“We lose 300 Americans a week, 90 percent of which come through the Southern Border,” President Trump tweeted yesterday. Although his typically strained syntax seemed to suggest an Annihilation-esque scenario, Trump was presumably referring to drugs, not abductions. Heroin overdoses kill 15,000 Americans every year, which works out to 288 per week. Drug trafficking has been a common theme in Trump’s arguments for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In what may or may not be a coincidence, earlier this week Roberto Escobar, brother of infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $50 million to aid an effort to impeach the President. The page soon disappeared. Escobar claims GoFundMe pulled it, but considering the large number of similar impeach-Trump efforts on the platform, perhaps it was a planned prelude to yesterday’s announcement that Escobar’s company would continue the fundraising efforts with the introduction of a cryptocurrency, Escobar, a stablecoin pegged to the dollar.
There is an odd personal twinge to the effort that seems designed to bait Trump by targeting his vanity and fear of appearing weak. The front page of the Impeach Trump Fund website shows a picture of the president overlaid with the words, in huge red letters, “I AM SCARED OF PABLO ESCOBAR.” “If someone can impeach me,” the text adds, “it must be Pablo Escobar and brother Roberto Escobar.”
Now, why would that be the case? Moreover how would this fund aid an impeachment effort? (A call to the fund’s headquarters in Beverly Hills, California, was not returned.) The site claims some money will go toward hiring high-powered lawyers and lobbyists. (They should be willing to be paid in Escobars, which won’t be redeemable for dollars until June.) Most intriguingly, some proceeds “will be used to legally obtain intelligence, which could make an impeachment possible.” Indeed, the front-page first-person text also reads “I have done so many things wrong both before, during (and probably after) my presidency…I deserve to be impeached and removed from ruling the U.S.A.”
It could all be posturing, a clever means of tweaking Trump while promoting the fund. (Quieter text on an additional website notes that in addition to building an impeachment effort, the fund will be used for “the development of Escobar token and its success.”) But it’s also no secret that the ongoing investigation into trump led by the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, is looking at Trump’s money flows and possible laundering. The organization Global Witness has suggested that during the early 2000’s, when Trump’s financial problems made it difficult for him to obtain credit, the construction of the Trump Ocean Club in Panama was funded by laundered drug money.
What does Roberto Escobar know? And can the power of the Escobar do the talking? Stranger things have happened with this presidency.