Why Did Gucciardo Pay Giuliani Partners For His “Loan” To Fraud Guarantee?

Jim here.

I’ve been troubled by the New York Times’ description of the funds provided by Charles Gucciardo that were used by Lev Parnas to pay Rudy Giuliani for his “consultation” for Fraud Guarantee. The most troubling bit is this:

Mr. Gucciardo, 62, a plaintiff’s lawyer, has not been implicated in any wrongdoing, and there is no evidence that he was involved in the Ukrainian pressure campaign.

That may well be, but there are a number of issues that simply don’t add up here. First, although Gucciardo is not accused at this time of any wrongdoing, it is clear that he engaged deeply with the same set of characters who are at the center of the Ukraine activities driving the ongoing impeachment action in the House of Representatives.

Gucciardo also had made a large donation to America First Action around the same time as the $325,000 donation from Parnas and Fruman. From the Times article, continuing about Gucciardo:

In 2018, he made his biggest donation on record to date — $50,000 to the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action — and attended an event for major donors at the Trump hotel featuring appearances by the president and Donald Trump Jr.

It was there that he met Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who had recently co-founded a company called Global Energy Producers that donated $325,000 to the PAC.

The next month, Mr. Parnas, Mr. Fruman and Mr. Gucciardo all went on a group trip to Israel, according to people who traveled with them.

There are even pictures from the trip, reproduced here by the Daily News. Note that in the lower of the paired photos (which is also the featured image of this post), we have from left to right, Joseph Frager, Anthony Scaramucci, Charles Gucciardo (see his profile photo at his website for comaprison) and then Parnas.

First, we are told the funds were a loan that could be converted into a stake in Fraud Guarantee. Continuing from the Times story:

Mr. Gucciardo’s lawyer, Randy Zelin, said Mr. Gucciardo invested in the company because of Mr. Giuliani’s involvement.

“He understood that he was investing in a reputable company that Rudolph Giuliani was going to be the spokesman and the face of,” Mr. Zelin said, comparing Mr. Giuliani’s role to the one he had played for the personal data-security company LifeLock, which ran commercials featuring Mr. Giuliani. “When you think of cybersecurity, you think of Rudolph Giuliani,” Mr. Zelin said.

The company being promoted by Mr. Parnas, Fraud Guarantee, was billed as a way for investors to get insurance against the risk of being defrauded. Mr. Gucciardo’s money was a loan that could be converted into a stake in the company, according to people familiar with the deal.

But, the money didn’t go to Fraud Guarantee:

In an interview, Mr. Giuliani called the arrangement a “perfectly legitimate payment” for which Mr. Gucciardo received “promissory notes that were convertible into a percentage of the company.”

Mr. Giuliani said he “verified the stock agreement” and “felt comfortable getting it from somebody as reputable as him,” adding that, after the payments, “I’ve gotten to know Charles very well. He’s a very honorable man, a very good man.”

Mr. Zelin said Mr. Gucciardo did not pay Mr. Giuliani personally, but rather made his investment by paying one of Mr. Giuliani’s consulting firms, Giuliani Partners. Mr. Gucciardo was “simply one of numerous other investors in the company and is nothing more than a passive investor,” Mr. Zelin said.

Wait. What? Why would Gucciardo have paid Giuliani directly anyway? For a loan convertible to a stake in Fraud Guarantee, the money went to Giuliani Partners instead of Fraud Guarantee?

Why?

Well, that’s where I no longer can buy into Gucciardo being an innocent swept up in the awesomeness of Parnas, Fruman and Giuliani. As has been pointed out many times, Fraud Guarantee mostly never existed. Certainly, by the time these funds changed hands in September and October of 2018, someone investing a half million dollars, and especially if that someone is a high-powered attorney, would be expected to do just a bit of due diligence. For example, here’s Roll Call giving dates for events related to Fraud Guarantee:

In the search for Fraud Guarantee, three names that all appear to have links to Parnas emerged: fraudguarantee.com, Strategic Global Assets LLC and Fraud Guarantee LLC.

Florida Department of State records show that Strategic Global Assets LLC registered fraudguarantee.com as a fictitious name in March 2013. Strategic Global Assets’ corporate filings list Parnas and Florida businessman David Correia as managers. Correia was also among the defendants in the indictment unsealed last week. He was arrested in New York on Monday.

