Trump’s Pecker and His Rat-Fucker’s “Pervy Ted”

According to Michael Cohen’s criminal information, he and David Pecker started conspiring to protect Trump from scandals pertaining to his extramarital affairs and alleged sexual assault starting in August 2015.

In or about August 2015, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Corporation-1 ( “Chairman-1”), in coordination with MICHAEL COHEN, the defendant, and one or more members of the campaign, offered to help deal with negative stories about Individual-l’s relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided. Chairman-1 agreed to keep COHEN apprised of any such negative stories.

That means Cohen and Pecker were conspiring to help Trump’s electoral chances when Trump’s rat-fucker, Roger Stone, planted a story in Pecker’s pages on March 23, 2016, accusing Ted Cruz, who was running on his Evangelical brand, of having affairs with five different women. (h/t Allen Smith for remembering this incident)

The National Enquirer published an article Wednesday alleging that the Texas senator had five secret mistresses. While it did not identify the alleged mistresses by name, the article included headshots of five women that were pixelated with black bars over their eyes.

The article also quoted Roger Stone, a former Trump adviser who is still close to the real-estate mogul. “These stories have been swirling about Cruz for some time,” Stone said in the National Enquirer. “I believe where there is smoke there is fire. I have to believe this will hurt him with his evangelical Christian supporters.”

Cruz unsurprisingly accused Trump of planting the story. To which Trump claimed he does not surround himself with political hacks … then pretend total innocence.

“And I would note that Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well let me be clear, Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate with him. And this garbage does not belong in politics,” Cruz said.

Trump issued a statement Friday afternoon denying any involvement with the National Enquirer.

“I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week’s issue of the National Enquirer is true or not, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it, and have not, as yet, read it,” Trump said.

“I have nothing to do with the National Enquirer and unlike Lyin’ Ted Cruz I do not surround myself with political hacks and henchman (sic) and then pretend total innocence. Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz,” he added.

The timing of all this is quite interesting for several reasons. First, because Mueller has asked witnesses against Stone about meetings they had with Stone and Rick Gates in the spring, meaning we know the scope of his investigation into Stone extends back into the primary timeframe. The story came out just before Trump formally announced the hiring of Paul Manafort to manage his convention.

More interesting, still, the story came out even as Stone and his ally Pamela Jensen were ramping up attacks on Hillary for Bill’s philandering — the same kind of projection this Enquirer story entailed. The story came weeks after Stone first tweeted out his Stop the Steal campaign. Not long after, Stone started to shift money from his PAC, Committee to Restore America’s Greatness (CRAG in the timeline below), to his 527, Stop the Steal.

February 1, 2016: Pamela Jensen sends out fundraising letter to World Net Daily pushing Kathleen Wiley’s mortgage fundraiser

February 4, 2016: Jensen & Associates loans $2,610 to CRAG

February 10, 2016: Loans from Jensen & Associates repaid

February 19, 2016: Roger Stone tells Alex Jones that Donald Trump has donated to the Kathleen Willey fundraiser, even though it had raised less than $4,000 at that time

March 1, 2016: John Powers Middleton Company donates $150,000 to CRAG

March 6, 2016: First tweet in spring Stop the Steal campaign

March 9, 2016: John Powers Middleton donates $50,000 to CRAG

March 11, 2016: John Powers Middleton donates $25,000 to CRAG

March 14, 2016: John Powers Middleton donates $25,000 to CRAG

March 23, 2016: Ted Cruz National Enquirer smear

March 29, 2016: Trump announces hiring of Paul Manafort

April 6, 2016: Stone (Sarah Rollins) establishes Stop the Steal in same UPS post box as CRAG

April 6, 2016: CRAG gives $50,000 to Stop the Steal

So there’s good reason to believe that Mueller is reviewing Stone’s actions from this time period.

As numerous outlets have reported, prosecutors have given Pecker immunity to testify (at least) about the Cohen matter. The NYT reported that the Enquirer’s Chief Content Officer, Dylan Howard, also keeps a recording device in his office.

Though several people familiar with American Media’s operations have said that the company keeps a strict records policy that ensures that emails are deleted regularly, it is not clear the same held for encrypted communications or recordings; Dylan Howard, the company’s chief content officer, who is also said to be cooperating, was known to have a recording device in his office, according to people familiar with his operations. American Media would not comment.

In court documents filed on Tuesday federal prosecutors cited “encrypted” communications among Mr. Pecker, Mr. Howard and Mr. Cohen regarding the payoff to Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic actress known as Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had a brief affair with Mr. Trump.

Perhaps the Pecker participation in this conspiracy goes beyond just hush payments?

160 replies
  1. Geoff says:

    Oh perhaps indeed. You can just tell by the phrasing of Trump’s denial about the story. It has the distinct ring of a child lying about something he did, pretending he didn’t know anything about it. It also makes perfect sense because he is the absolute king of projection. Almost every nasty thing he says about someone is pretty much exactly the activity that he himself engages in on a regular basis.

    It sickens me that this pecker prick gets off scott-free with immunity, but if this is the price we must pay to eradicate this cancer from our body politic, so be it. If Stone goes down with the ship, well, it would be that much more lovely. Loathsome is too kind a word for that POS.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I guess Pecker wasn’t excited enough to keep up his end of the bargain. Sadly, the salacious gets more attention than pissing on the Constitution as if it were a czar-sized bed in a Russian high-end hotel. The GOP are playing the same game on impeachment they’re playing with climate change: wait out the clock, and when it runs down, head to New Zealand.

    Nice reach around Grassley & Graham are giving Trump on Sessions. They’re quieting the beast and whispering that it can have Jeff, but only if it waits until after the election.

    Nice strategy. If the GOP can’t keep the House, they might as well take off the restraints by giving the Don a new AG, who can neuter Bob Mueller’s investigation, and tie up government – since they won’t impeach – until 2021. It’s a page out of Putin’s playbook.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      You can bet the head of the National Enquirer has a second sense for when he’s safe legally and when he’s in trouble, and in case that second sense isn’t enough, he’s got the lawyers to fill him in.

      No way is he going to prison if he has any way out of it. He’s not taking a bet that Trump can bluff his way out.

    • Trip says:

      Someone has dirt on Grassley and Graham. They are going too far to protect Trump while he’s going down, when normally they would be all about self preservation. And so I think someone has something on them and this is self-preservation.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        My gut tells me Grassley is doing what he does just because that’s what he feels like.

        Graham, though, is definitely being put through the wringer.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      I guess Pecker wasn’t excited enough to keep up his end of the bargain.

      I came to EW for the content; I stayed for the wit. The horrors go down so much more easily with a teaspoon of clever humor, in which this site abounds.

      • Tracy says:

        Thanks to the commenters in this thread for bringing this up (the horror! the shame!!) and also for keeping it light – things like this give me sleepless nights!

  3. Peterr says:

    several people familiar with American Media’s operations have said that the company keeps a strict records policy that ensures that emails are deleted regularly . . .

