September 8, 2020 / by emptywheel


Who, What, When, Why: Trump Has Paid $500K to Silence Keith Schiller

In the middle of a NYT story explaining why Trump, whose campaign has raised over $1 billion, is facing a cash crunch, it reveals that Trump’s bodyguard — whom they don’t name — has been paid $500,000 since 2017.

Mr. Trump’s former bodyguard and White House aide has been paid more than $500,000 by the R.N.C. since late 2017.

This appears to be a reference to Keith Schiller, whose generous funding for to complete vaguely defined tasks dubbed “security” have been reported in the past.

Schiller was originally hired by the RNC to help select a site for the 2020 convention. But once the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, was announced in July, Schiller’s firm was kept on to “work on other security needs for the committee,” a party official told CNBC, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The official declined to go into detail about what the committee’s security needs might be but confirmed that the work is ongoing.

The RNC’s characterization of Schiller is different from how the committee described his work a year ago, when CNBC first inquired about it.

In February 2018, an RNC official told CNBC that the committee had hired Schiller’s firm, KS Global Group, for a very specific purpose: “To provide security consultation for the RNC 2020 convention site selection process, which is currently underway.”

The official also took pains to emphasize that Schiller’s $15,000 a month fee was not coming out of the same funds the party was using to help elect Republicans to office in the 2018 midterms. Instead, the official said, Schiller’s firm was being paid out of a special fund set aside for convention expenses.

Since the time of all the earlier reports about Schiller’s exorbitant fees to do little, however, we’ve learned that Schiller witnessed Trump actions that go beyond whether or not he fucked sex workers while in Moscow in 2013.

He was also the cut-out for calls on which Trump sought to optimize Russia’s help in 2016.

The SSCI Report provides evidence that Roger Stone spoke to Donald Trump via Keith Schiller’s phone on July 17, 2016, when Stone was at the RNC obtaining advance notice of when the stolen DNC files would drop.

However, Stone’s phone records show that Keith Schiller placed a five-minute call to Stone on the afternoon of July 17, 2016.1499 Witnesses said that Trump often used Schiller’s phone to hide his communications. For example, Sam Nunberg recalled Stone commenting in the late 2015 to early 2016 time frame that Trump would call Stone from Keith Schiller’s phone because he did not want his advisors to know they were talking. 1500

It further suggests that a call Rick Gates witnessed, which he incorrectly remembered had taken place in early August 2016, instead took place on September 29, using Schiller’s phone.

On September 29, a call took place between Stone and Trump while Trump and Gates were on the way to LaGuardia Airport. After the call ended, Trump told Gates that “more releases of damaging information would be coming.”1619 Phone records show that this was not the first phon~ call between them that day. Trump called Stone three times just before 10:00 a.m. on the morning of September 29, but could not connect.1620 Stone returned the call to a Trump Organization number two hours later, but the call lasted only two minutes. 1621 Then, at approximately 1 :40 p.m., Stone received a one-minute call from Keith Schiller’s phone number, which records show originating from East Elmhurst, New York-in proximity to LaGuardia Airport.1622 Stone returned the call to Schiller at 1:51 p.m. for three minutes. 1623 This call matches the conversation between Stone and Trump that Gates remembered.

This flurry of calls was included in exhibits entered into Stone’s trial but never actually explained.

Stone also had a call to Schiller’s phone on October 6, the night before WikiLeaks started dropping the Podesta files.

On the afternoon of October 6, Stone received a call from Keith Schiller’s number. Stone returned the call about 20 minutes later, and spoke-almost certainly to Trump–for six minutes. 1663 The substance of that conversation is not known to the Committee. However, at the time, Stone was focused on the potential for a WikiLeaks release, the Campaign was following WikiLeaks’s announcements, and Trump’s prior call with Stone on September 29, also using Schiller’s phone, related to a WikiLeaks release. Given these facts, it appears quite likely that Stone and Trump spoke about WikiLeaks.

In other words, it’s not just from Trump’s rat-fucker — from whom Trump bought the silence by commuting his prison time — that Trump must buy silence. He also has to ensure that Schiller doesn’t repeat details of what Stone told Trump when he got advance notice of the first WikiLeaks drop, what he told Trump a week before the Podesta files started dropping, and what he told Trump the night before.

And that’s just what SSCI was able to discover from a really partial understanding of what Mueller found. With access to (at least) much of Stone’s unencrypted emails and texts from 2016, Mueller would have had a far better idea of what Schiller may have witnessed while serving as the cut-out between Trump and his rat-fucker.

Whatever secrets Trump is paying Schiller to keep, they are apparently worth bankrupting his re-election campaign fund.

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