The Florida Department of State dissolved Strategic Global Assets in September 2016 after it failed to file an annual report, records show.

/snip/

lawsuit was filed against Strategic Global Assets for failure to pay rent in Palm Beach County, Fla., in January 2015, and a default judgment in the landlord’s favor came down in July of the same year.

Strategic Global Assets’ official address on state records was changed in September 2015 to that of Correia’s apartment at the time. Correia was listed as the registered agent for Strategic Global Assets in that same filing. He is identified as Fraud Guarantee’s co-founder and chief operating officer on that company’s website.

Florida records show that another company called Fraud Guarantee LLC was dissolved in September 2014 for failing to file an annual report. It’s not clear whether that company was associated with Parnas or Correia, but it shared the same street address that appears for Strategic Global Assets and fraudguarantee.com on Florida court records and an archived copy of the company’s website.

All of that bad info should have made anyone getting ready to invest so much money run away screaming. But in putting the funds into Rudy’s consulting business, they were essentially being hidden from multiple creditors owed funds by Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman.

First, as even the Times article above notes, Giuliani is in the midst of an ugly divorce, and so funds going directly to him would be contested in that ongoing proceeding.

Further, the Parnas and Fruman donation to America First Action was almost immediately the subject of a public complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission. This filing in July was public by the first investment in September of 2018. Further, although the Campaign Legal Center did not bring further attention to it  until 2019, an attorney of Gucciardo’s caliber should have been able to find the ongoing saga of the Pues lawsuit. Here’s a description from USAToday:

A thornier case lingers from a federal judgment that Parnas owes for a movie that never got made.

The Pues Family Trust IRA filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 in New York City seeking repayment of a $350,000 loan to Parnas. The trust’s executor, Michael Pues, described the money in court documents as a bridge loan for a movie with the working title “Anatomy of an Assassin,” while Parnas found more investors.

Parnas denied in a court filing that the money was a loan. Parnas said the movie, which he said was going to be called “Memory of a Killer,” fell apart because of financing problems, including Pues not contributing $1 million as promised.

A judgment in the federal case in March 2016 ordered Parnas to pay the Pues Family Trust $510,435 for the loan and 9% annual interest.

So, Parnas had to be careful about funds flowing through entities he controlled, because the Pues Family attorneys were watching carefully (and in fact pounced on the news of the America First Action donation) and Rudy had to be careful about not having the money go directly to him or his ex-wife would seek the funds. Shouldn’t Gucciardo have asked why the money didn’t just go to Fraud Guarantee? Shouldn’t he have asked why he had to divert funds to Rudy’s consultancy? This just doesn’t add up. Given his deep involvement with these same players, it seems much more likely Gucciardo understood the winks and nudges involved in getting funds to Giuliani in return for his “pro bono” representation of Donald Trump.

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57 replies
    • I am sam says:

      I challenge everyone to read Dr. Hill’s Testimony in the Impeachment Hearing to see what a mobbed-up bunch that is now directing our country. In any law-abiding country, Rudy and his Crime-Boss, Trump would spend the rest of their lives in jail.

          • Sonso says:

            My guess is: not so much of a point, as a reference to the plutocratic-neoliberal-Republican use of the term to justify any unilateral action taken by one of their own. In other words, because we/they are so exceptional there doesn’t seem to be any legal accountability. We don’t have a great track record of holding power accountable, of late.

  1. pjb says:

    Excellent analysis. Makes you wonder why this Long Island negligence lawyer is interpositioned here. There seems alot more to this story, especially when SDNY subpoenas Gucciardo’s bank records.

    I don’t understand why the media calls this a Ukraine plot when it seems increasingly clear it is just another Russian plot (or at least Vienna, Austria where the mobster Firtash is holed up). It seems like the “quid pro quo” (i.e. bribery) here is between Firtash and Trump (even if Trump doesn’t fully understand it). Sales of American natural gas to Ukrainian state owned energy company (to Firtash’s benefit) in exchange for US election help against Biden – and maybe a direction to the DOJ to lay off Firtash (who is under indictment for bribery) as a throw in like a draft pick in a trade.