    Here’s the thing about that policy. You can only delete your emails. But if any of those emails came from or went to people outside your company, there are copies of those emails out there beyond your reach.

    Like in Cohen’s phones and electronic devices.

    Like in Manafort’s phones and electronic devices.

    Something tells me that Pecker was asked about certain things and said “I wasn’t involved,” and then after Mueller/SDNY looked at the electronic devices of folks like Cohen, they came back to chat with him again . . .

    Mr. Pecker, I regret to inform you that you’ve been caught lying to federal agents.

    In our earlier visit, you said X, and I’m standing here today holding copies of emails to and from you that say Y. As your business associate Michael Cohen can tell you, that’s a crime. In fact, you told us a bunch of lies, which could be construed as multiple counts of lying to federal agents. Multiple crimes call for multiple sentences. Can you say “obstruction of justice”? Sure you can

    So you’ve got a choice, Mr. Pecker. You can fight these charges, suffer through discovery, trial, and appeal — and all the media coverage that goes with it — and watch your media competitors salivating over your corpse as they pick up all the scoops that might have gone to you, or you can come clean. You come absolutely, completely, squeaky clean, and we can talk about what kind of consideration that might be worth. You can call your lawyer, and take all the time you want. But whether I hear from you or not, tomorrow at 9am I’m going to court with either an application for an arrest warrant or an agreement to cooperate. Which one I file is entirely up to you.

    Have a good day.

  4. obsessed says:

    I come here every hour or so because if I have to have water poured on my hopes (e.g., the Steele Dossier) I want to get it over with ASAP, but this is the first time I find myself *adding* a cautionary note. Chuck Rosenberg (the MSNBC ex-DOJ guy) seems to fear that since we don’t know the timeline of Pecker’s immunity grant, that it may have simply been granted in order to nail down the charges against Cohen rather than to corroborate Cohen against Trump. That said, the more hopeful thing I read today (Vanity Fair) is that apparently the other AMI guy, Howard, has really got it in for Trump. Regardless, my (completely unreliable) gut tells me that we have now incontrovertibly moved past the level of the horrifically depressing Plamegate, Bridgegate, US Attorney-gate, S&L-gate and Iran Contra-gate and that we’re finally closing in on Watergate territory in terms of the chance that any actual justice comes out of this. Not that Watergate was fully satisfying. If Trump, Erik Prince and about 20 others don’t die broke and in prison I won’t be fully satisfied.

    • bmaz says:

      Chuck Rosenberg remains the gold standard of TV “legal commentators”.

      Who at noted “criminal legal procedure site” Vanity Fair did you read? That insipid Emily Jane Fox? If so, immediately discount it, she is an idiot.

      • obsessed says:

        BMaz: Thanks for the reply (and all of your contributions to this site). So do you think there’s a danger that Pecker has already served his purpose in forcing Cohen to plead and is of no further danger to Trump?

        >Who at noted “criminal legal procedure site” Vanity Fair did you read? 

        Gabriel Sherman ( Here are the quotes and attributions:

        “Howard remains particularly angry at Trump, two people close to Howard told me. “There is no love lost,” one person familiar with Howard’s thinking said. Another person said Howard “hates Trump” and feels “used and abused by him.””

        • bmaz says:

          Ah, thank you. Gabe Sherman is actually a very good reporter. Emily Jane Fox not so much, and she has been all over the place on Cohen, so I wrongly assumed it was her. Apologies for that. As to Pecker and Howard, no, I think both they and Cohen have great value if the authorities, whether SDNY or Mueller, wish to pursue further a campaign finance conspiracy that involves Trump. Frankly, I think Cohen still has far more value because he knows a much broader range of things.

    • Trip says:

      Chuck Rosenberg is excellent. But nailing down charges on Cohen (for the conspiracy of hush money and the campaign donation issues) was nailing Trump, at least in so far as Cohen’s allocution. The other charges against Cohen are even more serious and carry longer prison time, don’t they? The frauds?

  5. joejoejoe says:

    Learned Hand on Pecker: “Publicity is an evil substitute and the art of publicity is a black art; but it has come to stay, every year adds to its potency and to the finality of its judgments. The hand that rules the press, the radio, the screen and the far-spread magazine, rules the country whether we like it or not, we must learn to accept it.”

  6. Ollie says:

    I feel as if I’ve been bitch slapped. Marcy: It really is a great feeling when watching DN!’s segment w/you…….I knew this shit. I mean w/the overload of information out there, to come here and get ‘facts’ w/entertaining verbiage at times, (LOL) is comforting. When Donald spoke this am stating that if we impeached him the economy would go broke and everyone would be poor………not exact quote but good enough, okay? So when he says this? I immediately imagine this: Mueller is getting ready to bring him down……all the headlines are saying it’s close…and Trump goes to a rally and says something like ‘okay. I told you all there were consequences to getting rid of me so if anyone is listening………’. The next thing you know, our electrical systems go down. Our financial systems…quiet. Our nuclear sites are taken over.

    The shit this absolutely horrid man has done and the ever reaching evil he is connected w/, well it really scares me. So. I come here like *obsessed above, about every hour to see what’s up or click on the side to check out you , bmaz, Jim on what’s up via Twitter. Many thanks.

  7. Pete says:

    Rat-fucker used David’s Pecker.

    If Stone ever flips on Trump: Rat-fucker abandons sinking ship

    Sorry…this isn’t a Twitter is it.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This pithy observation from nycsouthpaw (h/t EW) tells me CNN’s producers are doing a shitty job:

    Interesting moment on CNN: After Rob Astorino defends Trump’s post-conviction praise of Paul Manafort, Poppy Harlow notes Astorino is on Trump’s 2020 advisory cmte. He says yes. So he’s signed an NDA, she adds. He nods. Which has a non-disparagement clause. He sits frozen still.

    Amy Goodman would have vetted Astorino, too, and found the same information.  She would not have used him.  She would not have wasted her time or given Astorino and Trump the air time, even for a gotcha moment.  We’re gonna have hundreds of those over the next year.

    In an attempt to embarrass Astorino and Trump, CNN embarrassed themselves more.  Honestly, CNN should account for that segment as a campaign donation to Trump 2020.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      On the subject of stupid Trump defenders, Paris Dennard has been suspended by CNN after it was revealed he had been fired four years ago for harrassment.

      He has also been dumped as a contributor by the NPR show Here and Now.

      I never heard him there, but I avoid Here and Now like the plague. Changing stations in the car one time, I came across it and heard a hopelessly credulous piece about Amy Cuddy and her book claiming that striking a pose like Wonder Woman gives you special powers. Cuddy’s study was later exposed as bogus, but anyone listening could tell it was nonsense.

      A few months later, I heard the show again, and they were plugging the idea that people should get intravenous vitamin fluid treatments.

      I realize this is a limited sample, but every random time I come across that show it has some idiotic, simplistic segment.

