The production of anti-production. That’s what we can call Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ shot-in-the-dark crusade as she attempts not only to find a linkage not between Deutsche Bank and President Trump but more specifically a link between Deutsche Bank + alleged money laundering activities + President Trump + Russia.
What’s at stake here is not that politicians sometimes engage in activities of corruption.
It’s the fundamental principle that one shouldn’t mount such a public witch hunt predicated on a lack of sufficient evidence to even justify the hunt from the get-go.
To do so otherwise would be a waste of effort and taxpayer money.
Sure, it may serve to intimidate or shake up those individuals and institutions operating within her sphere of influence and regulation. This would be a secondary goal, should her primary goal fail to produce anything substantial.
But might her time be better spent doing something that’s truly productive? In other words, are we paying taxes to fund the anti-production that so many ideologically-driven politicians seemingly find meaningful?
Now that Maxine Waters chairs the House Financial Services Committee, we can almost bet that she is going to do everything in her power to shake things up, albeit in the most erroneous way possible.
In other words, there are plenty of indications suggesting that the banking system is rife with flaws and potential corruption (our Banking Failure Survival Guide outlines a few of the “legal” violations that target depositors).
When those indications are out in the open, a regulator’s job, it seems, would be to deal with any direct or indirect entities that facilitate potentially corrupt activities.
Instead, Maxine Waters is going off into the woods to hunt after an assumed violation for which she has no evidence that indicates that it may even exist.
As she prepares to subpoena Deutsche Bank to get the “full story” on the bank’s relationship with the Trump, Waters announced her intentions in an interview with CNBC’s chief political correspondent Jon Harwood.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
John Harwood: What is your objective in the joint investigation that you plan with Congressman Schiff of Deutsche Bank?
Maxine Waters:We know that Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest money laundering banks in the country, or in the world perhaps. And we know that this is the only bank that will lend money to the president of the United States because of his past practices. He won’t show his tax returns and we have a piece of certain information that leads us to believe that there may have been some money laundering activity that might have been connected with Mr. Manafort, with some people in his family.
John Harwood: Do you believe that money laundering has been a significant part of President Trump’s business?
Maxine Waters:I know that there are a lot of rumors. I think we need to learn more about the finances of the president of the United States, and he’s hiding that information from us. He’s not disclosing that information. And I think we need to delve deeper into that and find out what is going on and whether or not money laundering has been involved and whether or not there are connections with the oligarchs of Russia.
Waters cannot say outright whether she believes that Trump is guilty of corruption because she has no evidence.
She has heard plenty of “rumors.” And Trump’s preference to keep his private business’s finances “private,” is “evidence” enough that he must be hiding something; specifically something that has to do with financial corruption, potentially money laundering.
But again, it’s based on rumors. Apparently, its evidence enough for Maxine Waters. Pay attention to how she avoids the question, using rhetoric rather than a reason to sway the viewer’s sentiment toward an assumption of the president’s guilt.
John Harwood: Do you believe, based on what you know now, that the president is corrupt?
Maxine Waters: I believe that this is a problematic president who has proven that he has taken advantage of others in the past. I know that he was fined and I do know that the attorney general of New York made him reimburse at least $25 million. We know that he has had bankruptcies. We know that there are a lot of stories he hasn’t paid contractors, he hasn’t paid subcontractors. We know a lot about the history of this president and it doesn’t look good. ... So, we think that in addition to what Mr. Mueller is doing and now what we are able to do with our subpoena power, we’ll find out more and we’ll be able to answer that question directly.
John Harwood then confronts Maxine Waters on corruption allegations that were aimed at her throughout her political tenure:
John Harwood: Now, do you think that the fact that you’ve taken some criticism about conflicts of interest — you were on a watchdog group’s list of most corrupt members of Congress — does that undercut your ability to pursue these issues?
Maxine Waters: No, absolutely not. First of all, all of the questions were answered, I was totally exonerated and found not to have done anything wrong. And the group that was involved in that was not an official group. It was simply a nonprofit operation that decided that it was going to take on the responsibility of choosing members that they didn’t necessarily like. But whatever they tried to do to me didn’t work because it was proven that I had done nothing wrong.
John Harwood: So you think the "Angry Maxine," the "Kerosene Maxine," has been exaggerated?
Maxine Waters: I don't know about those labels. I do know this, that oftentimes right-wing conservatives will label you, they will call you names. I think you have to look at where it comes from. If it comes from people who are diametrically opposed to me and my philosophy, and what I care about and what I've worked on, then it is not credible, and so I pay no attention to that.
Maxine Waters may not be calling the president names, but she does stop short of giving him a couple of “labels,” namely corrupt and money launderer.
And she does this because (to mirror her own words), she is “diametrically opposed” to the political philosophy of the opposing side, and to what they “care about” and what they’ve “worked on.”
But unlike her opponents, Waters’ suspicions are driven by her own political agenda, and that makes her suspicions “credible.”
Should her investigation come up empty-handed, we can bet she’ll craft a clever rhetorical response explaining how her efforts somehow tremendously benefited the nation. It’s what politicians do. Should we expect anything more?