    • missing george carlin says:

      Would somebody please give me a list of reasons why Ukraine would clearly not interfere in the US election? Most striking to me their relative poverty (60th biggest economy in the world; $3K/person average (US) annual income, and incredibly dependent on US help against Russia.

  2. Pete T says:

    The Mooch and Gov Huckabee.

    From the Daily News link:

    “The group, which included former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, toured Jewish settlements.

    The trip culminated with the bizarre jam session on the opulent patio in Jerusalem’s Old City, a video posted on Twitter by Jewish Insider. Huckabee played bass as Israeli musicians did their best to rock out to the Lynyrd Skynyrd tune that doubles as a tribute to Dixie segregationists.

    The guest list included Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a powerful figure on the extreme right wing in his own right.

    The video on Twitter has been take down: https://twitter.com/jacobkornbluh/status/1023651466119131137

    I dunno if Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd is a salute to segregation. There’s debate. But I suspect you are going to hear it a lot at tomorrow’s Trump attended Alabama-LSU football game. Bmaz might consider using it for Trash Talk this weekend – or not.

    Jim – sorry to digress from the main point of your excellent post, but I couldn’t help myself.

    Pete

  3. Fluffytung says:

    Am an avid reader here but never commented before. In answer to Pete and Jim, there’s still a copy of video on forward.com. ‘Huckabee plays rock classic on Jerusalem streets’. Didn’t want to post link as not sure how to do safely. And yes, it’s dreadful.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nice work, Ed. A can of worms, all tied with string. In no particular order,

    When you owe money to a creditor, but pay it to someone else on instructions from the creditor, you risk being on the hook for defrauding your creditor’s creditor. The sophisticated Gucciardo could hardly argue not knowing that.

    Rudy’s wife’s attorney would be watching payments made to his firm, too, and would routinely demand updates about any funds it owed to Rudy. Paying his firm would provide a slight delay in getting avoiding attention, but that depends on Rudy’s firm accounted for the money.

    It looks like Rudy’s firm should have accounted for it as client funds – not the firm’s – in which case neither the firm nor Rudy had an interest in it, so Rudy’s wife can pound salt. A nice dodge; it’s as if someone in this loop had experience laundering money.

    I’d love to see the paperwork that Rudy claims was perfect and legit, like a Trump phone call. As you point out, a normal deal would have had Fraud Guarantee issue a promissory note to Gucciardo, in exchange for money paid to it. The note would have provided for repayment at some fixed time in cash or kind – company stock – at the option of either Gucciardo or FG. What does this paperwork say, who issued it, and when?

    Gucciardo, a sophisticated lawyer investor paid money to a third-party – Giuliani Partners – which had no obvious link to the corporation he wanted to invest in. How did FG deliver its note to Gucciardo? How did FG get the money or did it never receive it? Wherever it went, how did FG account for it?

    Rudy’s claimed “comfort” with that arrangement and whatever paperwork did or did not document is irrelevant. The issue is why Gucciardo was comfortable with it and why, who did it benefit, and who lost out.

  5. Mitch Neher says:

    I can’t find the link anymore. Sorry. But Parnas claimed that he was strapped for cash, despite having bragged about how handsomely Firtash had paid Parnas. I suspect that that means that Firtash’s money was not Parnas’s to keep nor to spend on himself. And, therefore, Parnas needed Gucciardo to pay Giuliani hard cash so that Parnas would not lose access to Giuliani.

    That, in turn, raises the question: To whom did Parnas forward the money that he had gotten from Firtash?

    Perhaps the recipients of the Firtash largesse were Ukrainians. Perhaps the recipients were Americans. Perhaps both Americans and Ukrainians received Firstash money from Parnas.

    [Pollyanna alert] Is it possible to buy fabricated evidence “volunteered” by “corruption fighting” Ukrainians?

    • Mitch Neher says:

      This is not the link I’ve been looking for. But it has all the same information, anyhow.

