Venality

Rachel Maddow tells a story of Deputy to former Chief of Staff Kelly, named Zachary Fuentes, who planned to hide out on salary for six months in another office after his boss left, so that he would qualify for a special pension program, and could retire on pension at the age of 37. Fuentes almost persuaded the US Congress to pass a bill allowing the pension, even though the program had expired.

This scheme is pure venality, a textbook example. What kind of person would plan to do something like this? How would anyone think that such an arrangement was defensible? And there’s the answer. In Trump’s world, that’s the way things work. Here is a President who is under investigation for misuse of his charities, whose family appears to have engaged in malfeasance in the Trump inauguration, who is suspected of collusion with the Russian government. There are Cabinet Secretaries who get caught in the trough. Fuentes had examples far more egregious to follow.

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