Political Focus: Wilbur Ross — the pig hiding in Trump’s cabinet

Ben Hume, Staff Reporter

If you thought Trump’s cabinet was already full of skeletons, prepare for something truly spectacular. Obscured by the shadow cast by the Scott Pruitt investigation, there have been a plethora of other shady practices in Trump’s trusted circle of administrators. But the Pruitts and the DeVosses always get the front page for their blatant ignorance and idiocy; here’s a little story of one of the White House’s sneakiest thieves.

The cabinet member’s name is Wilbur Ross, Trump’s secretary of commerce. Until very recently, he was amongst the least problematic members of the Trump administration. Upon his nomination, neither side of the aisle had any qualms with his selection. And why should they have? A previous member of the Forbes 400, Ross was willing to divest hundreds of millions worth of assets in order to serve under the president. A Democratic senator even praised him for his personal sacrifice, and it seemed like Ross’s nomination would be the least volatile of any other cabinet position.

Until now.

When Ross promised to divest any personal holdings that would lead to conflicts of interest, he lied. In an investigation run by Forbes themselves, it has been revealed that Mr. Ross has not only failed to get rid of his assets, but also has some very suspicious holdings. These assets that he refused to be rid of include: stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, shares in Russian shipping firm Navigator Holdings owned by a close henchman of Putin and Cypriot bank involved in the Muller investigation.

Forbes also found that Ross placed a large number of these shares in a family trust fund, and sold others to Goldman Sachs. And finally, Ross committed a very shady decision in free market trading; knowing that Navigator Holdings was under investigation and reports would surface in five days, Ross shorted his stock in the Russian company so that, when their stock prices dropped, he would be in position to make a large amount of money.

Now horribly enough, our government ethics division has no rule against these shady dealings. But Ross is still in hot water over his lies to federal officials, which means he seems to be next on the cabinet chopping block.

As soon as investigations began and the lens of scrutiny passed over him, Ross dumped the holdings he told federal officials he had already gotten rid of. Very shady. Hopefully further investigations into this will not only lead to his firing, but also another look into the ethics of business practices in the U.S. government.

The fact that Wilbur Ross is just a blip in the background of this administration’s numerous investigations should certainly be a concern. This is corruption and manipulation on a large scale. Ross could have been manipulating prices to his advantage; by the looks of it this is a very likely possibility. This administration is setting a precedent that I don’t want to think too much about. A precedent of inconsequential and unpunished corruption and white collar crime.

It’s a shame that this is all the hope we have, that activities like this get at least a slap on the wrist. But I have faith that those in this administration that think they can walk over these hallowed public service positions get the comeuppance they deserve.