    • Trip says:

      CNN is mostly horrible. They invite the worst of the Trump talking heads constantly. Then they try to play outrage, but NEVER adequately push back.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        CNN’s producers are addicted to bringing on obvious partisan shills.  They repeat predictable talking points over and over, and are immune to the give and take of real debate.  CNN harms public debate with that tabloid model of journalism.

        Harlow’s takedown of Astorino was refreshing, but the preliminaries were a waste of time.  And how many viewers didn’t see the whole segment?  The better model would be to boycott these shills for the same reason it should boycott Sarah Sanders: for repeatedly and unapologetically lying.

        • Trip says:

          I agree @earl.

          Another reason not to watch Huckster-be, aside from the lies and her distorted face, is that she drones on and reads statements like a bored 5th grader who has attitude about being required to present her book report to the class. Her monotonous voice, her face, her undeserved arrogance (and incivility, BTW), as well as the whoppers she tells on the daily, make her an insufferable waste of time. If journalists are interested in truth, how do they justify sitting there and reporting back what they know is complete bullshit?

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          “CNN’s producers are addicted to bringing on obvious partisan shills”

          Is CNN really operating as a division of Fox?

          Or, is the real puppetmaster of both CNN and FOX the outside groups that control advertising money?

  9. Frank Probst says:

    As Peterr noted above, e-mail retention policies (or more accurately, e-mail destruction policies) have never seemed very smart to me. I suppose they protect the organization from retaining evidence of internal wrongdoing, but if you’re e-mailing in and out of the organization, the other entity has a copy of the e-mail. If you’re in a legal dispute, and one party says, “Here’s your e-mail.”, and you say, “That’s not how I remember it, but we intentionally destroyed our copy.”, I’m not going to have much sympathy for you.

      • marksb says:

        Yup. Internal: and unless you’re the IT manager, you don’t know how often the email server is backed up or for how long the backup is archived, or for that matter if it’s on-premise, off-site, or in the cloud, and where in the cloud and what their policies are. It’s 2018, high time folks learned how technology works.

        I know I’m preaching to the choir around here, but the technological ignorance still found in most executive suites and political offices is astounding. Nobody needs to learn to code, but they do need to budget for quality IT and secure resources, and they need to learn enough to understand the fundamentals so they can make smart operations decisions and set up smart security policies. But no.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Why assume that the Trump file in AMI’s man-sized safe – with the juicy tidbits it keeps on celebrities, which it won’t publish so long as the celebrities are nice to AMI – only covers the immediate pre-election period in 2016?

    Trump has been a fixture in NYC and NJ real estate – with connections to boats, booze, babes, bankers, politicians and made men – for five decades.

    BTW, if the Don is still looking for his new Roy Cohn, he’ll find him in the guy who has the keys to that safe.

    • Trip says:

      He might’ve bought off stories about his kids and business, too. SDNY is leakier than Mueller. Dis gun be good.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      SDNY and the NY FBI office were good to Roy Cohn while Hoover was in office.  Nice symmetry there.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          If nothing else, this illustrates how pathetically simple it would have been for Vladimir Putin to obtain reams of kompromat on Donald Trump.  As a master agent handler, Putin will not be reluctant in using it.

  11. joejoejoe says:

    Slightly OT: There is a great documentary by Ric Burns (brother of Ken, producer of Coney Island and New York docs) called “Enquiring Minds: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer” that I believe is free on Amazon Prime. The paper evolved out of the kingmaking of Generoso Pope and his immigrant paper Il Progresso Italo-Americano. Pope was disgraced at some point and Generoso Pope Jr. seeking to outdo his father invented the supermarket tabloid.

  12. Avattoir says:

    Was not aware of the origins of the National Enquirer & the Popes Generoso, so thnx for that joejoejoe.
    Also, mentally kicking myself: 5 decades back, I wrote my only undergrad paper with an authentic claim to ‘original’ work, on the forebear of a particular daily (& how it adapted, towards my conjecture it’s morph or perish in that racket).

    Also, can we now look for Ken White’s ever-evolving twitter handle to alight for a time on something like [email protected]?

  13. Trip says:

    Councilman calls for canceling Trump Organization contracts with city over Michael Cohen plea deal

    ….The Trump Organization currently operates Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park, the Central Park Carousel, and the Ferry Point Landing golf course in the Bronx. Various city officials have called for the cancellation of those contracts for years — dating backing to Trump’s campaign and his disparaging comments about Mexicans. But city officials had said they couldn’t legally cancel the deals just because they disagreed with Trump’s speech.
    Levine argued the organization’s connections to Cohen offered a “compelling legal rationale for getting out of these contracts.”

    Here’s the kicker from the above article:
    Levine also argued the amount of money the Trump Organization is charging to operate a golf course on city land — city residents pay $154 during the week or $185 on the weekends for 18 holes of golf— is “far beyond what the average Bronx resident can afford.

    How did this asshole get the contract and approval for these ridiculous rates to begin with?

    • Trip says:

      Answering my own question: the Bloomberg administration approved the golf course deal on an old garbage dump. The Wollman Rink goes all the way back to Ed Koch (D). I didn’t search through the others with a lot of vigor.

      I did come across this, however:
      Trump Said He Made $21 Million in Income From His New York Contracts. He Actually Made a Lot Less.
      The president’s 2016 federal financial disclosure lists gross receipts for his dealings with New York City. If you subtract expenses and fees, the amount he earned from the deals is much smaller.

      Trump has inflated his wealth on these contracts. Is it a way to hide that he’s not so successful and rich? Is there some other income he is trying to account for? The city knows what the real figures are.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump never nets income and assets against expenses and liabilities.  He thinks that’s for chumps.  He always brags using the highest number.  Deception is the inevitable result.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Self deception is his capital.

          Balance Sheet? Balance Sheet? Don’t need no steekin Balance Sheet!

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Wall Street Journal is wrong again.  The I – impeachment – word is not on the Democratic agenda.  It is on the national agenda, however, because Trump is manifestly unfit to hold public office.  The same is true of every political appointment he has made.  It might become a Democratic agenda, but only if the party won solid majorities in both houses of Congress.  Unlikely.

    The bigger problem the WSJ has is that impeachment is Not on the Republican agenda. The age old rule is, you broke it, you bought it, you fix it.

    Pelosi is correct that local issues should dominate this election cycle.  But those issues have obvious national parallels.  Housing, education, jobs and healthcare, the rights of women, people of color, and people of any color.

    The rule of law and public corruption are also local-cum-national issues.  The Ohio State University, for example, has demonstrated that with its meek handling of the wrongs of its current football coach and its former athletics doctor.  Michigan State’s problems continue, too.  Local and state politics are key to imposing accountability for so wrongly looking the other way in the face of crimes by those responsible for the lives of young people.

    The same is true for the violence apparently endemic in local policing, as it is key to increasing accountability for private charities, such as the Trump Foundation.

