Corruption as it applies to Trump and his administration is defined as the misuse of entrusted, public power for private gain. During the 2016 election Trump did not release his tax returns in a move that was unprecedented in modern presidential campaigning and raised questions about possible conflicts of interests that might impede his ability to maintain the interests of the country over those of his business. He repeatedly promised to release his tax returns if he was elected, but promptly broke that promise.
The lack of a record of his financial assets, connections, and liabilities, as well his decision not to cut ties completely with his numerous businesses has raised concerns about the potential for abuse of power and corruption during his administration, whether it be through foreign officials currying favor by staying at his hotels while on official business or visits, or supporting his families many business interests.
This page will track potential corruption by Trump and his administration.
See also Conflicts of Interest.
|2018.01.04||Donald Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. nytimes.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, 2016 Election, Russian Meddling in Election)|
|2018.01.07||Last May, Jared Kushner accompanied President Trump, his father-in-law, on the pair’s first diplomatic trip to Israel, part of Mr. Kushner’s White House assignment to achieve peace in the Middle East, just after his family real estate company received a roughly $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim, an insurer that is one of Israel’s largest financial institutions, according to a Menora executive. nytimes.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Israel)|
|2018.01.09||The Trump administration has waived part of the punishment for five megabanks whose affiliates were convicted and fined for manipulating global interest rates, one of which is Deutsche Bank — which is owed at least $130 million by President Donald Trump and his business empire, and has also been fined for its role in a Russian money laundering scheme. ibtimes.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Economy, Assaults on Government, Russia)|
|2018.01.09||The White House intends to destroy voter data collected by the election fraud commission recently shut down by Donald Trump, rather than transfer it to the Department of Homeland Security or the National Archives and Records Administration. politico.com (See also Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression, Department of Homeland Security)|
|2018.01.10||Donald Trump’s companies sold more than $35 million in real estate in 2017, mostly to secretive shell companies that obscure buyers’ identities, continuing a dramatic shift in his customers' behavior that began during the election. usatoday.com (See also Trump Business, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.01.17||Steve Bannon’s attorney was communicating and sharing questions with the White House during the House Intelligence Committee interview of the former Trump chief strategist, asking whether his client could answer the questions, but was told not to discuss his work on the transition or in the White House. apnews.com (See also Legal Issues, Steve Bannon)|
|2018.01.17||US authorities are poring over hundreds of newly uncovered payments from Russian diplomatic accounts, including transactions by former ambassador Sergey Kislyak 10 days after the 2016 presidential election and a blocked $150,000 cash withdrawal five days after the inauguration. buzzfeed.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Election)|
|2018.01.19||Deutsche Bank, the German financial giant which is a major lender to both President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, identified “suspicious transactions” related to Kushner family accounts, and has reported them to German banking regulators, while they are also reportedly willing to provide the information to special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team of investigators. motherjones.com (See also Jared Kushner, Legal Issues)|
|2018.01.22||Attorney General Jeff Sessions has consistently urged FBI Director Christopher Wray to make a “fresh start” by cleaning house and firing his core team, including Andrew McCabe - the man who the White House just picked to lead the FBI when Donald Trump fired James Comey, causing Wray to threaten his resignation. splinternews.com (See also Legal Issues, Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice)|
|2018.01.24||Instead of helping consumers (as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Mick Mulvaney, who has accepted donations from payday lenders, is now delaying the implementation of payday lending rules. npr.org (See also Mick Mulvaney, Reversals, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.01.24||Shortly after Donald Trump fired his FBI director in May, he summoned Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s acting director, and asked him who he voted for in the 2016 election. washingtonpost.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Legal Issues)|
|2018.01.25||A case accusing Mr. Trump of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clauses, which prevent a president from accepting government-bestowed benefits either at home or abroad, appeared to inch forward during a lengthy hearing before a federal judge in Maryland. nytimes.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Unprecedented Actions, Legal Activity)|
|2018.01.28||Republican lawmakers warned Donald Trump not to fire Robert S. Mueller III, but showed little sense of urgency to advance long-stalled legislation to protect the special counsel despite a report that Mr. Trump had tried to remove him last June. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Issues)|
|2018.01.29||Andrew G. McCabe abruptly stepped down on Monday as the F.B.I.’s deputy director after months of withering criticism from Donald Trump, telling friends he felt pressure from the head of the bureau to leave, adding to what has already been a chaotic upheaval at the F.B.I. under Mr. Trump, who has responded to an investigation into his campaign with broadside attacks against both the bureau and the Justice Department. nytimes.com (See also Unprecedented Actions, Unpresidential Behavior, Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions)|
|2018.01.29||Donald Trump is seeking to parlay his first State of the Union address on Tuesday into cash for his reelection campaign by offering supporters a chance to see their name flashed on the screen during a broadcast of the speech. washingtonpost.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.01.30||FBI Director Christopher Wray told the White House he opposes release of a classified Republican memo alleging bias at the FBI and Justice Department because it contains inaccurate information and paints a false narrative. bloomberg.com (See also Department of Justice)|
|2018.01.31||Donald Trump asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he was "on my team" during a December meeting at the White House, becoming the fourth report of Trump demanding loyalty from a Justice Department official. axios.com (See also Legal Issues, Department of Justice)|
|2018.01.31||The FBI released a statement condemning a push by House Republicans to release a secret memo that purports to show how the bureau and the Justice Department abused their authorities to obtain a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. nytimes.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Department of Justice)|
|2018.02.01||Donald Trump continues to tell his associates he believes the highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools could help discredit the Russia investigation. cnn.com (See also Belief in Conspiracy Theories, False Statements)|
|2018.02.01||The FBI agent accused of undermining Donald Trump and being sympathetic to Hilary Clinton has been revealed as the initial author of a controversial FBI decision that upended Clinton's campaign just days before the 2016 election: the letter to Congress by then-FBI Director James Comey announcing the bureau was investigating newly discovered Clinton emails. cnn.com (See also 2016 Campaign, False Statements)|
|2018.02.03||The U.S. Justice Department has backed Special Counsel Robert Mueller over a lawsuit filed against him by Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, who had argued that the case should be dismissed. reuters.com (See also Legal Activity, 2016 Campaign)|
|2018.02.06||After Hurricane Maria, FEMA awarded an Atlanta entrepreneur with no experience in large scale disaster relief $156 million to deliver 30 million means to Puerto Ricans, but only 50,000 were delivered and the contract was terminated. nytimes.com (See also Administration Errors, Unprecedented Actions)|
Tiffany Brown is the sole owner and employee of the company, Tribute Contracting LLC, who initially won the contract from FEMA.
|2018.02.15||Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he's poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case. cnn.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Legal Issues)|
|2018.02.15||Last April, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, led the charge for his agency to approve rules allowing television broadcasters to greatly increase the number of stations they own, enabling Sinclair Broadcasting to move forward on a blockbuster $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media — a deal those new rules made possible, but the top internal watchdog for the F.C.C. opened an investigation into whether Mr. Pai and his aides had improperly pushed for the rule changes and whether they had timed them to benefit Sinclair. nytimes.com (See also Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.02.16||After less than 13 months, more than 40 percent of the people Trump originally picked for Cabinet-level jobs have faced ethical or other controversies. washingtonpost.com (See also Administration Errors, Trump Cabinet, Conflicts of Interest, Tom Price, Ryan Zinke, Steven Mnuchin, John Kelly, Jeff Sessions, Ben Carson)|