The wife of Trump’s ethics lawyer was arrested Tuesday after engaging in incredibly unethical activities.
The Trump Organization faced sharp criticism in January when they announced their intent to hire Bobby Burchfield, a veteran GOP lawyer who worked under both Bush administrations as an independent ethics adviser.
“I don’t know what makes [Burchfield] qualified for that job, but in my experience he certainly does not have a track record for promoting ethical standards and rules,” founder of Democracy 21 Fred Wertheimer told Politico. “From what I know of his experience in this field, he does not fit the definition of an ethics adviser.”
Wertheimer, a “national leader and spokesman on money in politics issues” according to the nonprofit’s website, has spent over four decades advocating government ethics and transparency reforms.
“Every judgment that Bobby Burchfield has to make goes directly to the president’s financial interests,” said Wertheimer, according to the Washington Post. “This is not credible as an independent ethics advisory position. And no one is going to be fooled by this.”
New reports have brought the Burchfield family’s ethical standards into the limelight yet again. But this time, it isn’t Bobby under scrutiny — it’s his wife.
What’s Happening Now:
On Tuesday, Teresa Burchfield, 53, was arrested outside the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center when she was caught having sex with an inmate in the back of a car.
“During the investigation on Tuesday afternoon, September 5, 2017, detectives discovered an inmate and a female in the rear seat of a vehicle in a parking lot adjacent to the detention center facility,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a press release posted to Facebook. “The inmate was found in possession of suspected vitamin supplement pills and other unauthorized articles alleged to have been obtained from the female.”
First reported by the Fauquier Times, a Virginia-based news source, Burchfield allegedly supplied the 23-year-old inmate with contraband including cigarettes, clothes, and a brown paper bag supposedly containing vitamin supplements.
“When the inmate exited the vehicle, he handed me a bag of brown pills (capsules), that he claims to be workout pills,” wrote Dept. J.B. Thorpe in the criminal complaint.
The inmate, who remains unnamed, told deputies he’d met with Burchfield regularly for over a month, according to court filings.
Twitter users were quick to point out the cringeworthy irony of the situation.
— Hayat Alvi, PhD (@HayatAlvi) September 7, 2017
She is just “Draining the Swamp”
— CrimefighterCID (@CrimefighterCID) September 8, 2017
wow! Some ethics she has!
— diane brouillette (@zen224) September 7, 2017
The incident constitutes yet another black mark on the Trump administration’s ethical standards. The same day Mr. Burchfield was hired, the Trump Organization announced its intent to double the initiation fee for the president’s frequented Mar-a-Lago resort—an action labeled “unacceptable” by Robert Weissman, president of consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen.
“At the minimum, this creates the appearance of cashing in on the presidency and selling direct personal access to the president,” said Weissman. “It demeans the office of the presidency.”
Mrs. Burchfield was charged with “willfully delivering unauthorized articles to a confined prisoner,” a class 1 misdemeanor, according to Fauquier Times. She was placed on a $5,000 secured bond and has since been released.
But the Burchfield family isn’t out of the woods yet. If found guilty, Mrs. Burchfield may face a $2,500 fine and up to 12 months in jail.
Mr. Burchfield refused to comment on the matter, and attempts to contact his wife were unsuccessful.