    Pelosi’s speakership is not an election issue either.  The GOP are screaming about it for the same reason it still screams about former politician Hillary Clinton.  The GOP does it because it riles its sexist, misogynistic, racist voters.  It does it for the same reason Hollywood repeats the same blockbuster over and over and over again.

    Personally, I don’t think Pelosi should be speaker, unless she is willing to spend much of her time mentoring and bringing along the next progressive swathe of leaders.  Relying on the old guard – many in their eighties, many as beholden to corporations and big banks as any Republican – is as losing a proposition as running Joe Biden for president.

    • Rayne says:

      Pelosi’s speakership is not an election issue either.

      They aren’t saying it but presidential succession might be driving the RNC batty. They want to invoke fear of Pelosi but not piss off women so they trash-talk all around and up to the succession issue.

      Personally, I don’t think Pelosi should be speaker, unless she is willing to spend much of her time mentoring and bringing along the next progressive swathe of leaders.

      I find this objectionable, a manifestation of misogyny. If this was a male Democratic representative I don’t think you’d have fretted for a second about them not mentoring nextgen because this soft skills stuff — emotional labor — isn’t ever expected from senior statesmen. And Pelosi is a lot more effective than most men in her party have been at corralling her caucus; can you see Schumer pulling together his entire Dem caucus as often as she does? She’s leading +197 Democrats who are far more diverse than Senate Dems, including 64 women to the Senate’s 17.

      Better learn to think differently in a hurry about leadership in this next Congress, assuming outside influences and voter suppression don’t completely squash the blue wave. It’s not really blue but pink given how many women have won their primaries.

      • Valley girl says:

        Bayne- re:

        Personally, I don’t think Pelosi should be speaker, unless she is willing to spend much of her time mentoring and bringing along the next progressive swathe of leaders.

        I find this objectionable, a manifestation of misogyny.

        Sorry, I agree with @earl.  Pelosi and her DCCC have not treated progressive candidates well at all this cycle.  I think it’s time for Pelosi to be gone.  And, I’ve never seen evidence that @earl is a misogynist.

        • Rayne says:

          Bayne. LOL. Maybe that’s a subtle reference to the bad guy in Batman-The Dark Knight Rises.

          I don’t like what the DCCC has done, but I suspect some of their work is based on weak feedback from out in the Democratic Party base as well as a reactionary response to watching Bernie Sanders fuck over the DNC by showing up and demanding he be treated like a Democrat after doing jackshit to build the party.

          And we’ll agree to disagree about the misogyny. Too few straight white Dem men are ever really trashed as much as Pelosi. We’ve got an abusive, life-long criminal narcissist illegitimately squatting in the White House but democratically-elected Pelosi is our problem.

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            With respect, it is disappointing to see identity politics rear its ugly head here.  It makes everyone stupid. We who disagreed with Obama on dailykos were invariably called racists.  It was impossible to have an intelligent argument about, for one example, his use of drone strikes.  Why? Because an impassioned accusation of racism would get people riled up and shut down rational thought. Not sometimes.  Not when there was some reason.  Every time.  Every critic.  We were all called racists.  I don’t know if anyone here witnessed what they did to Ted Rahl.

            And now someone is sexist because they don’t think Pelosi will be effective?  I love women and I fervently believe that the more power women have in this country the better it will be for everyone. My two empowered daughters are all I need to satisfy myself on these counts.  But after seeing what Pelosi and a bunch of men did with the power we gave them early in Obama’s term, I can hardly stomach the thought of her as Speaker.  I’ll never forget the bullshit presser in which they pretended they had used their budgetary power to end the war in Iraq.  There were even tears among them.  Is that war–I mean, occupation of a sovereign nation–over yet?  If the speaker had been a man, I would feel no less angry about that dog and pony show and their general failure to work for the things we sent them to do.

            Why bring up gender if there is no indication that sexism played a role in someone’s comment?  Please, bring up sexism when you see it, not when you imagine it.  Identity politics kills discussion of issues.  Sorry, but I have strong feelings here.  I hope I don’t sound dismissive.  How I feel is pleading.

            • Rayne says:

              Because it is about gender. We wouldn’t be having this conversation about Bernie if he had been the House rep in Pelosi’s seat. Oh hell, no, I have to listen to nonsense about poor Bernie being ripped off by the DNC and how he should run in 2020.

              And this is also about undermining the little d democratic process — Pelosi is her district’s democratically-elected representative. Suddenly SHE is too old when GOP decides they want to ensure there’s plenty of friction in the Democratic Party, even though she hasn’t been the oldest member of the Democratic Caucus.

              This is exactly why it’s been tough up to now post-2016 for women to get in and stay in office, the constant attacks on their credibility by people who don’t participate in the process to change it. This is why only the wealthy who can afford not to give a shit end up getting elected.

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                Well, in the case of my opinion, you’re just plain wrong.  It’s not about gender.  I can’t speak for Earl, but I saw nothing in his comment to indicate that it’s Pelosi’s gender that he doesn’t like.  I happen to think Bernie would be a much worse speaker than Pelosi has been, but that hypothetical is thoroughly beside the point.  If Bernie had done the same things I’ve seen her do, I would feel the same way about him that I feel about her. If anything, the facts the she is a highly capable woman, has a likable manner, and especially that she faces the disgusting sexist crap that every woman in politics has to face, these facts make me give her more of a pass rather than less of one.   I didn’t like Obama because of his neo-liberal policies.  I don’t like Pelosi as speaker for many of the same reasons Earl describes in his response to you.  Neither attitude has the slightest thing to do with race or gender.  It is damaging to your cause if you assume that anyone who doesn’t like Pelosi must not like her because of her gender or because they’re idiotic enough to fall for Republican propaganda. Don’t we all want to be judging people based on their effectiveness rather than on superficial traits of identity?  You seem to be insisting that this is not possible.

                Identity politics kills discussion of issues.

                  • Doctor My Eyes says:

                    Ideas presented rationally are a lot less effective at policing speech than emotional accusations of racism, sexism and the like made up out of whole cloth.  If there is any policing going on, it’s from you, who accuse anyone who criticizes Pelosi of being sexist. I’m not trying to “police” you, I’m trying to discuss the general problem with you.  You have yet to address anything I have said.  First I must be sexist, then I must be policing ideas.  Could it possibly be that I make valid points worthy of discussion?  I read the things you said in favor of Pelosi.  I think it was an impressive argument. I think there is a lot of validity to your views.  I have my own views of Pelosi based on her history.  It is offensive to be called sexist just because I disagree with you.

        • Tracy says:

          Thanks for all your ideas! Rayne, yes, there is indeed already a pink wave! And I also have to challenge the Pelosi nay-sayers…

          It sounds good for there to be a new face of the Democratic party, after all, the party and times are changing; BUT let us remember…

          Who was it who initially vilified Pelosi? It was Republicans. It is THEIR agenda to scapegoat and get rid of Pelosi, and they do so b/c it benefits THEM, for two reasons:

          1) Republicans have zero positive agenda to run on – everything that could be construed as positive is not helping them: the economy? meh; tax cuts? bad. They have no new policy ideas or agenda, so they use negative messaging to create fear and elicit scapegoats.

