Swampwater (gate)

Before he became president, when he was still governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton and his wife were accused of being involved in a shady real estate deal. The story was that Bill pressured bankers to make unsound loans and lawyer Hillary was behind the slippery legal work that provided the whole thing with a veneer of probriety.

Dubbed ‘Whitewater’, the investigation took years and while neither Bill nor Hillary were ever charged with anything, most of the other people involved in the saga were convicted of crimes.

My how times have changed. Donald Trump’s recent intervention to protect his Washington DC hotel from competition is already old news. In case you missed it, the story goes like this: The FBI’s building is near a Trump hotel. The building is very run down and the FBI needs more space, so it was planning to move. Once it moved, the land could have been redeveloped as a hotel, which would compete with Trump’s.

Trump intervened in the process and now the FBI is pursuing a much more expensive solution. It involves partially staying put so the land cannot be redeveloped into a hotel that competes with Trump’s.

The Whitewater investigation went on for more than 3 years. Trump’s FBI influence was a story for about 3 days. There aren’t any Russians or porn stars involved (so far) to keep it in the news.

Which is good for Trump, because his supporters, who stick with him through almost anything, might actually be bothered by this kind of petty corruption. Even better for Trump is that his opponents are pretty inept at keeping his petty-theft swampiness in the news.

Trump’s opponents need someone who has a demonstrated ability to keep a story in the news and press Trump’s buttons, someone like Stormy Daniels’ lawyer. Maybe they should hire Michael Avenatti to sue Trump. At a minimum, the visibility might kill the FBI deal, costing the Trump Organization a bunch of money.

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