Trump's Idea of "Draining The Swamp" Translates to Favors for Gambling Pals

When President Trump awarded Dr. Miriam Adelson with the Medal of Freedom in November of 2018 I didn't give it much thought.  I figured he was doing the right-wing version of "political correctness" by recognizing the $113 million campaign contributions she and gambling magnet hubby Sheldon had poured into 2018 GOP mid-term races ... or the $5 million they contributed to Trump's inauguration ceremonies or the $20 million contributed by the Adelsons to Trump's 2016 campaign.  Heck, what's a few million here or there?  But many of us had one of those "Ah-Ha moments" when news surfaced about the Patriot Legal Defense Fund Trust created to help pay legal fees for Trump associates who are being prosecuted for their roles in the 2016 election and Trump's connections with Russia.  The Adelsons contributed mightily to this fund, too; Politico reports the Adelsons contributed $500,000 [source].  There must be a lot more to this connection, I thought.  Fortunately some of the nation's finest journalists who love to dig deeper for the truth thought it was a bit fishy, too.

Given the volume of negative news the Trump administration creates on a daily basis it was easy to forget this little bit of curious news.  I got sidetracked with mid-term elections and other news like the Donald's ill-fated government shutdown (which cost Americans $11 billion for no good reason).  But then this past week at a hearing with the House Judiciary Committee questions for acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker caused the topic to re-surface - thanks to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).  The House committee was trying to find out more about Whitaker's involvement with DOJ special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and other matters.  Raskin asked Whitaker about his position as executive director of a non-profit organization: Foundation For Accountability & Civic Trust which paid Whitaker $1,200,000 in salary from October 2014 to September 2017; the funds reportedly came from a single donor ... Sheldon Adelson.  [See & hear the entire Q&A between Raskin & Whitaker....on YouTube video.]

Raskin was connecting the dots that appear to lead from Adelson to Whitaker to a surprise shift in a recent DOJ’s legal opinion during the government shutdown which benefits Adelson's vast gambling empire. Shelton is CEO of Las Vegas Sands, Venetian Macao Limited, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and other gambling related ventures ... so it's hardly a shock that Sheldon & Miriam have lobbied against online betting & gambling at the state and federal levels.  The recent DOJ opinion reverses the Obama/Holder-era position that the Wire Act applied only to sports gambling, so a broader interpretation benefits foes of online gambling.  (BTW...closer to our home: news of the DOJ opinion appears to have contributed to scuttling chances of reopening the Sports Creek Raceway - harness racing facility in Swartz Creek, MI.)

Read more about these shady connections and America's new version of Trump's Swamp:

  • Justice Department issues new opinion that could further restrict online gambling - a Washington Post article Jan. 14, 2019  Washington Post website:   Or here's Mike's handy, ad-free text file.
  • Justice Department decision to issue legal opinion long sought by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson draws criticism - article Washington Post February 7, 2019 Washington Post website:   Or another swell ad-free text file from Mike.
  • Advance copy (.pdf file) of some of the House Judiciary Committee questions sent to Whitaker in advance (so much for Trump's claim that his boy Matt was "ambushed".)
home ~ originally posted 02.10.19