Donald Trump, the current president of the United States, has immorally misused campaign and charity funds, making him liable to legal consequence. Trump has more than likely violated campaign finance laws that are potentially punishable under the law. Trump is perhaps one of the worst examples of how a president should responsibly use money, no decent president should be as fraudulent and feckless as Trump has been concerning this matter, and there are numerous conceivable consequences under the law in regard to his numerous nonsensical financial decisions.
Trump is most definitely culpable of misusage of both campaign and charitable funds.
One well known example of how Donald Trump has carelessly misused campaign related money is the Stormy Daniels case. Although Trump claims that the payment made to Stormy Daniels was perfectly legal and claimed that the payment was not subject to any form of legal consequence, there is strong reasoning and evidence to believe otherwise. According to a recent Vox article written by Matthew Yglesias, “while a private citizen is free to make a secret hush money payment to his former mistress if he likes, a political campaign is required to disclose what it’s spending money on” (Yglesias).
The Trump campaign was politically obligated to have reported any campaign related payments, which should have included the payment to Stormy Daniels, however, they clearly failed to do so, therefore consequence should rightfully be enacted.
Attorney Michael Cohen claims to have been the individual who made the payment to Stormy Daniels, even so, this payment was clearly campaign related, meaning the payment was indeed supposed to be reported.
As pointed out by law professor Jessica Levinson in an interesting study conducted by Sean Illing, “that is something which must be disclosed and reported to the Federal Election Commission. President Trump would also need to disclose and report the repayment. Failure to report such a loan could be considered to be a false statement” (Illing). Considering Trump originally denied knowledge of the payment, and considering the payment was “hush money”, Trump obviously did not disclose or report the payment as obligated.
A false statement, specified under the U.S. code, states that if anyone in any branch of the government (on administrative matters) both knowingly and willingly “falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact” or “makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation”, can be fined or serve time in jail for up to five years. It is assuredly feasible that Donald Trump has infringed such conditions. If president Trump, as allegated, has truly violated this section, the punishments could perchance directly apply to him.
However, Donald Trump could have avoided requiring to report to the treasury department if he had paid Michael Cohen in increments of $10,000 or less. Although this would avoid the first issue, these payment could be a violation of a federal banking law called illegal structuring, avoiding reporting by breaking up financial transactions. Basically, the Stormy Daniels payments did involve illegal transactions in one way or another, assuming that the money was used to hush Stormy Daniels for campaign purposes.
It is quite clear that our president is not a fully trustable individual. According to an article written by The Washington Post, Donald Trump has made “an overall average of nearly 7.6 [false or misleading] claims a day” (Kessler). According to Psychology Today, an average person tells only about 1.65 lies a day. One of these plentiful recorded lies told by the president was back in April, Donald Trump was recorded saying that he had no knowledge of the payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels. However, during a Fox and Friends interview, has revealed he did, in fact, know of the payment. Trump simply does not understand the purpose of basic self integrity. It is possible that he truly believes that the payment was perfectly legal, and revealed his knowledge of the payment accidentally, though wasn’t worried because he doesn’t fully understand the aforementioned situation.
Trump is not only in trouble in relation to campaign finance, he has also misused charity funds to promote his business, pay legal bills, use personally , and even use in his campaign. According to the article “Lawsuit: Donald Trump misused foundation’s charity money to promote hotels and pay legal bills”, the president “used the Trump Foundation’s charitable assets to pay off his legal obligations, to promote Trump hotels and other businesses, and to purchase personal items” (WABC). According to a New York Post article written by Julia Marsh, The personal items that Trump obtained using charitable funds include a portrait of himself, and a custom golf club decorated with the portrait.
The evidence that our president values his own needs over the needs of others shows that he has a lack of responsibility. Responsibility is arguably one of the most essential aspects of being an executive power such as the president of a country. Donald Trump’s lack of responsibility is apparent in the way he uses money. It should be apparent that missing charitable funds displays pure irresponsibility.
Donald Trump also misused charitable funds in order to promote his business. He essentially treated the money as his own personal piggy bank. As said in an ABC13 article, Trump has used money from these funds to promote his businesses such as Trump hotels, to take care of legal issues, and as previously addressed, to purchase absurdly unimportant self-praising personal items. The same article states “the Trump Foundation is accused of illegally providing extensive support to his 2016 presidential campaign by using the Trump Foundation’s name and funds it raised from the public” (WABC). This means that Trump believes he can freely use money from the public to benefit himself. There are an overwhelming amount of cases where Trump has blatantly misused money to assist and satisfy his own wants. He prioritizes his own wants over the wants and needs of the people.
Resulting through exploitation of campaign and finance money, Donald Trump has given himself a name beyond unsatisfactory. His fraudulent, careless, apathetic choices have crafted his reputation into an overall despised persona. His corrupted use of campaign and charitable funds combined with his narcissistic views and misogynistic acts have molded him into a person who, quite frankly, is viewed as abominate. Although there is a lot to look down upon concerning Trump, he has admittedly brilliantly succeeded in many cases. Despite Trump’s controversial choices and his personal failures, he has succeeded in becoming our president, and has created many successful businesses. Buried behind these accomplishments, however, are flaws and lies, cheats and shortcuts, failures and success, all resulting in a storm of confusion a chaos that is the Trump presidency.