Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Republican Abuse of Power Scandals

  • The commission Donald Trump set up to investigate the non-existent voter fraud problem in America asked all fifty states to give them confidential and sensitive voter information. The commission asked states to turn over the "dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information."
  • Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that banned anyone from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States regardless if they are current Visa holders. The seven countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The order put a halt to accepting any refugees seeking asylum, no matter their country of origin, for 120 days. Update: A Federal District Court put an injunction on the ban. Update No. 2: Trump amended the ban and took Iraq off the list. Update No. 3: The Supreme Court allowed a portion of the ban to go into effect pending a full hearing on the ban in its term beginning in October.
  • Donald Trump threatened former FBI Director Jim Comey in an early morning tweet to not talk to the press because there could be secret records of him speaking with Trump. Trump tweeted "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Update: Donald Trump admitted that he did not have any tapes of his conversations with James Comey.
  • White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer forced the press to turn off all audio and video devices before holding the daily press briefing and instead only allowed them to write down everything on paper.
  • Donald Trump demanded former FBI Director James Comey pledge his loyalty to him during a private dinner less than a week after Trump's inauguration. Comey refused and simply pledged to always be honest with Mr. Trump. Trump didn't accept that at first and brought the issue up at least twice more during the dinner. Update: Former FBI Director James Comey swore under oath during a Senate hearing that Donald Trump did, in fact, ask him to pledge his loyalty.
  • Donald Trump's sons, Eric and Donald Jr., went on "Good Morning America" to promote a new hotel chain in Mississippi that is based off his campaign slogan. The chain, "American Idea,” is opening three hotels in the state that overwhelmingly voted for their dad, but the two sons insist they aren't trying to profit off their fathers Presidency.
  • Donald Trump asked the nations two top national intelligence officials to publicly refute that he or his campaign colluded with Russia in order to win the 2016 Presidential election. Trump asked the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to deny that there was any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia, but both refused to do so.
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy privately claimed that he believed Donald Trump was being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with his fellow GOP House leaders. The recorded conversation caught McCarthy saying “There’s two people I think Putin pays: [Rep. Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump.” Speaker Paul Ryan immediately interjected and stopped the conversation from proceeding.
  • Donald Trump pressured former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, telling Mr. Comey that he "hopes you can let this go," according to a recently released memo Comey wrote immediately after the conversation. It is illegal, even for the President of the United States, to impede an investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice or the FBI.
  • Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey "with cause" because Trump said he mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail server. That explanation defies logic considering Trump praised Comey for his handling of the investigation back in early November. The real reason Trump fired Comey may have more to do with the fact that Comey and the FBI have been investigating Trump and his associates ties to Russia and whether or not they colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 Presidential election.
  • Donald Trump issued an Executive Order that strips federal funds from any city that classifies itself as a "sanctuary city." These cities limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials concerning nonviolent undocumented immigrants. Update: A federal judge blocked the executive order pending litigation.
  • The Trump Administration said that they will not release the logs of individuals who visit the White House or meet with Donald Trump, reversing a policy set up by President Obama.
  • Donald Trump secretly signed an updated version of his supposedly blind trust that allows him to withdraw money "at his request." The updated terms Trump signed by Trump says that the "Trustees shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request, as the Trustees deem necessary for his maintenance, support or uninsured medical expenses, or as the Trustees otherwise deem appropriate."
  • Representative Tom Price, Donald Trumps choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, bought stock in a company that manufactures knee and hip implants and then introduced legislation that would have benefited both the company and himself days later. The company, Zimmer Biomet, then donated $1,000 to Representative Price's reelection campaign shortly thereafter. Update: ProPublica reported that "[o]n the same day the stockbroker for then-Georgia Congressman Tom Price bought him up to $90,000 of stock in six pharmaceutical companies last year, Price arranged to call a top U.S. health official, seeking to scuttle a controversial rule that could have hurt the firms’ profits and driven down their share prices, records obtained by ProPublica show."
  • Reince Priebus, Donald Trump's Chief of Staff, had a private conversation with FBI officials where he asked them to publicly refute media reports which accused Donald Trump's campaign of coordinating with the Russian government during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Priebus requesting the assistance of the FBI violated decades old rules that are meant to prevent the White House from having conversations with the FBI about ongoing investigations.
  • Kellyanne Conway seemed to violated the law by using her position as senior adviser to the President to publicly encourage Americans to purchase Donald Trump's daughters products. Conway was being interviewed by Fox News when she was in the White House briefing room and said “I own some of it. I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” Update: The Office of Government Ethics asked the White House on Monday to investigate whether Conway violated longstanding ethics laws and suggested that she be disciplined if she did.
  • President Trump bragged that he received a standing ovation and multiple applause breaks during his speech at CIA headquarters, but the agency has reported that the first three rows in the audience were filled with paid staffers and other Trump loyalists who were responsible for the overwhelming amount of clapping.
  • Donald Trump is considering giving his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a job in the White House, which would almost surely violate a 1967 law that prohibits Presidents from hiring any family member, even those related by marriage, to a position in the Administration. Constitutional scholars have also voiced concern that Trump would still be violating the law even if Kushner were an unpaid adviser to the President. Update: Trump named Kushner as an "unpaid" senior White House Adviser who will oversee numerous projects including Middle-East peace, China, Canadian, and Mexican affairs. He is also tasked with reorganizing the Federal Government.
  • Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, failed to disclose a $125,000 political donation to an anti-union political action committee on financial disclosure forms she submitted to the Senate. DeVos made the donation to a Michigan Super PAC that was against a ballot initiative that would have enshrined workers collective-bargaining rights into the state constitution.
  • Donald Trump is handing the keys to his business empire to his two sons, which the Office of Government Ethics publicly called 'wholly inadequate.' Having his two sons - Donald, Jr. and Eric - run his business empire while he's President has the potential of creating countless conflict of interests because Trump will be enforcing rules and regulations that can directly impact his business empire.