Possible Campaign Finance Violation?
The Trump campaign appears to be paying the legal fees of Donald Trump’s longtime and now former bodyguard. $66,000 has been shelled out to the law firm that represents Keith Schiller, who left the White House in a surprise move last September. Citing “newly filed campaign records,” NBC News first reported the story.
Schiller “testified to the House Intelligence Committee in November that someone made an offer to send five women to Trump’s hotel room in Moscow in the lead-up to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.”
The Trump campaign paid more than $66k to the law firm that represents Keith Schiller, Trump’s former bodyguard, newly filed campaign records show.
Schiller told Congress that he refused an offer by someone in Moscow in 2013 to send five women to Trump’s hotel room. pic.twitter.com/SYXsgEmheu
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 17, 2018
“Two people familiar with the matter told NBC News that Schiller painted the incident in a light favorable to Trump, saying he turned down the offer on Trump’s behalf, treated it as a joke and no women ever came, as far as he was aware.”
NBC adds that “Federal election law allows the use of campaign money for legal fees, but only if the fees are related to a matter connected to the campaign, legal experts say.”
The Trump campaign spent $834,000 on legal fees during the first quarter of 2018, federal campaign records show — about 20 percent of total spending.
Earlier Tuesday The Daily Beast published a report on Schiller titled, “The Trump Super Fixer Who ‘Knows Where All the Bodies Are Buried’.”
“There is no doubt that Keith Schiller knows where all the bodies are buried. Next to Michael Cohen, if Mr. Schiller ever turns state’s evidence, the impact on the president would be catastrophic,” Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti told The Daily Beast.
The Trump campaign appears to be covering Keith Schiller’s legal fees, paying $66,000 in January to Schertler & Onorato, the law firm representing Schiller in the Russia probe, per FEC filings.
Meanwhile, the RNC has paid Keith Schiller’s security firm $90,000 since last fall.
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) April 17, 2018
Image via Twitter
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Trump’s DHS Chief Delayed and Altered Report on Russian Election Interference Because It ‘Made the President Look Bad’
Chad Wolf, Trump’s Acting Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) who was unlawfully installed, delayed and altered a federal government intelligence report on Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election because it “made the President look bad.”
A new Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report says Wolf for months delayed a report that was initially titled, “Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Electoral Dynamics.” It later was altered to “blunt” the focus of Russia’s attack on Democratic nominee Joe Biden by adding claims about China and Iran’s alleged attempts to denigrate then-President Donald Trump, who was running for re-election.
“A Tuesday report from DHS’s Office of Inspector General concluded that DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) wrongly let politics interfere with the dissemination of the report, which documented a Russian disinformation campaign surrounding President Biden’s mental acuity,” The Hill reports.
“I&A employees during the review and clearance process changed the product’s scope by making changes that appear to be based in part on political considerations, potentially impacting I&A’s compliance with Intelligence Community policy,” OIG concluded in a report that found that “DHS did not adequately follow its internal processes.”
The Inspector General’s report says “the Acting Secretary [Wolf] asked the product be held because it made President Trump look bad and hurt President Trump’s campaign — the concept that Russia was denigrating candidate Biden would be used against President Trump.”
The Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis “also told us he took contemporaneous notes of the meeting, a copy of which we obtained. The notes…read ‘AS1 – will hurt POTUS – kill it per his authorities.’”
The Office of Inspector General “concluded Wolf’s interference and other changes violated requirements that require intelligence products to be objective and independent of political consideration,” The Hill adds.
‘Smoking Gun’: Former US Attorney Labels Don Trump Jr’s Election Texts ‘Powerful Evidence’ of Fraud
Appearing on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show” with host Jonathan Capehart, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance made the case that Don Trump Jr’s texts about overturning the 2020 election results — coming just a few days after the public went to the polls — could end up being the “smoking gun” investigators are looking for.
Reacting to the CNN report that the oldest son of former president Donald Trump was pitching suggestions to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on how to remain in power, Vance called the texts “powerful evidence” that could be used in a criminal indictment.
“Is this proverbial smoking gun, especially after the Ginni Thomas texts?” host Capehart asked.
“It feels like it could be a smoking gun,” Vance conceded. “This is two days after the election, the election result hasn’t been called yet, but Donald Trump Jr. is already acting on the assumption his father is going to lose the election and, of course, the entire predication that his father has for maintaining that everything he did after the election, up to and including the march on the Capitol, was legitimate was this notion that he had not legitimately lost the election.”
“So to the extent that this becomes a powerful piece of evidence that they were aware that they had lost, that they were aware it wasn’t fraud and they were going to have to come up with these alternate schemes, including fake slates of electors to get across the finish line, this really could be very powerful,” she added.
Ginni Thomas Demanded Republicans Go ‘Out in the Streets’ to Protest Election, Support Donald Trump
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas demanded Congressional Republicans take the fight to overturn the 2020 election to the streets after Donald Trump lost his re-election bid to Joe Biden.
Thomas, a veteran far-right activist and lobbyist, and spouse to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is under fire after multiple news organizations Thursday reported on 29 texts she exchanged with then-Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows demanding he work to overturn the election.
“Shortly after the 2020 election,” NBC News reports, Ginni Thomas “sent an email to an aide to a prominent House conservative saying she would have nothing to do with his group until his members go ‘out in the streets,’ a congressional source familiar with the exchange told NBC News.”
That email was sent to “an aide to incoming Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks, R-Ind.,” saying “that she was more aligned with the far-right House Freedom Caucus.”
“Just days later,” NBC adds, Texas GOP Congressman Louie Gohmert “appeared at a ‘Million MAGA March’ near the White House and told Trump supporters: ‘This was a cheated election and we can’t let it stand.’ He talked about ‘revolution.'”
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