Imagine the furor among the GOP if, during and just after the Barack Obama administration, more than dozen of his campaign officials were arrested, referred for federal investigation, indicted, forced to resign or otherwise became enveloped in scandal. Not just controversy, but really ugly scandal.
Imagine if just 24 days after President Joe Biden's inauguration, his national security adviser was forced to resign?
Yeah, it's painful to pull the curtain back and relive some of the outrageous things to which we became numb during the administration of former President Donald Trump. But the thing is, that outrageous parade of corruption in the Trump White House is still happening — still making news.
And like it or not, we must not allow ourselves to forget it.
Just last week, we were reminded of Trump's tawdry term by the Tuesday indictment and arrest of his inaugural committee chairman and close friend Tom Barrack on charges of illegal foreign lobbying. Barrick was, according to federal prosecutors, an unregistered agent for the United Arab Emirates.
And earlier last week, we learned that former Trump Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was referred for Justice Department prosecution last year by the inspector general, saying that Ross had lied to Congress about the origins of the Trump administration's failed push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Trump's Justice Department declined in January to pursue the matter.
Ross was the fifth Trump cabinet member to be referred to federal prosecutors for some infraction worthy of Justice Department prosecution. Before him were:
* Ryan Zinke, former interior secretary, was referred to Justice Department prosecutors over his involvement in a Montana land development deal backed by the chairman of the oil services firm Halliburton, as well as other matters. Trump's DOJ declined to charge the Montana Republican.
* Alex Acosta, former labor secretary who went very light on his 2008 prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein, was referred to Justice Department prosecutors, only to have Trump's DOJ decline to charge the Florida Republican.
* Robert Wilkie, Trump's controversial Veterans Affairs secretary, was also referred to Justice Department prosecutors under allegations that he worked to discredit a congressional aide who said she was sexually assaulted, only to have Trump's DOJ choose not charge him, either.
* Elaine Chao, for transportation secretary, was referred to the Justice Department over allegations that she misused her office. In keeping with the pattern, Trump's DOJ didn't pursue the matter.
Five times, members of the former guy's cabinet were referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. That's a third of the former guy's former Cabinet. Five times nothing happened.
But let's not stop there. Back to the campaign folks. And aside from Barrack and Trump's campaign official who later was his national security adviser for less than a month, Michael Flynn, (later indicted for lying and being an unregistered foreign agent who twice pleaded guilty, then recanted and eventually was pardoned by Trump) you'll recall:
* Paul Manafort, campaign chairman, was convicted in 2018 of tax and banking crimes and later pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. Trump pardoned him.
* Rick Gates, deputy campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and making a false statement.
* Steve Bannon, a one-time campaign chief and former White House strategist, was arrested and charged in 2020 with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through a campaign to crowdfund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump pardoned him.
* Roger Stone, a campaign official, was charged and convicted of lying to Congress about his communications related to document disclosure group Wikileaks. Trump pardoned him.
* Michael Cohen, Trump personal lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty to multiple offenses, including campaign finance violations related to the hush money paid to Trump girlfriends.
* George Papadopoulos, Trump's campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI as part of the Mueller probe. Trump pardoned him.
* Elliot Brady, Trump's inaugural vice chairman and a former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Convention, pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent. He had been charged as part of a federal probe into efforts to influence the Trump administration to stop investigations about a 1MDB Malaysian state fund fraud. Trump pardoned him.
And don't forget the new indictment against the Trump Organization, and Alan Weisselberg, its former chief financial officer.
Or Trump's charity sham, the Trump Foundation that was shut down as a fraud.
Or Trump University, which also was shut down as a fraud.
It's been a nice trip down memory lane.
We might all want to save this list — with lots of room at the bottom to add more names as they keep popping up.