Accuracy in Media

Reporting by at The Wall Street Journal is missing key, basic journalistic facts in its article Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors,” by Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Rebecca Ballhaus and Aruna Viswanatha.

Obviously, American voters want good government and corruption in any form should be rooted out. Yet the Wall Street Journal article in its current reporting appears to be much ado about nothing and is part of the ongoing onslaught against President Trump, who has endured the most negative coverage of his presidency in modern history, according to Harvard University research.

The WSJ article did not specifically identify any wrongdoing by the inaugural committee, and the article lacks any details about the recording by attorney Michael Cohen that aroused the suspicion–including what was actually said on the recording, where it was made and when.

The WSJ does note that the committee fulfilled its disclosure requirements as a non-profit. As the WSJ notes [emphasis mine] “The inaugural committee has publicly identified vendors accounting for $61 million of the $103 million it spent, and it hasn’t provided details on those expenses, according to tax filings. As a nonprofit organization, the fund is only required to make public its top five vendors.”

The WSJ conflates unrelated events–as in the case of many others who have been under investigation, guilty pleas have been for actions taken either before or after the Trump campaign, not for their direct actions while directly working for the Trump campaign or the inaugural committee. The WSJ even notes in its article [emphasis mine]:  “[Richard[ Gates, who served as deputy in the inaugural fund, in February pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the U.S. involving foreign political consulting work unrelated to the campaign.”

Also note from WSJ:  “The committee was headed by Thomas Barrack Jr., a real-estate developer and longtime friend of Mr. Trump. There is no sign the investigation is targeting Mr. Barrack, and he hasn’t been approached by investigators since he was interviewed by the special counsel’s office last year, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

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