We should not be surprised that Trump has hired a slew of officials who themselves engaged in self-dealing (e.g. Scott Pruitt, FEMA). The fish rots from the head. The serial ethical violations by Kellyanne Conway and her contempt for the Hatch Act underscore that corruption is celebrated rather than prevented. Hey, if Trump uses his office to enrich himself, why not use her position to engage in partisan politics at the taxpayers’ expense, right?
Trump’s corruption is so obvious and endemic that it should rank high up on any list of impeachable acts the House might draw up. It is essential to set a standard for conduct not only for the president but also for the entire executive branch that statutorily is supposed to abide by much more exacting rules. How do you persuade a mid-level manager not to send his secretary to pick up dry cleaning when the president himself is using the Oval Office as his piggy bank?
Whether by impeachment or election, Trump will be gone at some point (soon, we pray), but the residue of slimy dealings, norm-breaking, greed and shameless self-dealing will remain. Top-to-bottom IG investigations will be needed throughout the executive branch, and rule-breaking employees must be dismissed. The Office of Government Ethics must be beefed up and given investigative powers and penalties increased ($1,000 per Hatch Act violation?). All federal employees must fully divest of holdings, and failure to do so should come with severe penalties. (Looking at you, Wilbur Ross.) The president and vice president should be subject to the same rules as the rest of the executive branch, and senior officials must release tax returns.