Michael Cohen Does Not Say He Wasn’t Compensated in Any Way, and Why Make the Admission Now?
The New York Times Tuesday night published a bombshell: Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen admitted he paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 of his own money just weeks before the 2016 election.Â
Everything about the story stinks.
â€œNeither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,â€ Cohen told The Times in a carefully-crafted statement. Stormy Daniels is the stageÂ name of Stephanie Clifford. â€œThe payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.â€
His statement does not say if Donald Trump reimbursed him, orÂ compensated him in any manner. Did he get a raise? A bonus? A house? His statement does not say if a Trump family memberÂ reimbursed him, orÂ compensated him in any manner.
His statement does not say, and he refused to answer, if Donald Trump knew about the payment, or if he has made similar transactions before.
Perhaps mostÂ importantly, his statement does not say why he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000.
Trump denies having an affair with Daniels in 2006, months after his youngest son was born to his wife Melania.
Recently, Stormy Daniels appeared to deny the affair, recently brought to light again by The Wall Street Journal. Shortly after, The Washington Post detailed all the times she did not deny the affair â€“ all the times before the $130,000 payment.
What also stinks is the timing of the revelation: During one of the biggest scandals to plague the Trump administration to date, this news, perhaps designed to distract, comes out.Â
But what’s very important and separated from some of the salacious headlines is that this is a matter for the Federal Election Commission.
The former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, offered this sarcastic response to the news (which he appears to have later deleted):
Trump’s lawyer says he paid $130k out of his own pocket to silence Stormy Daniels right before the election – and refuses to answer follow-up questions – but it super definitely wasn’t an excess, in-kind campaign contribution. Well if he says so, okeedokee https://t.co/LfaohsVx1v
â€” Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) February 14, 2018
Common Cause, which filed aÂ Federal Election Commission complaint, supposedly triggered the statement from Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen.Â
Here’s what one Common Cause attorney, a former special counsel at the FEC, said:
If made for the purpose of influencing the electionâ€”itâ€™s an excessive in-kind contribution and should have been reported. https://t.co/0iBHHj0TbM
â€” Steve Spaulding (@SteveESpaulding) February 14, 2018
Common Cause says Cohen’s admission of making the payment “does not make the Trump campaign’s legal problems go away.”
â€” Julie Bykowicz (@bykowicz) February 14, 2018
Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell weighed in when the news broke Tuesday night, insisting theÂ Federal Elections Commission investigate:
BREAKING: Trump’s personal lawyer says he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130K out of his own pocket, the New York Times reports.@Lawrence and @Maddow react to the latest chapter in this bizarre scandal, including why the FEC must investigate. #LastWord pic.twitter.com/z79invYDmi
â€” The Last Word (@TheLastWord) February 14, 2018
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GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt
Republicans Tuesday evening killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats’ agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.
GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.
Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans’ “blockade.”
Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:
Thune contradicts Blunt when asked just now if GOP leadership would come out against narrower measures like the VRA: “I suspect yes.”
“It just replaces a state’s sovereignty with the federal government, and that’s a bridge I don’t think our members are willing to cross.” https://t.co/mmVduM5fPH
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 22, 2021
60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50 vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.
The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.
“This is a dark day in this country,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.
“This is a dark day for Republicans,” host Nicolle Wallace replied. “Republicans won’t just walk over norms, they will burn them down,” she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.
Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP:
Vote on For the People Act isn’t on legislation itself, but whether to start debate on the bill. Republicans are so afraid of democracy they won’t even allow a debate on how to fix it
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) June 22, 2021
‘Are You Sitting Down?’: Biden DOJ May Defend Trump in 1/6 Lawsuits – Columnist Suing Him Who Says He Raped Her Furious
The Biden Dept. of Justice may defend Donald Trump, the former president, for remarks he made inciting the January 6 insurrection. Columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump sexually assaulted her and is suing him for defamation, is furious.
‘ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?” asked Carroll, who famously posed for the cover of New York Magazine in the dress she was wearing in Bergdorf-Goodman the day she says Trump, in the 1990’s, raped her in a dressing room. She is also seeking his DNA, which she says remains on the dress, to prove he raped her
“The DOJ–using the same rational they used to defend Trump in my case–may defend Trump in the Capitol Insurrection suit brought by the illustrious Representative @RepSwalwell,” she tweeted.
Many were furious when then-Attorney General Bill Barr stepped in to have the DOJ take over the case, especially since the federal government cannot be sued for defamation. The case theoretically could have then been dismissed.
But it lives on, and the Biden DOJ, under the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, has now taken to defend the former president in Carroll’s defamation case.
On Tuesday Reuters reported the Biden DOJ may defend Trump in lawsuits alleging he incited a violent coup and deadly insurrection.
“The Biden administration paved the way for that possibility, say constitutional scholars and lawyers in the cases, by arguing in an unrelated defamation case against Trump that presidents enjoy sweeping immunity for their comments while in office – and the right to a defense by government lawyers,” Reuters reports.
The decision to defend the former president “has profound implications for several ongoing lawsuits, including one filed by two U.S. Capitol Police officers seeking to hold Trump liable for injuries they suffered defending the building in the Jan. 6 attack.”
But noted constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe calls the DOJ’s decision to defend the former president a legal blunder of “Titanic” proportions.
“It would be very difficult for the Justice Department to change course now,” Tribe, a Harvard University constitutional law professor and a frequent critic of Trump. “The Titanic is aimed at the iceberg.”
‘For Sure’: Mike Lindell Promises Right-Wing Activists ‘Donald Trump Will Be in Office by This Fall’
Held at The River Church, which is pastored by right-wing conspiracy theorist Rodney Howard-Browne, the speakers included the likes of Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Jackson Lahmeyer, Ann Vandersteel, KrisAnne Hall, Greg Locke, and dozens more.
Among the most prominent speakers was MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has worked relentlessly (and fruitlessly) to prove that the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud and foreign interference in an effort to overturn the election results so former President Donald Trump can return to the White House.
Despite releasing multiple “documentaries” purporting to prove fraud and filing multiple lawsuits, Lindell’s efforts have all be for naught, but he has not given up, telling the massive crowd gathered for the rally that he will soon be hosting a “cyber symposium” where he claims that “cyber guys” will prove that the election was stolen via something he calls “packet capture.” That, he declared, will ultimately force the Supreme Court to overturn the election results and put Trump back in office by the fall.
Lindell said that none of his efforts have been successful so far “because we’ve been living in the twilight zone,” complaining that “every time you have something real, they’re going, ‘We don’t we’re not gonna look at it,’ or the judges go, ‘We’re not gonna look at it.’”
“But you see, that’s all changing,” Lindell promised. “What I’m going to do to get this to the world, it’s called a cyber symposium. And what it is, is I’m going to have a venue at the end of July—it’s your job, everybody, to get the word out to the world—we’re going to get every cyber guy that has credentials—they’re called CISSP credentials—they’re going to be there.”
“We’re bringing in all the cyber guys,” he continued. “They’re gonna be there. Then we’re bringing all the media. Maybe even Fox will show up! What a concept. And then we’re going to bring in all senators, governors—even the corrupt ones, Brian Kemp—and legislatures, secretary of states, and every single government official that wants to be there, because when we show them these packet captures, we’re gonna just give them out to all them cyber guys so they can have their own guy go, ‘How many votes were flipped here in Tampa?’ Here you go. Boom. It’s going to be a worldwide event. Millions are going to see it, and those Supreme Court justices are going to look at it then, and they’re going to go 9-0 that this country was attacked. The election is gonna come down. Donald Trump will be in office by this fall, for sure.”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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