Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has had a very bad week. From his campaign manager getting charged with battery for assaulting Breibart reporter Michelle Fields to his atrocious comments on abortion, his approval ratings among women sinking to 23%, things have just not been going very well for the abrasive business tycoon.
We can add another criminal investigation to the pile. The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a criminal complaint to the Department of Justice over Donald Trump’s alleged promise of a cabinet position to Ben Carson in exchange for his endorsement, which is of course illegal.
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 599, “[w]hoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
Dr. Carson’s comments strongly suggest that Mr. Trump promised him an administration position in return for his endorsement. In his interview, Dr. Carson stated that he would “certainly” have an advisory capacity within a potential Trump administration. When asked directly whether this role was discussed during their endorsement meeting, Dr. Carson responded, “Yes.” Dr. Carson’s assured answers lead to the reasonable conclusion that Mr. Trump promised Dr. Carson an administration post in order to secure his endorsement in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 599.
While this is pretty far down on the list of unethical, immoral, or simply reprehensible things that Trump has said or done, it might be the closest chance we might have to take him out of the running for good.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.