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/01/politics/parnas-firtash-giuliani-ties/index.html

      Nov 1, 2019 … ‘I’m the best-paid interpreter in the world’: Indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas … received a sudden windfall of money from a prominent Ukrainian oligarch … known between Parnas and Firtash, and how Firtash’s years-long …. Parnas and Fruman used their company, Global Energy Producers, to pay for …

  6. Kate says:

    Hey, could this guy be the “Charles” Rudy said “would have a tough time with a fraud case, cuz he didn’t do any due diligence ” in Rudy’s buttdial to a reporter? I realize it’s a common name, but it sounds to me like Rudy may have been admitting to scamming Charles G in this call.

    • Jim White says:

      Wow! Welcome to the site. That’s a tremendous catch.

      Here’s the link for the NBC article on the buttdial: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/rudy-giuliani-butt-dials-nbc-reporter-heard-discussing-need-cash-n1071901

      But check out this quote:

      “You know,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. “Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ’cause he didn’t do any due diligence.”

      It wasn’t clear who Charles is, or who may have been implicated in a fraud. In fact, much of the message’s first minute is difficult to comprehend, in part because the voice of the other man in the conversation is muffled and barely intelligible.

      And, of course, this entire post is about Gucciardo failing to do due diligence. But it would put Gucciardo just into patsy mode, so that’s still hard to buy for an attorney at his level. If the buttdial is, as some have suggested, an attempt by Rudy to present preferred narratives on an issue or two it would be an attempt to get Gucciardo out of the money laundering EOH suggests he took part in.

      Of course, this could be about some other Charles, too. But it is incredibly fascinating.

      • Drew says:

        This Salon article has some of the same observations plus some very interesting additional information, including Rudy’s new social media consultant Christianne Allen who was an intern at Gucciardo’s law firm (she’s currently only 21 and has a very thin resume, consisting mostly of attending Liberty University and hanging around various right wing political stuff–AND trying to start a legal marijuana/reality show business in Nevada).

        So the entanglements of Gucciardo, Giuliani, Parnas et al. and Trumpworld are even more intertwined.

        Thanks for your work Jim.

        • Jim White says:

          Thanks.

          Yes, the Salon article does tie a lot things together in new ways we weren’t aware of. The Ms. Allen story stands out as looking a lot like George Papadopoulos, where they choose someone with essentially no experience and plug them into fairly senior positions.

          And this really does make it even more likely Gucciardo wasn’t defrauded at all but knew perfectly well why his money went to Rudy.

  7. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    So does Vogel simply not have the time or resources to fact check claims like you have here? Or does he simply not give a shit?

    I’ve seen many of your posts reference public docs pulled from various FL agencies, is this just because they did most of their criming in Florida, or does FL just have particularly robust open access to business records?

    Thanks for your work

    • Jim White says:

      I came to Florida over 25 years ago to start a business, so checking the Florida databases is second nature to me. Parnas has such a history of Florida corporate entities I had to make my own spreadsheet with all the company names, people and dates.

      Most states are pretty open with their corporate records, but there can be a bit of time sorting out just what they call the agency where the records are stored and then figuring out their search interface. Delaware, where the big boys hide a lot of stuff, now also charges ten bucks or so for each detailed record you pull up.That pisses me off because I’m usually too cheap to invest much in the search.

      As for Vogel, I remain agnostic. There are absolutely horrible hit pieces under his byline and some work that is pretty reasonable. I just haven’t been able to get a read on what makes him tick.

  8. Bay State Librul says:

    Jim, isn’t time for a raid?

    They raided Manafort.
    They raided Cohen
    Number #3 in the lineup should be Rudy.
    Play the Oakland Raiders.
    Bring back Mueller for a curtain call

  9. Jim White says:

    So, Gucciardo referencing Rudy’s work with LifeLock is a better match with Fraud Guarantee than you might think. Recall that the moron who founded LifeLock published his own social security number in his ads, claiming his system made your information theftproof. He then had his identity stolen. Thirteen times at last count I can find. And the Federal Trade Commission fined LifeLock $12 million for deceptive ads for their services.

    That fine was in 2010. Rudy started making late night LifeLock infomercials in 2013. So, just like with Fraud Guarantee, Rudy had to know LifeLock was a fraud when he took their money.

    Why would Gucciardo mention Rudy’s LifeLock work like it’s a good thing?