          2) Nancy Pelosi has been very effective against them, ex: she is largely credited with shepherding through Obamacare, while Obama himself was late hitting the pavement to promote it, contributing to an image problem (Republicans “got” the politics of it well before he did).

          Then, there are the dire challenges we face in 2019, which may require someone w/ vast experience to help us navigate. This is spelled out in a NYTimes “The Daily” podcast (linked below).

          First, while Dems may retake the House, it is thought (not by me!) that Republicans will still hold the Senate, and presidency. It will be hard to get ANYTHING passed, but Dem voters want to see an agenda.

          Second, there will be a reckoning of a Criminal in Chief who has never been held accountable for anything in his life, despite a lifetime of committing crimes – will it be easy to hold his feet to the fire? Add in Republican collusion, and there will be unprecedented obstruction.

          Third, the House will be holding backlogs of oversight hearings to curb the corruption of this WH and Republican party.

          Fourth, the SC probe will wrap up, and there will be political and legal fall-out, maybe impeachment proceedings, and much more.

          Fifth, there may be a fight over the next AG; the new AG may obstruct the investigation; and if the OSC recommends indicting a sitting president, and the AG refuses, then this triggers an automatic report to Congress, describing what happened for Congress to resolve (per Neal Katyal, who wrote the SC rules – see second link).

          Sixth, Nancy Pelosi knows the politics inside and out, and a new person might not. She also does TONS of fundraising and events for the party.

          She’s talked about building a bridge to the next generation, but I think she wants to help navigate the caucus through what will be the choppiest waters we have seen in this country for decades or 150 years.

          I’d ask those who think we should get rid of Pelosi to examine why they think so, and remember that the Republicans vilify her b/c they’ve “got nothing” and b/c she terrifies them. Dems often cower before Republican criticism, but Repubs will criticize whatever we do and whoever we have. So, think about WHY they want us to ditch Pelosi, how they’d like nothing better than for us to shoot ourselves in the foot w/ an insurgency, install a greenie and have DJT et al eat us alive.


          Neal Katyal:

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        If this was a male Democratic representative I don’t think you’d have fretted for a second about them not mentoring nextgen

        I think that’s putting words in earl’s mouth. Pelosi has been an incredibly effective vote counter and caucus wrangler, but a) that matters more when your party controls the White House than in opposition; b) the Dem bench is pretty thin, especially when younger members decide that their prospects are better in state races; c) it’s time to get past Boomer-driven politics. The NYT opinion piece on this was right: when people like Keith Ellison and Xavier Becerra decide that they can do more as state AG than in the House, they may be right, but that’s not great for House Dems.

        I’d be okay with Pelosi staying at the helm for 2019-20, as the focus in a Dem-controlled House would be on committee chairs, but the pure seniority model isn’t helping a party whose support trends younger.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s not Pelosi’s fault the pipeline has been thin. It’s us out here, not showing up and doing the work. It’s on us that Pelosi is stuck with a minority party trying to mount a resistance. The entire Democratic Party went to la-la land and ignored the 2010 census and subsequent gerrymandering; it was like watching a runaway freight train heading for a sleeping switchman.

          ~screaming into a pillow~

          Christ, I am so goddamn sick of this. I’ve written a number of times at length about what it’s like to make the party work because it really does begin in our own bloody backyard. And yet it feels like I am just pissing in the wind.

          • Valley girl says:

            It’s not Pelosi’s fault the pipeline has been thin.

            Rayne, what pipeline are you referring to?

            Wait a sec.  Are you referring to the pipeline for progressives?

            Pelosi and the DCCC (her DCCC) have done nada to support progressive candidates this cycle.  They go after (support) the candidates who can raise the most dollars.  Or use their personal wealth to fund their campaigns.  And, even when their non-preferred candidate, say a less wealthy or even relatively poor progressive candidate wins a primary, rarely if ever a peep of support from Pelosi and her DCCC.

            • Rayne says:

              The pipeline begins in your backyard, VG. You know this. You know that a viable candidate must raise adequate money for their campaign, must go door-to-door and ask for votes, must do the leg work. That’s exactly what Ocasio Cortez did; there have been far too few people across the country willing to do that, pushing incumbents to the left. The DCCC will throw behind proven candidates when they don’t know anything about an opponent AND the opponent has not yet done any fundraising for them because the DCCC are the existing members of Congress. For goodness’ sake it says they’re “the official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House of Representatives” right on their About Us page.

              This isn’t any different from Bernie crying about DNC treating him unfairly; just how much did he do to build and fund the party before he showed up hands out in 2015 with a shiny new D after his name?

              I feel like a massive remedial course in Democratic Party operations is necessary. But people can’t be bothered to show up at the local party office and do the work needed to make change happen.

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                You seem to be forgetting the party’s response to Howard Dean, the man that taught every politician in the country, Dem and Rep alike, that it’s okay to say Iraq is a bad war. They couldn’t sideline him and his fresh new energy fast enough. A lot of us who worked very hard to get Obama elected and give him a supportive Congress were called fucking retards by Emmanuel within his first week in office. My experience was on dkos, and the same operatives who so abusively drove Clinton supporters away in the primaries effectively marginalized any of us who tried to critique Obama.  The upshot for me is that I have no illusions who the Democratic Party as constituted represents–a kindler, gentler corporate world. You seem to be thinking people showing up at a local office and doing grunt work will somehow magically translate to the party standing up for what they care about.  It doesn’t work that way, any more than you can expect to influence a corporation to be less greedy by doing temp secretarial work in a branch office.

                • bmaz says:

                  The thought that you should not build up from the local and make a difference is truly absurd beyond belief.

                  • Doctor My Eyes says:

                    Whoever the fuck said such a stupid thing?  The thought that keeping your mouth shut and supporting the party as constituted will bring change is what I’m saying is “stupid beyond belief”. I’ve had a bellyful of the array of weapons Dems use to tell progressives to shut the fuck up.  We are blamed when they lose and we are marginalized when they win. Instead of discussion of our ideas we are met with ad hominem charges of racism and sexism; are called pie-in-the-sky ideologues or childishly impatient (again with the ad hominem); or are told our notions are “stupid beyond belief”. This is how to protect the status quo, a status quo I find unacceptable as the only alternative to a government run by Russian crime bosses.

                    And still not even a nod to the idea that identity politics is deployed to distract from discussion of issues.  Not. one. fucking. word.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Well, I believe it was you who said that:

                      You seem to be thinking people showing up at a local office and doing grunt work will somehow magically translate to the party standing up for what they care about.  It doesn’t work that way….

                      So if you are now saying you didn’t say what you said, and actually believe the opposite, that is wonderful.

