Herschel Walker's candidacy for Senate in Georgia last year, when he lost to Raphael Warnock, was always a joke. Walker failed not solely because Warnock was a better candidate, but also because Walker was a first ballot buffoon, and lied with the same kind of ease he did when running over SEC defensive backs.
There are numerous examples of how bad he was but one of the best was when Walker showed up to a debate with a ridiculous special deputy badge to try and boost his law enforcement credentials. It was one of the most farcical moments of the campaign. It was one of the most farcical moments of any campaign.
That was all bad. That was all really, really bad. Yet what Walker is accused of now is so much worse. It didn't seem anything could be, but oh, it is. And none of it should be a surprise.
Read this paragraph. It's from a Daily Beast story published on Tuesday about a plethora of possible crimes Walker may have committed, according to the story. It's one of the most remarkable paragraphs you will read today...this week...this month...ever:
"According to the legal experts who spoke to The Daily Beast for this article, this scheme appears to not just be illegal—it appears to be unparalleled in its audacity and scope. The transactions raise questions about a slew of possible violations. In fact, these experts all said, the scheme was so brazen that it appears to defy explanation, ranking it among the most egregious campaign finance violations in modern history."
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The Daily Beast says emails it obtained shows a scheme by Walker to get money from a billionaire family friend named Dennis Washington under the premise of that cash being a campaign contribution. That's legal. Instead, the Daily Beast says, unbeknownst to Washington and his staff, Walker was asking the billionaire to wire the money, over $500,000, directly to an undisclosed company owned by Walker. If true, that's not legal. That's extremely not legal. That's Goodfellas.
The Daily Beast says that emails show Washington did indeed complete Walker’s wire requests, but Washington believed the money was strictly for Walker's political campaign.
In short, this is what Walker is accused of doing, according to the Daily Beast. He allegedly took money that was supposed to be for his campaign, and put it into his own company, HR Talent, the Daily Beast reported.
Two more graphs from the Daily Beast story you should focus on:
"Saurav Ghosh, director of federal reform at Campaign Legal Center, called the arrangement 'jaw-dropping.' Jordan Libowitz, communications director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said if Walker 'used the campaign to funnel money into his own business, that’s one of the biggest campaign finance crimes I’ve ever heard of.' Brendan Fischer, a campaign finance lawyer and deputy executive director of Documented, remarked that the exchanges were 'stunning and, to my knowledge, without parallel in recent history.'”
“Campaign finance laws are designed to prevent massive under-the-table payments like those described here,” Fischer said. “While we don’t have all the facts, these emails point to highly illegal, potentially even criminal activity.”
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One of the lessons from all of this isn't solely about Walker. It's this era we're in; the Era of the Grift. It's not a shock that Walker and Donald Trump are longtime friends because no one is a bigger grifter and fraudster than Trump. If the accusations against Walker are true, he learned a lot from his buddy on how to game the system.
Walker was never a viable candidate and in a way this story gives us a peek at an alternate universe, and we get to see what it would have been like had Walker won. His administration would likely have been one filled with these types of accusations and scandals. Walker wasn't just unqualified; he was embarrassingly so. One of the other scandals was that Walker campaigned on a platform of denying abortion access but multiple women said he paid for theirs. There were also accusations of domestic violence.
People make mistakes but Walker's political life went beyond that. His candidacy seemed like it was birthed because he lost a bet. It was real, though.
Now, if these accusations are true, Walker has bigger problems than his clown-sian campaign. He may need a good lawyer.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Herschel Walker was joke candidate but now center of campaign scandal