We are now seeing reports that Mitch McConnell is aggressively trying to change Kentucky law in an attempt to prevent the Democratic Governor of the state from appointing someone should he leave office.
The question is, "Why?"
There have been questions as to his health, but I think that it is rather more likely that he is deeply involved in his wife's corrupt abuse of her office as Secretary of Transportation to benefit her family business.
My hope is that McConnell thinks that he will at some point in the not so distant future be forced to resign as a part of a plea deal for public corruption. (I prefer his living in misery to his dying)
It has been an open secret that Elaine Chao is relentlessly corrupt, and now that it is a matter of public record, via an Inspector General report, I don't think that it will be allowed to fade away as it did when she was Bush, Jr.'s Secretary of Transportation:
While serving as transportation secretary during the Trump administration, Elaine Chao repeatedly used her office staff to help family members who run a shipping business with extensive ties to China, a report released Wednesday by the Transportation Department’s inspector general concluded.
The inspector general referred the matter to the Justice Department in December for possible criminal investigation. But in the weeks before the end of Trump administration, two Justice Department divisions declined to do so.
Ms. Chao, the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced her resignation on Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol riot. At the time of her departure, an aide to Ms. Chao said her resignation was unrelated to the inspector general’s investigation.
The investigation of Ms. Chao came after a 2019 report in The New York Times that detailed her interactions with her family while serving as transportation secretary, including a trip she had planned to take to China in 2017 with her father and sister. The inspector general’s report confirmed that the planning for the trip, which was canceled, raised ethics concerns among other government officials.
As transportation secretary, Ms. Chao was the top Trump administration official overseeing the American shipping industry, which is in steep decline and is being battered by Chinese competitors.
The investigators did not make a formal finding that Ms. Chao violated ethics rules. But they detailed more than a dozen instances where her office took steps to handle matters related to her father, who built up a New York-based shipping company after immigrating to the United States from Taiwan in the late 1950s, and to her sister, who runs the company now.
These included an interview with a Chinese-language television station at the New York City headquarters of Foremost Group, the shipping company. The focus of the conversation there, according to a Transportation Department translation of the media plan prepared for the interview, was to discuss how Ms. Chao’s father, James Chao, had been “dubbed ‘Chinese Ship King,’ how Foremost Group ‘ascended to its status in the world,’ and Dr. Chao’s business endeavors.”
Ms. Chao had declined to respond to questions from the inspector general and instead provided a memo that detailed the importance of promoting her family as part of her official duties.
“Anyone familiar with Asian culture knows it is a core value in Asian communities to express honor and filial respect toward one’s parents,” the September 2020 memo said. “Asian audiences welcome and respond positively to actions by the secretary that include her father in activities when appropriate,” it continued.
That explanation is complete bullsh%$, because:
The investigators found that Ms. Chao had used her staff to arrange details for Mr. Chao’s trip to China in October 2017, including asking, through the State Department, for China’s Transport Ministry to arrange for two cars for a six-person delegation, which included Ms. Chao’s younger sister Angela Chao, who had succeeded their father as head of the family shipping company, and Angela Chao’s husband, the venture capitalist Jim Breyer.No one in China ever heard about the above. This was about using government resources to corruptly benefit her immediate family.
The trip had been scheduled to include stops at locations in China that had received financial support from the company and also a meeting with “top leaders” in China that was to include Elaine Chao’s father and sister, but not other members of Transportation Department staff. The trip was canceled just before Ms. Chao’s planned departure after ethics concerns were raised by officials at the State and Transportation Departments.
The investigators also found that she repeatedly asked agency staff members to help do chores for her father, including editing his Wikipedia page and promoting his Chinese-language biography. They said she directed two staff members from her office to send a copy of Mr. Chao’s book “to a well-known C.E.O. of a major U.S. corporation” to ask if he would write a foreword for it.
The report said that none of the Transportation Department employees interviewed “described feeling ordered or coerced to perform personal or inappropriate tasks for the secretary.”
In deciding not to take up a potential criminal case, the report said, the Justice Department notified the inspector general that “there may be ethical and/or administrative issues to address but there is not predication to open a criminal investigation.”
Of course they did not find a reason to open a criminal investigation, William Barr was acting as Donald Trump's personal consigliere rather than as Attorney General.
I am not suggesting that Joe Biden should tell Merrick Garland to criminally investigate Elaine Chao, it is an inappropriate for a President to give these sorts of instructions to the Department of Justice.
However, I do think that it is appropriate for Joe Biden to tell Merrick Garland that he should make all resources possible available for investigations of official wrongdoing that might have been short-changed under William Barr.
This would include, of course the behavior of both William Barr and Elaine Chao, and that if professional prosecutors determine there is probably cause for an investigation, that all resources necessary be allocated to clear up such matters as expeditiously as possible.