                  • Doctor My Eyes says:

                    Never mind.  This is disappointing.  I’ll be content to lurk here.  Y’all are doing great work, which I deeply appreciate.  I won’t try to make the site into something it is not.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Seriously?? WTF? This site is, and will be, what it has always been. You will not, and could not, change that. We would, however, value your contribution, but that is your discretion.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Your interpretation of that comment would be wrong.  We’ve been round the Pelosi and Obama issues before.  You like them both.  I do not.  Our disagreement is not based on gender or race.

        I would happily include Schumer, Feinstein, Hoyer and others in my criticism.  My objection is based on the establishment Dems’ corporate and banking priorities, their conservatism and faintness of heart, and their age.  They seem happy with things that are, rather than asking about things that never were, and saying why not?

        Ocasio-Cortez is doing that.  I don’t want her and her peers on pedestals or relegated to spending 40% of their time calling lobbyists for money.  I would prefer that they get their hands into the sausage making, and work toward those things that never were.  I would rather Pelosi and Feinstein, Schumer and Hoyer mentored them in doing that, than play Lear, as Joe Biden seems to be contemplating.

        That would open the door to more Ocasio-Cortezes and to a working majority that could make government work for Americans rather than the corporations that sometimes employ them.

        My fear is that the Dem establishment will reap a majority, then squander it playing to the supposed middle ground, that they choose to look forward, not back, and ruthlessly enforce pay-to-play rules that stifle democracy and make legislators dependent on corporate lobbyists for their jobs and their daily bread.  We can do better.

        • Rayne says:

          Oh how handily Ocasio Cortez is used as an example of a progressive — except that she cut her teeth working for Ted Kennedy, of the same Kennedys who shaped Nancy Pelosi’s career in office.

          The same Ted Kennedy whose 1980 concession speech I point to frequently as an example of the Democratic Party not really moving further left but re-centering on its values.

          Do I like Pelosi and Obama? Yeah. Do I think they are perfect? No, hell no; their personal failings match the size of their office. But they are representative of the field available to constituents and the constituents who voted for them. They could do better but then their constituents could do a lot better, too, which is the real problem in a democracy of, by, and for the people.

          That problem is the reason I walked away from my party activism: progressives who successfully mounted the 2006 wave sat on their laurels and relaxed once Obama was elected. The Tea Party rose in the vacuum they left behind in their wake, instead of taking Obama at his word when he said, ““Go Out And Make Me Do It.” I was told by people I once respected not to rock the boat, sit down and shut up because we’d arrived. Just look at the crap slung at Firedoglake — rabid lambs of the left — because they dared step out of the “veal pen” and insist on continuing a progressive push after January 2009.

          Which was total bullshit — the first black president would only be able to tack to the right if the left did not loudly and forcefully drag him and Congress to the left, a la Overton window. He had zero cover from the left while likely being extorted by the military industrial complex on the regular. Just look at the utter slackness of the entire Democratic Party from grassroots to the DNC chair when it came to McConnell telling Obama and all of us to fuck off by refusing to give Garland a hearing. And what has the Democratic Party, base to chair, done to help Pelosi when she faced stiff odds? Did they really do any more for her to achieve for their own interests than they did for Obama?

          I’ll tell you right now Ocasio Cortez will eventually be chewed up and spat out if the same thing happens to her as happened to Obama. Eventually she’ll lose her new chew toy gloss and like Pelosi will be derided — she’s already being held accountable for “failures” of the Democratic Party in the weeks since her primary. Just as Pelosi is being held accountable for “failures.”

          I’ve seen this story before, the bitching about the so-called “Dem establishment” from a recumbent position. I’m also really goddamned fed up with women and persons of color having to bear more responsibility for fixing this fucking mess, doing it backwards in heels and pulled over for driving while brown.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Your angst and my comments are not the same thing.  But I admire the reference to Ginger Rogers.

            As for Ocasio-Cortez, I mentioned her weeks ago.  I did not bring her up as a retort, but as an example of something new that the Dem “establishment” has worked hard not to encourage.  She is a temporary stand-in for progressives like her.  She and they might well be chewed up and spit out if pay-to-play rules and corporate priorities dominate a new Dem majority.  As you say, that might depend on how much backing those progressives have at home, and how much their voices spread.

            Both parties have labored under pay-to-play since Newt Gingrich first rose to power in the 1990s.  Those put the party’s hierarchy and treasury ahead of legislative work.  They impose isolating social games, such as not living, working and living in DC alongside members from the opposite party, but camping out inside the party bubble, constantly going home and networking with lobbyists, who end up doing legislators’ work.

            That magnified conflict and made it virtually impossible to cross the aisle to work in any bipartisan way.  The only winners in that rigged game are the party hierarchy and lobbyists’ sponsors.

            My recollection is that the Tea Party was pure astroturf, funded by billionaires like the Koch brothers taking advantage of the same angst that motivated many Trump voters.

            And my impression from 2009 was not that the progressives sat back and waited for Obama to do something progressive, but that he tossed them aside before he moved into the White House.  Dawn Johnsen was only a visible example of what was not a priority or part of his agenda.  The Obama-meter was not invented for his presidency; it came from his law school days.

            • Valley girl says:

              And, my take is that based on Obama’s campaign promises, he won with/on the promise of “Change”.  People were ready support him in that.  But he kept not one of his campaign promises that he spoke so ardently about as a candidate.  Once elected, he  didn’t even push for a single one.  He might not have won every battle, but he didn’t even try.  He was and is a neoliberal corporatist.

                • Doctor My Eyes says:

                  Hear! Hear!  If I remember correctly, it was one week into Obama’s first term that Rahm called progressives fucking retards. It was certainly within a month.

          • bmaz says:

            Yes. Exactly. Also, would I like some younger blood in Dem Leadership? Of course. By the same token, Pelosi is, by about a light year, the best tactician and vote counter/whipper the Dems have in the House, and, frankly, it is not even close.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              She’s adept at wielding power, like Schumer and more so than Feinstein.  But to what ends?

              The usual answer is that power works toward its own ends.  Democracy allows for the exception, the aspiration, that with enough checks and balances, it might be made to work for collective ends.

              Lobbyists have gamed that to make it work for their sponsors’ ends.  It will take a lot of progressive pressure to make it work towards others.  That’s my concern.  Because if the same leadership that allowed the banksters to go scot free, and allowed for the institutionalization of Bush’s excesses governs in 2021, what would change?

              • koolmoe says:

                Terrific and inspiring thread there. It’s great to see respectful and insightful conversation again! Plus, its providing me some perspectives I’d not considered. I appreciate this site and the contributors.