    Link: https://nypost.com/2013/03/20/rudy-the-shill-giuliani-plugs-lifelock-on-late-night-tv/

    • Lori conn says:

      Mr. Gucciardo’s lawyer, Randy Zelin, said Mr. Gucciardo invested in the company because of Mr. Giuliani’s involvement.

      “He understood that he was investing in a reputable company that Rudolph Giuliani was going to be the spokesman and the face of,” Mr. Zelin said, comparing Mr. Giuliani’s role to the one he had played for the personal data-security company LifeLock, which ran commercials featuring Mr. Giuliani. “When you think of cybersecurity, you think of Rudolph Giuliani,” Mr. Zelin said.

      Isn’t this the same Giuliani
      That walked into an Apple store in San Francisco area and handed over his personal phone to be fixed? Cyber security genius?

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bmaz retweeted this comment by Elizabeth May:

    The problem with the argument, “Bill Gates does more with his money than the government would!” is that we cannot and *should not*, base tax laws on how we hope rich people will spend their money. Tax laws are not case by case basis. We’re trying to have a fucking society here.

    https://twitter.com/_ElizabethMay/status/1192874725145501697

    A billionaire’s spending is whimsical. It can be cut in a Trump minute – or used to enhance power and whitewash its destructive excesses. (Weinstein, Epstein.) Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. Governments, on the other hand, are meant to fund programs to support the fundamental rights of their citizens.

    What democracy would long survive if its social programs were dependent on the whims of its wealthiest citizens? Andrew Carnegie, for example, made an incredible fortune, but denied it to his heirs. He used it, instead, to endow foundations and schools, and to build over a thousand public libraries – a veritable schoolroom for young and old alike in nearly every town in America. Carnegie’s spawn would have tended solely to their own comfort.

    That there is a discussion about legislating how Bill Gates (as opposed to a much larger group that includes him) spends his money is a testament to the legislature’s failure – and to an enormous rise in inequality that threatens society. To deal with it, legislators are looking for silver bullets, to avoid the hard work of coming up with systemic fixes. They are trying to avoid wrestling with the comment from AOC adviser Dan Riffle, that every billionaire is a societal failure…that should be corrected.

    As Stephanie Kelton – https://stephaniekelton.com/about/ – has repeatedly said, an independent state does not use taxes “to pay” for its government. It uses its own currency to do that. It uses taxes to manage societal relationships and the economy within which they operate. Note the order of priority.

    Wealth and inheritance taxes would be a good place to start reducing inequality, followed by saner programs to fund education and health care that don’t require decades of debt peonage in service to capital.

  11. Vicks says:

    I’ve never seen Rudy’s Lifelock commercials, but if America’s mayor started acting like he wanted to hang out and be your friend and he told you about a security venture some of his buddies were starting up that he was going to endorse I am sure a whole lot of people would be more flattered than suspicious.
    But not anyone who watched the news in 2018….

  12. Bay State Librul says:

    From the NYT

    Letter of the year award.

    To the Editor:

    A plea from 33 writers: Please use language that will clarify the issues at hand.

    Please stop using the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” regarding the impeachment inquiry. Most people don’t understand what it means, and in any case it doesn’t refer only to a crime. Asking for a favor is not a criminal act; we frequently demand things from foreign countries before giving them aid, like asking them to improve their human rights record.

    That is not a crime; the crime is President Trump’s demand for something that will benefit him personally. But using this neutral phrase — which means simply “this for that” — as synonymous with criminality is confusing to the public. It makes the case more complicated, more open to question and more difficult to plead.

    Please use words that refer only to criminal behavior here. Use “bribery” or “extortion” to describe Mr. Trump’s demand to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, making it very clear that this is a crime. The more we hear words that carry moral imputations, the more we understand the criminal nature of the act.

    Please also stop using the phrase “dig up dirt.” This slang has unsavory connotations. Instead, please use the more formal, direct and powerful phrase “create false evidence,” or “find incriminating evidence” or the simpler “tell lies about.”

    Words make a difference.

    These are parlous times, and we look to public voices for dignity, intelligence and gravitas. Please use precise and forceful language that reveals the struggle in which we now find ourselves. It’s a matter of survival.

