This Week in Conflicts: A Misconduct Roundup, Photographer Admits Editing Inauguration Photos and Top House Dem. Threatens Investigations


President Donald J. Trump leads a video teleconference monitoring current tropical storm conditions and damage assessments in southeastern Texas, Sunday, August 27, 2017, from a conference room at Camp David. (Image Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

This week, the New York Times highlights crimes and ethical violations associated with President Donald Trump’s administration, a government photographer admits to editing photos from the president’s inauguration and a top Democrat threatens investigations into President Trump if Democrats take control of the U.S House of Representatives.

President Trump signing the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Misconduct Roundup

The New York Times is highlighting campaign and administration officials that have been convicted or have pleaded guilty to crimes.

The roundup includes those in President Trump’s “orbit” who have violated federal ethics rules or were forced to resign over security clearance issues. The criminal charges highlighted are connected to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The roundup includes a brief description of what happened, who the individuals are and how they are connected to President Trump and, in some cases one another. Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney, Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager, and Rick Gates, the president’s former deputy campaign chairman are included in the roundup.

There are a total of 16 people included in the roundup. Click here to read about them. 

Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to Donald Trump as his family looks on. (Image Credit: White House photographer)

Inauguration Photos Edited

Newly released documents show a government photographer admitted to editing President Trump’s inauguration photos.

According to CNN, “The admission, contained in newly released records from a 2017 investigation, shed new light on what happened after the National Park Service shared a social media post comparing the crowds that attended the inaugurations of Trump and former President Barack Obama. Trump claimed footage of the event did not jibe with the number of people he saw from the stage. His then-press secretary, Sean Spicer, gathered reporters the following evening and claimed, ‘This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.’”

The photographer admitted to removing empty space to make the crowd look bigger. The investigation also revealed the photographer made the edits after calls from the president and Spicer.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Image Credit: Gage Skidmore)

House Dem. Threatens Investigations

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer said if Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, President Trump can expect congressional investigations into his tax returns and possible conflicts of interest, Reuters is reporting. 

The top Democrat went short of saying he would lead a move to impeach the president though. In order to win a majority in the House Democrats need to gain at least 23 seats.

According to Reuters, “as a presidential candidate and as president, Trump has broken with tradition and refused to make public his tax returns. Hoyer said House panels will demand those documents ‘to make sure the president is not operating on his own benefit as opposed to the public’s benefit.’ He said the executive branch departments would get closer scrutiny and added that Republicans, who control the House and the Senate, were ‘not meeting their oversight responsibilities.’”

More conflicts of interest in the news

About this Project

Sunlight’s “Tracking Trump’s Conflicts of Interest” presents a comprehensive, free, searchable database detailing all of President Donald J.Trump’s known business dealings and personal interests that may conflict with his public duties as president of the United States. Read our reporting to stay current on related news, learn more about conflicts of interest at every level of government and search our database. If you’re familiar with any of the conflicts we’re tracking you can email us or contact us here to contribute to the project.

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning freelance journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She produces content focused on government accountability, public access to information and freedom of expression issues. She’s also helping to rebuild trust between newsrooms and the public through the Trusting News project.