In the remote area of Central Asia, in Western Mongolia, the endangered argali sheep live. Best known for the curving horns which easily can span more than six-feet, the population of the rare animals continues to dwindle away.
According to ProPublica, Donald Trump Jr. shot and killed one of the rare argali sheep this past summer while on a hunting trip. The rare sheep, recognized as a national treasure, requires a special permit to be legally hunted. The president’s son was not offered a permit until after he left the region which has since raised questions about whether he received special treatment.
“The Mongolian government granted Trump Jr. a coveted and rare permit to slay the animal retroactively on Sept. 2, after he’d left the region following his trip. It’s unusual for permits to be issued after a hunter’s stay. It was one of only three permits to be issued in that hunting region, local records show…”
“What are the chances the Mongolian government would’ve done any of that to someone who wasn’t the son of the United States’ president?” asked Kathleen Clark, a professor specializing in legal ethics at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.
Trump is not a government employee, but obviously has significant influence for the Mongolian leader to treat him favorably as a “desire on the part of a foreign government to curry favor with the president’s family.”
Trump purchased the seven-day Mongolian hunting trip from a National Rifle Association charity auction. It is not known if an argali had been listed as the auction item. An expedition of this kind usually cost between $24,000 and $50,000 to rich trophy hunters who want to kill rare animals.
During the trip, Trump posted more than two dozen of his vacation pictures on Instagram, but did not post any of the photos of his killing the argali at night. One showed him in a yurt, another with a live eagle and a third depicted him riding a Mongolian horse.
Oddly enough, a gas company CEO named Kevin Small killed an argali in August – about the same time Trump was there. The photo Small posted on his social media sources have since been deleted.
“Campaign finance records show Small increased his political donations to Republicans in the months ahead of the trip. In March, he gave $50,000 to the Take Back the House 2020 joint fundraising committee, an additional $35,5000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and $10,600 to a super PAC supporting House Republican candidates and the campaign fund for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader. The amount far exceeds his contributions in previous years, federal campaign contribution records show,” ProPublica reported.
It is not known if Trump applied for the required permit to bring the horns and head of the animal back to the United States.
(Photo screenshot by Argali Conservation)
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