Trump’s Mar-a-Lago cronies whine about getting busted for VA scandal
A group of unaccountable members of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort held enormous sway over the Department of Veterans Affairs until their shadowy cabal came to light.
On Monday, ProPublica reported more details about just how far these rich men’s influence reached — and one of those rich men, Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, is whining about getting caught.
Perlmutter “is displeased with the agency’s releasing emails about him and with the course of its electronic health records overhaul,” a source told ProPublica.
Perlmutter is also reportedly upset that the VA’s new secretary, Robert Wilkie, is “snubbing” him.
ProPublica initially exposed the “Mar-a-Lago crowd” in August, describing how Perlmutter, physician Bruce Moskowitz, and lawyer Marc Sherman held enormous power inside the VA, even though none had any authority or relevant experience to do so.
The latest story includes additional emails that detail just how far the scandal goes. Notably, the three men “reviewed a confidential draft of a $10 billion government contract for the electronic-records project, even though they lack any relevant expertise.”
Newly released emails also show Moskowitz tried to push the VA to partner with Apple, Inc. to use an app that Moskowitz himself wrote — even though the VA identified serious problems with the app and tried to propose better ways to partner with Apple.
After the VA went in another direction, ProPublica notes, Moskowitz was still fuming about it months later.
These new emails come to light just days after the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) agreed to a request from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) to open an investigation into the scandal.
Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), ranking Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said the whole situation “just reeks of corruption.”
The Mar-a-Lago mess isn’t even the first scandal to hit the VA during Trump’s corrupt tenure.
And of course, VA scandals are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Trump’s unending culture of corruption.
Republicans have turned a blind eye to scandal after scandal in order to protect Trump — but voters in the midterm elections put Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives with a clear mandate to begin holding Trump’s cronies accountable.
Trump’s cronies, from unofficial influence peddlers like Perlmutter to actual Cabinet officials like Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, are clearly very upset about this.
But no amount of whining will get Democrats to back down from their constitutional oversight duties.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Dan Desai Martin.