              • Doctor My Eyes says:

                Well argued, Earl.  Thank you so much for presenting my thoughts much more cogently than I could have. I’ll never fall for the Obama bait and switch again.  When Bush was president, I thought my allies in the Democratic party were as horrified as I by such things as war crimes. After Obama’s inauguration my erstwhile allies fell silent on issues they had been screaming about during Bush’s presidency. These days, with the stakes so high, it would be easy to think preventing our nation from being run by Putin is enough.  It is not.  Obama’s looking forward not back, Democratic marginalizing of grassroots energy, these things are part of the reason we got Trump. Here’s an example of what our Democratic Party did with their control of both houses during Bush’s last 2 years:

                Following President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, Congress debated his proposal to create a troop surge to increasesecurityin Iraq. The House of Representatives passed a non-binding measure opposing the surge and then a$124 billion emergency spending measure to fund the war, which included language that dictated troop levels and withdrawal schedules. President Bush, however,vetoed the bill as promised, making this his second veto while in office. Both houses of Congress subsequently passed abill funding the war without timelines.

                Anyone remember how the troops were going to starve to death if the Dems didn’t support Bush’s war?  The country sent those Dems to Congress in large part specifically to end an unpopular occupation.

                Then we the people had two years of Dem control of both houses and the presidency. It is highly instructive to compare what the Dems did during those 2 years with what the Reps have been during with their majorities.  There was widespread talk of the death of the GOP.  “Our” party put them back on life support by neglecting to consolidate their position with legislation that would have been wildly popular, things like single payer, like actually ending the war, like carrying out their legal duty to deal with war crimes. Instead we got Lilly Ledbetter.  Can you say tepid?

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’m happy that Jeff Sessions is not letting politics into the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding such mundane things as hiring and staffing issues, charging decisions, and prosecutorial conduct.

    That must mean that the treatment of Duncan Hunter in San Diego will be pro-rated and repeated nationwide. Prosecutors there agreed that the Hunters, accused of illegally appropriating $250,000 for their personal use, should be given a low bail amount. The reason is that they are “living paycheck to paycheck.”

    Members of Congress earn about $174,000 a year – plus full benefits. That’s over $3300 a week. Some paycheck.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Duncan Hunter is blaming his wife for any money crimes, which makes two things probable: Mr. and Mrs. Hunter will use the cut-throat defense against each other.  They will file for divorce.  It would seem easier if they did one before the other.

      Two other things seem possible.  The Dems might pick up another House seat, and the trial of these two public figures should be interesting.  More likely, though, is a late plea deal.  The Hunters probably have more skeletons in their his-and-hers master bedroom closets, which they would rather bury in private.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        Was Mrs Hunter at the bachelor parties where Congressman Dudebro used the campaign card to buy rounds of shots? Anyway, Politico reported back in February that he had a reputation in DC for “drinking heavily and carousing” and that his wife’s use of the campaign card coincided with the arrival of a young woman in his office.

        The SD U-T reported that another Republican entered the top-two primary as a possible fallback option, but Daddy Duncan used his clout to starve him of funds to campaign, so it’ll be Dudebro vs Dem on the ballot no matter what.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        Hunter is blaming his son for his Steam purchases of over $1,000. What a great Dad. Maybe he can come up with a new verse for Cat’s in the Cradle involving his son turning the tables when he grows up and implicating him in a felony.

  16. Trip says:

    Since Trump and Rudy are dangling pardons to Manafort, Mueller can omit the SoHo and Carroll Gardens properties from evidence in the larger case of laundering/fraud, yes? NY can take the reins, and then Manafort, having accepted the pardon, can not exert Fifth Amendment Rights in any trial, is that correct?

    • bmaz says:

      NY has interesting double jeopardy provisions that make this a FAR more difficult issue to get a grip on. And, as to the 5th, depending on how the NY double jeopardy provisions are applied, no he may still retain the right to plead the 5th.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Allen Weisselberg granted immunity, reports WSJ. What scope is unclear. Weisselberg is the longtime Trump Org. CFO. More so than Trump or Cohen, he would know where are all the bodies are buried.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lots of accounting fraud, apparently related to reimbursing Cohen for at least the Stormy Daniels payment.  The elaborateness, the ease with which it was done, suggests routine behavior.

      Note to Ari Velsher:  This is not about getting dirt on Cohen.  A silly suggestion.  It is about obtaining hard evidence on Donald Trump.

      Most importantly, getting Weisselberg to cooperate opens up the Trump Organization. It might soon look as if it came from the South Street Fish Market.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Tom Winter has his story blinders on.  I agree that Weisselberg’s cooperation and presumably the terms of his immunity deal relate to Cohen’s crimes.  But the SDNY doesn’t need Weisselberg for that.  Cohen has already copped a plea.

        SDNY does need Weisselberg to prove the Trump Organization’s participation in Cohen’s crimes, and potentially many others.

        American president Donald Trump’s frequent contention that l’etat c’est moi is not true.  It is true regarding the Trump Organization.

      • Trip says:

        @earl, do you think Weisselberg signaled to Trump that he went before a grand jury? It seems almost impossible that a guy who has been around Trump for so long wouldn’t have given a heads up. If so, how much was destroyed? And also, it makes sense that the FBI might fear Cohen destroying evidence.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          No idea.  I think it depends on what leverage the Feds have on Weisselberg.  If they had enough, he would likely have remained shtum.  Plus, no one would know better than Weisselberg what else the Feds might find if they looked hard enough, and what part of it might implicate him.

          Weisselberg might also simply have been warned against contacting Trump, on the basis that it might be considered obstruction.  There’s also the difficulty of how to communicate with the president.  He could not be sure whether any of the usual channels were secure.

          • SpaceLifeForm says:

            “Weisselberg might also simply have been warned against contacting Trump, on the basis that it might be considered obstruction. There’s also the difficulty of how to communicate with the president.”

            Well, one could tweet, but Weisselberg does not do that, and there is no evidence that potus reads anyway.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Weisselberg is also Treasurer of the Trump Foundation.  A NY state charity already the subject of a civil suit by the state AG, it is being investigated by NY for criminal violations.

      Money crimes related to it, if any, would have both federal and state implications, owing to its having filed state and federal tax returns.

  18. Ollie says:

    ” Allen Weisselberg, the longtime Trump Org CFO, was granted #immunity for providing information about Michael Cohen in the criminal investigation of hush-money payments during the campaign‼️”
    I hope I have a right to be excited! I mean, aren’t ‘money men’ of the mob usually the beginning of the end?

    • koolmoe says:

      I defer to those more in the know, but this would seem to be a Big Fish. I mean…Cohen and others may provide complicity details and timelines, but if it comes down to a financial paper trial, who better than the long term CFO.

      I’m kinda hopeful Weisselberg hung around long enough to make bank, but at this point is now like “finally I get my revenge”

  19. Rapier says:

    Are these Enquirer ‘contributions’, if they are proven to be that, still just as illegal or have those statutes been eliminated or superseded?

  20. Trip says:

    Updating my opinion: Manafort better think long and hard about holding out for a Trump pardon…as Trump may not be around for much longer. Knowing Trump, he might promise something he won’t deliver on later, if he calculates the risk of Manafort testimony on any state charges.

    The SDNY and NY State investigations are going to get very close to the three stooges: Eric, Junior and Ivanka, since all of the business is intertwined. I guess we’ll find out if Trump sacrifices himself for the kids or throws them squarely under the bus.

