With President Trump going off the rails and accusing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of fabricating transcripts of witnesses’ testimony in the ongoing impeachment investigation hearings — all while his Republican minions try to hijack those hearings by insisting that Hunter Biden testify before the committee along with other witnesses whom they believe can help publicize their ludicrous Ukraine conspiracy theories blaming that country for interference in the 2016 elections — Daily Beast columnist and SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah has come up with a clever strategy to counter the GOP’s tactics of distraction and misdirection.
In an opinion column on CNN, Obeidallah suggested fighting fire with fire. Noting that the Republicans have claimed that they want the son of former Vice President Joe Biden to testify so he “can assist the American public in understanding the nature and extent of Ukraine’s pervasive corruption” — a thinly veiled attempt to accuse the Bidens of nepotistic corruption — Obeidallah suggests a better way to expose Washington’s culture of family conflicts of business interests.
“…if the GOP was truly concerned with rooting out conflicts of interest involving children of the heads of our executive branch, they don’t need to look back at events from years ago that occurred thousands of miles away in Ukraine. All they need to do is investigate Ivanka Trump’s apparent conflicts of interest that are far more recent and happened right in front of their eyes,” Obeidallah archly proposes.
Since the GOP is so anxious to expand the witness list to include figures sympathetic to the president’s plight, calling Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner to testify will surely satisfy that qualification, the columnist implies.
Of course, doing so will open them to questioning from Democrats about a range of conflicts including the trademarks granted to the president’s daughter by China and Japan in the past two years as well as other ethically dubious deals the couple has engaged in while working at the White House.
“The most recent example of such conduct was flagged in January by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonpartisan ethics watchdog, that has called for the Department of Justice to investigate Ivanka for her possible violation of federal conflict of interest laws.”“CREW alleged in its complaint that Ivanka personally worked on ‘a new tax law authorizing the Opportunity Zones program while her husband, Jared Kushner, held financial interests worth millions of dollars in an entity benefitting from that program.'”“The ethics group alleges that Ivanka’s conduct violated 18 U.S.C. Section 208, which prohibits federal employees from participating ‘personally and substantially’ in ‘matters that have a direct and predictable effect on a financial interest of the employee or their spouse.'”
“If the House Republicans are sincerely concerned with conflicts of interest involving the children of the leaders of US administrations, they should start with Ivanka Trump,” he declares.“But, of course, they won’t, because the GOP’s top priority is protecting President Trump, not rooting out corruption,” Obeidallah perceptively concludes.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.