OK, someone’s going to say ‘Well, that’s Think Progress. You really think that’s a reliable source?’ TP has a link to Newsmax TV, which has a video of the segment where Carson said ‘He will surround himself with very good people.’ Asked if one of these will be Dr. Ben Carson, Carson replied ‘I will be doing things as well. Yes.’ Asked, ‘In the administration?’ he said, ‘Certainly in an advisory capacity.’ ‘That’s been determined? When you sat down with him, that was discussed?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is it a Cabinet position?’ ‘Uh… Again, I’m not going to reveal any details.’
It sounds as if Trump offered Carson a position. Given that Carson doesn’t like Trump, it’s plausible the offer was in exchange for an endorsement.
So how likely is it that Trump violated federal laws?
Eh? The charge is that Trump offered Carson a position in exchange for an endorsement. I don’t see how that fits your hypothetical.
Anyhoo, agree it won’t be prosecuted, since Carson will just say that he mis-spoke and there was no quid pro quo. These things seem pretty close to unprosecutable unless the people involved are both dumb enough to make the offer explicit and leave documentary evidence (the Illinois Governor who tried to sell Obama’s Senate seat, for example).
There are probably only two people who could ever substantiate that allegation; one of them wouldn’t talk no matter what motivation you used, and the other would be highly unlikely to say anything as long as he believed that he had a real chance of getting the post being offered.
I’m not sure Carson is part of the “ruling class”. But people do occasionally get convicted for bribing with gov’t positions, so I disagree with your statement. The Governor if Illinois, for example. IIRC, there was a more recent case in NY, though I can’t remember enough to google.
But like I said, the people involved have to be pretty dumb to get caught. I was kinda amused by Rubio’s voice-mail to Christie earlier in the cycle asking for an endorsement and saying he “had a bright future in public service”, which is funny because of how close it comes to just blatently saying “endorse me and I’ll put you in my Cabinet”.
So did Obama violate this law when he appointed Hillary secretary of state? Or did he not actually tell her he’d do that until after the election? Can’t remember. It seems that Think Progress’s interpretation of this law makes many normal political deals illegal, and I’m not sure that’s the case.
Is an endorsement something that you can criminally bribe somebody for? I thought an endorsement is something you’re allowed to sell on the open market if you want. The only check on selling it openly is it diminishes its perceived value.
That’s the danger. They aren’t the ruling class. One thing I was worried about with Carson is that federal election law is complex. Trump probably has the money and legal team to defend himself. Carson’s screwed if the authorities come calling. Besides, the powers that be would love to send a message that non-politicians need not apply.