    He must be devastatingly unhinged at the moment.

    • Pete says:

      We have heard about The Trump Organization and The Trump Foundation wrt to subpoenas and investigations.  I do not think I have seen the Trump Trust mentioned in that regard, but I did read that, among other things, The Trump Organization is in the Trust.

      It is a revocable non blind trust.  Uday and Qusay run the trust.

      I thought I had read somewhere that a payment came from the Trust and we have certainly read where payments have come from the Org.

      It would be appear that many in the media may be confused or perhaps it is not important whether the trust or org is named – in the press.  And of course I could very well be confused – happens often.

      Would a legal type clarify any distinction between the trust and the org when it comes to legal liability?



      • Trip says:

        The Trump Org (unnamed executives) ordered that Cohen be paid by the trust.

        From Bloomberg:
        (PLEASE NOTE: on bloomberg you can’t remove the question mark and beyond) **

        Key Executives for The Trump Organization LLC

        Allen Weisselberg Chief Financial Officer —
        Jim Petrus Chief Operating Officer —
        Cathy Hoffman Glosser Executive Vice President of Global Licensing —
        Donald J. Trump Jr. s Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions —
        Ivanka M. Trump Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions

        **[“privcapId=344985” in the Bloomberg URL refers to the ID of the company searched in Bloomberg’s database, not the ID of the user, which is why it can’t be removed from the URL to obtain search results on Trump Org./~Rayne]

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          I believe Trump Org and The Trump Organisation LLC are separate entities.

          Would like to be proven wrong on this point.

          Either way, Jr is feeling heat at this point in time.

          • Tracy says:

            Trip – I too was thinking – this must be an enormous amount of pressure on Manafort to re-think pardon scenario…

            • Trip says:

              It’s funny, talking to my friend, he said no way Trump will pardon Manafort. Not because of any intelligent calculations in terms of his own risk. But simply that Trump is such an awful asshole who doesn’t follow through on promises because he doesn’t give a shit about other people. He uses them, flatters them, and then tosses them away like garbage. The loyalty only goes in one direction; toward Trump. Trump doesn’t care if Manafort stays in jail forever. He just doesn’t want him talking.

              Trump already used Pecker to attack Manafort (2017):
              Supposedly this was published directly after the Manafort raid. If he feels so much sympathy for someone being raided, why then would he release the hounds?

              Just sayin’. Manafort better think. He has known Trump a long time, he has to have an idea about how deeply disingenuous he is. And how he will throw anyone under the bus to save his own ass. Don’t forget, Trump had said he hardly knew Manafort and that he only worked on the campaign a short time. That isn’t a very glowing character reference, if you ask me.

          • Trip says:

            According to Wikipedia, there are 500 or so businesses under the umbrella of the Trump Org. But I think this is the top. Although it should be updated as Ivanka quit when she went to the WH and Eric took her place, I believe.

  21. Doctor My Eyes says:

    bmaz or anyone lawyerly, re the latest regrettably-not-illegal flip of Weisselberg: DOJ guidelines are not to indict POTUS.  Would NY State be willing to indict the Don? If so, over “mere” financial crimes?

    It looks like a lot of important people are looking at Manafort and saying, “Holy crap! Slimeballs with expensive suits do sometimes go to jail!”

  22. Frank Probst says:

    @bmaz and other lawyers: What is the significance of Pecker and Allen Weisselberg being granted immunity in the absence of any (known) subpoenas or search warrants directed at them? My non-lawyer impression is that the feds came knocking, and they didn’t even bother stonewalling. They just asked for a deal. A deal this good (depending on how broad the deals are) would seem to require them turning over some hard evidence, wouldn’t it? Or is that not how these things work?

  23. Rusharuse says:

    On CNN Jack Quinn (former Whitehouse council) brings founder George Mason to court:

    “Willfull violation of campaign laws in attempting to attain the presidency is an impeachable office.”



  24. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Now that the Trump CFO is involved in a criminal probe of the President’s Campaign finances and likely his potentially illegal personal finances including money laundering, I suggest we stop referring to Trump as the President and refer to him as the Pres-in-debt (to Russia).

  25. Trip says:

    So the reported big ol’ safe with Trump and misc other bigwigs’ (ha! I know it’s not a wig but a live marmot) secrets in Pecker’s office is gone. Did he destroy stuff or just move it?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There’s also the issue that what made it into AMI’s safe, wherever it is now, also made it into the Trump campaign’s hands, spreading the dirt, as it were, which Trump would have used expertly.  Not obviously illegal, but probably another undisclosed and illegal campaign contribution, as would be any coordinated efforts between AMI and the campaign.

    • Frank Probst says:

      He’d be a fool if he destroyed EVERYTHING.  At a minimum, he should be holding on to all of the contracts he’s had people sign in order to bury various scandals, because he’s going to have a hard time having a contract dispute with someone if he can’t even produce a copy of the contract.

      As for everything else in the safe, I’m guessing he’s been holding on to everything he’s been given, because you never know when you’re going to need things like that for…well, among other things, for situations exactly like this one.

      • Trip says:

        @Frank, I’m thinking if he destroyed anything that it would have more to do with blackmail (which is a crime), that it could include other people beyond info about Trump and affairs (who he had a collaboration with).  What if he blackmailed people into silence about Trump? Extortion, if you will. Or other celebs, misc. muckety-mucks?

        When you look at Keith Davidson, he literally had a racket going and it also included TMZ:,3

        Then you have Roger Stone and his pal, the madam. I’m sure she knows things. Plenty of opportunity for Kompromat (sharing of stories), American style.

        Lyndsay Graham’s rapid 180 on Sessions, and his sudden BFF relationship with Trump, makes me wonder what cards someone is holding over him.


  26. Trip says:

    No more than about 30 seconds into MTP, the panel brings up Trump’s red line. It’s not Trump’s red line but Maggie Haberman’s. Stop it already.

  27. punaise says:

    Pecker: e-dickery docs.
    The press was truly *shocked!*;
    The crook struck none,
    He’s on the run,
    Pecker: e-dickery docs.

      • Valley girl says:

        Rayne- I almost posted this much much earlier in the thread, when there were Pecker jokes.  I didn’t. I went to the grocery store.  And on the way, breathed a sigh of relief  that I hadn’t posted it.  But, seeing punaise here, and smiling, I’ve decided to revisit my idea.  Need moar laughs right now. This always makes me laugh, although when I sent to some male colleagues a good while back, I don’t think they had the same reaction.
        The Penis Song – Monty Pythons

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Can’t die soon enough. They tried to patent genes, for heaven’s sake, and it took the SC to (partially) stop them.  They would patent God if they could turn a profit on it.

            (I’m sorry if our argument was upsetting. Seems it is a button issue for both of us. It doesn’t have to carry over to everything, no?)

            • Doctor My Eyes says:

              Sorry about the quotes mistake.  I didn’t mean to quote myself (nor do I refer to myself in the third person).

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