The past week has proven that the Trump administration will be just as bad as anyone could’ve feared, with a rash of specific actions—raising a white nationalist to unprecedented power, banning Muslims from entering the country, erasing evidence of climate change, and waging an open war on the press—that requires not just outrage but specific, immediate action on the part of the population. We can protest, we can donate, we can call our representatives; after that, we can kick back and do some trolling.
But if, even then, there remains a horrifying pit in your stomach where your vision of the future once lived, you are not alone. Buzzfeed is leading an encouraging, crowd-sourced campaign to map all of Trump’s business ties—his various casinos, real estate organizations, branded ventures, political appointees, and so on—which number over 1,700 people and organizations right now. That’s a little bit hard to process, but a visualization by Kim Albrecht shows how vast those business ties are. You can view it first with Trump at the center, then click on any bolded name to see exactly how those connections play out in miniature. Click on Trump Tower Commercial LLC, for example, to see who holds its mortgage, who owns it, and who owns its collateral debt; click on any of those bolded names to see sources and what those names and organizations are connected to.
Since Trump declined to divest himself of his business ties before entering office, these all represent possible conflicts of interest as he leads the nation. It’s impossible to tell where such investigations will lead, but massive, transparent research projects like this help provide a groundwork for holding the administration accountable. It’s a positive use of the sort of crowd-sourced sleuthing done so ham-fistedly by subreddits in the past, and it’s something to pore over while you envision which lucky venture might lead to Trump’s (likely, if you ask Vegas) impeachment.