    Roxana Robinson
    New York
    The writer is former president of the Authors Guild. The letter was signed by 32 other writers:

    • Tom says:

      Hear! Hear! Or when the President is described as orchestrating the Ukraine extortion/bribery shakedown “for reasons of domestic politics” or “for his political ambitions” rather than to tilt the 2020 election in his favour in order to stay in office and thus avoid prosecution for his other crimes.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thanks for that and kudos to the professional writers who submitted that letter, and to the NYT for printing it.

      Commentators on this blog and elsewhere have long made the same points. Words matter. Using euphemisms to avoid alienating a minority of readers or to normalize wrongful behavior, and failing to provide adequate context is the opposite of good journalism.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I was critiquing the NYT, not the letter writers. Their point about the NYT needing to be more specific as to the president’s apparent crimes is correct, as is mine about the NYT rarely providing adequate context.

        The president’s supporters frequently argue, for example, that the president did no wrong because states often ask for things from foreigners. Their argument is false. It willfully ignores that Trump was and is working for personal gain and contrary to the national interest.

        As for QPQ, the NYT has an obligation to make technical language more understandable to its general readers. As with providing adequate context, it rarely does it. The president’s “defense” to both attempted and completed crimes is to endlessly deny them without making an argument.

        I agree that some NYT readers might think that parlous refers to the front room used only for Sunday visitors. However anachronistic or effete a usage, it would be reasonable to assume Baquet’s staff knows what was meant, even if they act as if they don’t.

    • bmaz says:

      What a bunch of pathetic assclowns. These are legal concepts, not trite little bullshit pulp fiction or whatever that they “write”. Quid pro quo is a concept with discrete meaning that has been around for centuries and has quite pertinent legal meaning in criminal law.

      Please note that these pretentious fucksticks, not one of which anybody knows, closed out using the obsequious word “parlous”. If that is not pretentious and asinine, and in violation of their own argument, then I don’t know what is. These nimrods need to get back to their potboilers.

      • bmaz says:

        This kind of bunk truly bugs me. I know not all people are lawyers, much less criminal lawyers. This NYT “opinion letter” pissed me off last night when I saw it. It still did this morning. It is extreme pretentiousness and ignorance. As happens often, my friend Scott Greenfield writes what I was thinking before I am ever even out of bed here in the west.

        “In fairness, these are not 33 writers who are also lawyers, so perhaps they just don’t grasp that their plea is fatally flawed, their word gripes are legally ignorant. It could well be that most people don’t know the meaning of the Latin phrase, “quid pro quo,” just as they don’t know the meaning of “res ipsa loquitur,” and thus can’t fathom how an honest recitation of facts might lead people of integrity to reach the correct conclusion not because the writers have lied to guarantee it, but because an accurate recitation of the facts makes it so.”

        Yep. The proprietors at this blog endeavor to inform people as to both facts and law, NOT dumb them down like these “writer” clowns who solicited the NYT. We will continue to do so. That is how it will continue to be here, not some “parlous” bullshit by a group of untrained and ignorant “writers”.

        • P J Evans says:

          You’d think they’d prefer referring people to dictionaries – you don’t need Black’s for this, just one that’s better than grade-school level.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The argument is not that the NYT insufficiently condemns Trump’s behavior. It is that it inadequately describes it in an apparent attempt to normalize it.

          As for “digging up dirt,” we’ve made the same comment here. The description assumes there is dirt to be dug up. Several investigations have concluded there isn’t any. Hence, Trump’s insistence Ukraine publicly announce an investigation, which would serve his propaganda efforts. That it would likely yield the same result would be lost in the shuffle.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          It seems to me that the problem is the ignorance, and in too many cases the willful ignorance, of the American voter.

          • Bay State Librul says:

            Spot on.
            I don’t want to be mean, but a lot of folks are indeed “clueless”.
            I’d rather be a “writer” than a “lawyer”, although I’ve seen some excellent individuals who can combine both assets.
            For example our own “Scribe” is a damn good writer, and is a lawyer, but hates my Patriots. (2-1)
            Also, “Earl of Emptywheel” is engaging, entertaining, and writes colorful and vividly drawn prose, but I’m not sure about the lawyer end
            of things.
            With three years of Latin, and an altar boy resume, I say “Mea Culpa”, Mea Culpa” to anyone that I’ve offended.

