In case there was any doubt

Acolyte of Sagan has already quoted it but I want to go to the source.

“I’m a tax cheat, plus also the Times story reporting that I’m a tax cheat is fake news.”

This is the president of the United States.

Siva Vaidhyanathan comments:

The fact that Donald Trump stayed in business for more than 40 years despite spectacular graft and incompetence shows how badly America’s institutions eroded over that same time. No federal prosecutor indicted him? No IRS charges? Banks continued to lend to him?

Then he follows up:

I want some reporter to ask Preet Bharara why the US Attorney for SDNY never seriously investigated Trump’s foundation, business dealings, money laundering, bank fraud, or tax fraud. Why should federal prosecutors skate as well? They let us down.

Big time.

This is why Jesse Eisinger wrote The Chickenshit Club.

James Comey has become a household name over the past few months, and for good reason. Following his controversial handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails while she was Secretary of State, the former director of the FBI has become a key witness in the probe into the Trump campaign. Comey’s dismissal from the FBI in May of this year — along with his subsequent Senate testimony — has placed him in a position to help uncover a scandal that threatens to eclipse Watergate. The Chickenshit Club, the latest book from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, unravels a culture of cowardice, incompetence and corruption — one that has allowed the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and above all the Department of Justice to flounder in their efforts to hold not only the government, but America’s financial institutions, accountable for their crimes.

…[T]he book focuses its lens on the corporate bungling and greed of the past few years, most notably the 2008 financial crisis and its roots in Wall Street’s web of risky investments and banking malfeasance — all enabled by loose regulatory enforcement, cozy Washington connections, and the implicit promise of government bailouts…

…Lanny Breuer, a former assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the DOJ, is portrayed as a showboater who, along with his boss Eric Holder, backed down from major fights against financial institutions out of a fear of political and popular fallout should they fail. As Eisinger notes, “Those who fought hard against the large corporations incurred costs, not rewards” — a frightening assessment that, while not surprising, reinforces the widely held perception that America’s corporate elite have maneuvered themselves into a position of relative untouchability.

And now here we are.

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