Rachel Maddow broke down a clearly forgotten bit of presidential history a couple of weeks ago: the time when Jimmy Carter became president of the United States of America, gave up his peanut farm—something he actually created without fraud or bankruptcy—and then proceeded to be investigated for six months by a Republican-hired special prosecutor.
Republicans in 1979 spent six months and they hired a special prosecutor. They went out of their way to make sure it was a Republican special prosecutor who they hired at the Department of Justice to just tear everything apart, go up and down through every peanut shell to try to find something, anything scandalous in Jimmy Carter`s family peanut farm.
In the Republicans’ defense, there was some missing money because Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy was living on the farm and took money out of the business.
Billy only got paid about $20,000 a year. But apparently, he decided to help himself year after year to basically the farm`s bottom line. He repeatedly took the retained earnings from the farm, basically took money out of the business year after year until it ultimately attracted the attention of Republicans in Congress who persuaded the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the peanut farm, to investigate if President Carter was using it to hide some political slush fund because where was all that money going out of the business?
Yes, it turns out there wasn`t a slush fund. There was Billy! Billy was not a model employee of the peanut warehouse. But that was – I mean, that was not exactly a scandal at that point, right, given what everybody had come to learn about the president`s beloved younger brother.
The Republican Party isn’t even suggesting they will investigate one of the endless conflicts of interest the incoming president is reported to have. That’s not outrageous, it’s criminal incompetence.
You can watch Maddow’s report here.