            • bmaz says:

              “I don’t want to be mean”, as you so intone, but you do indeed seem to prefer to be “clueless”. You are proving it with every comment in this regard. You may prefer to be a “writer than a lawyer” but that is supremely ignorant when talking about actual law and things legal. We don’t have an exception for legal ignorance just because some jackhat is a “writer” here.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            To stay informed, the average person needs a working press. That’s why it’s worthwhile to critique the source that claims to publish all the news that’s fit to print – and to follow and support the best blogs.

            Staying informed requires time, energy, experience, Internet access, and a little cynicism. Comfy sources, like NPR, stay comfy by not offending the powers that be, using techniques like bothsiderism and inadequate context. Sources like Fox, substitute outrage for facts and meaning. That conflicts with the idea that news is what the powerful want suppressed; the rest is advertising.

            An easy place to find good writing about complex topics is in science writing. Stephen Jay Gould’s essays are among the best. He did not dumb down his language or avoid complex ideas. He explained them in well-crafted sentences and non-technical language. He used everyday analogies (baseball, Hershey’s bars) to make the unfamiliar familiar. When he needed jargon, he used it. He didn’t hide behind it, he explained it and moved on.

            The writers on this blog do the same in explaining legal, political, social, and economic topics. Commentaters reap the benefits.

            • Molly Pitcher says:

              Earl, I agree with everything you say, but you are talking about people who have enough interest and judgement to seek the truth. The average voter is not that.

              Somehow this complicated impeachment has to be distilled into a palatable bite that the vast majority of the voters can swallow.

              I heard a woman interviewed today who said that she didn’t mind Trump’s vulgarity because “I get a little vulgar now and then”. Do you think she is going to be discriminating in where she gets her news?

              • P J Evans says:

                Bribery.
                Witness intimidation.
                Lying about everything (even when he doesn’t need to).
                Enriching himself and his family at taxpayer expense, by staying at his own properties, and playing golf at his own courses two weekends out of three.
                Firing people who are honest, and keeping those who are willing to suck up to him.

        • Chetnolian says:

          Read the letter again. Nope. Can’t see it. Don’t understand what so riled you and certainly am surprised you seem to hate writers. I thought it a fairly sound comment on the need for all of us lawyers to remember that we talk jargon we all understand but intelligent humans not steeped in the jargon don’t immediately get. But I understood “parlous” at first reading and thought it quite ordinary if a bit literary. But then she is an author. Both lawyers and authors are entitled to exist and have and express opinions.

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    Taken to the woodshed?
    Bmaz, you missed my point, or I was unclear.

    The key to the impeachment of Donald J Trump is persuasion.
    Mueller failed miserably in that regard.
    My hope is that Schiff can move the marker.
    The letter to the NY Times make this issue clear.
    Let’s hope so.

  14. Savage Librarian says:

    To Kate @ Nov.8, 4:19pm:

    Here is an article confirming your theory. It also ties together other players, including the sons of Gucciardo and Parnas and the young woman (Christianne Allen) who links Giuliani and Gucciardo. There is even mention of Ron DeSantis.

    “Who is Rudy Giuliani’s friend “Charles”? An accidental text may have outed his identity” – Salon.com

    “…The new hire — 20-year-old Liberty University Online communications major (’22) Christianne Allen —is currently the most solid connection between the work the President’s private attorney was doing in Ukraine, an ongoing federal investigation into two of his clients, and a Long Island personal injury lawyer who for reasons still unclear reportedly paid Giuliani $500,000 in two lump-sum “loans” on behalf of a scam business in the fall of 2018.”

    https://www.salon.com/2019/11/10/who-is-rudy-giulianis-friend-charles-an-accidental-text-may-have-outed-his-identity/

    • Rita says:

      If Rudy’s reference is to Charles G. Then it sounds like Giuliani might be excusing the fraud in Fraud Guarantee by blaming the victim for not doing adequate due diligence. Con men blame the victim for falling for their con.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      Thank you for this link, SL. I was looking for it earlier today based on another reference and couldn’t find it.

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