.”

Sollenberger notes that Restoration Action is “tied to the larger Restoration of America network, funded almost exclusively by the Uihleins.”

Brendan Fischer, who serves as deputy executive director of the watchdog group Documented, told the Beast, “Restoration Action is a hub for election denial, including funding some of the key players pushing election falsehoods in Arizona at the moment. This is a reminder that there’s big money behind the push to undermine democracy. Through Restoration Action and other entities, an array of groups pushing election conspiracy theories are backed by literally tens of millions of dollars from just one billionaire couple.”

Restoration America, according to Sollenberger, “also threw $600,000 to the super PAC affiliated with January 6 rally organizer Tea Party Patriots” and “another $1.5 million…. to the Lawyers Democracy Fund, a conservative dark money group that advocates for changes in election law.”

“The group sent another half a million to Fight Voter Fraud, which has also pushed baseless claims of election malfeasance, including in 2021,” Sollenberger reports. “Another recipient, the Liberty Initiative Fund, donated $675,000 to a group fighting for more restrictive voter ID requirements in Michigan. That Michigan group raised $2.2 million total, with $1.5 million coming from Uihlein himself.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.