Hey look, we’re still arguing over whether the next president of the United States can be openly crooked in the White House. Because when the governing party of a nation has decided that all these laws and rules and restraints have gotten to be a bit much and maybe the fascists had it right after all, that’s a thing.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge — STOCK — Act bars members of Congress and their staffs from buying and selling securities based on inside information. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics recently said the law also covers executive branch employees, including the president and vice president.Some government ethics experts argue that the law should also apply to Trump and his family’s network of businesses.
So there’s a law against it, and the government wags in charge of these things confirm that yes indeed the law covers the president, and so where we’re at now is the bit where “some government ethics experts” are arguing that the law that’s supposed to cover the president and his staff should indeed cover the president and his staff even if some crooked bastard personally thinks he ought to be above that law. Got it. Of course. This is, indeed, a controversial issue.
Some say the president isn’t allowed to use insider government information—say, based on the contents of security briefings—to play the goddamn markets, and other people aren’t sure if that’s really true because [exaggerated televised burping sounds.] Some say the president is probably not allowed to use the power of his office to crash or boost a particular stock that he or his family members just happen to own, but on the other hand [hey everybody look we found a duck that looks a little like Clint Eastwood!]
The STOCK Act originally applied to the buying and selling of securities, such as stocks and bonds. But some legal experts say privately held companies such as the Trump Organization could also fall under its purview, especially if Trump transfers ownership to his children.Because presidents are privy to an enormous amount of information that could affect stock prices, Trump would risk passing on inside information anytime he talks to his children, even if he doesn’t intend to. That could open Trump, his children and businesses up to nearly constant allegations of insider trading.
And we all know even the appearance of such impropriety roils the watchdogs of Congress into apoplectic fits, unless [look everybody, now the duck is doing a little dance! He’s so cute!]
We’re genuinely arguing whether or not the president of the United States should be allowed to turn a personal or family profit off the information he learns—and can himself manipulate—as president. It’s the subject of debate.
On one side: American law. On the other: Yeah, but Trump’s not going to abide by those laws anyway so maybe we should just do away with them all right now rather than expecting him to, and thus creating a scene.
Jeebus, America: what the hell has gotten into you?