Patterico's Pontifications

4/1/2023

Prediction, FWIW

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:41 am



This is a guess and only a guess. If I’m wrong, forget I said anything. But if I’m right, I’m a genius and I’ll never let you forget it.

I think in the coming week, the herd of sheep that is our journalistic class will bleat in unison:

Why have we been talking about only Stormy Daniels all this time? How did we forget about Karen McDougal?

BAAAA!!!!!!

144 Responses to “Prediction, FWIW”

  1. McDougal is a lot better looking, too.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  2. We cut to a shot of newsrooms across the country:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfX5ieV9fHA

    Patterico (91224a)

  3. Wouldn’t it be ironic if there weren’t any charges about Daniels’ payoff?

    DRJ (0abb72)

  4. McDougal is already on the radar.

    Dana (1225fc)

  5. I was kidding above. I expect there to be charges about Daniels and McDougal, but they should not be the bulk of the charges. If we are predicting things, I expect the media will want to talk about Daniels and McDougal. I also expect the pattern of actual and alleged financial crimes by Trump, Weisselberg, the Trump Organization, and Trump Payroll Co. — financial crimes that were intentionally done and conducted over 15 years — will be the bulk of the charges.

    The Trump indictment has not been released, but it reportedly contains over 30 charges. That suggests it is not all about the Daniels’ or McDougal’s hush money/catch and kill, and is likely an extension of the decade-long financial crimes. It is not unusual for it to take time to uncover financial crimes and prosecute them. It is not unusual for the dominoes to fall like this, starting with lower tier employees and ending with the top executives. That takes time. This is how the system works.

    Further, this could only have been prosecuted in New York because that is where Trump and his companies were located and where the financial crimes occurred. (We know crimes occurred because of the convictions. We don’t know whether Trump has any culpability.)

    DRJ (0abb72)

  6. On the radar as in, I am not the only person in the entire world to have noticed the possibility that the payment to her could be part of the indictment? Sure. But on the radar as in, the sheep are all bleating about her as much as they bleat about Stormy Daniels? I don’t think so.

    I think you’ll see talking head after talking head shaking their head and saying NOBODY THOUGHT that the indictment had to do with McDougal as well. EVERYBODY THOUGHT it was just about Stormy Daniels.

    Seriously, pick up almost any article ahout it and that’s all you’ll see. Even my own analysis focused on that because that’s what ALL the media stories say. It’s just that, the more I look into it, I don’t understand why McDougal would not be just as much part of it. It really hit home to me when I was reading legal documents pertaining to Cohen’s prosecution this morning. The basis of his campaign finance plea was McDougal as much as it was Daniels.

    I think maybe people focus on Daniels more because there’s that check. Trump never paid Cohen back for McDougal, as I understand it. But there’s a check reimbursing him for the Daniels payment.

    Patterico (91224a)

  7. DRJ,

    I have been having the same feeling about the charges. It does not explain why literally all of the reporting talks only about Daniels. It makes more sense that there would be more wide-ranging charges on all sorts of business fraud. But they seem to have sources that say Daniels, Daniels, Daniels.

    Patterico (91224a)

  8. NYC has historically been the center of the financial world, with many individual and corporate businesses in New York.

    There are also a lot of white collar defense counsel in NYC. Justia says 155. NY prosecutors must do this a lot.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my guess is the State of New York has some very good, experienced forensic accountants who can unravel Trump’s business dealings.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  9. I think they laid behind the log on this. They wanted Trump to think it was about Daniels. I also think Trump’s New attorney was telling the truth when he said the Trump headquarters (i.e., Trump) was shocked there might be over 30 charges.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  10. Even if many of the charges are about financial fraud (e.g. bank loans with BS applications), the spin will be about sex and payoffs because that’s what people want to hear.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  11. I figured that if Pecker was in front a grand jury, then McDougal had to be involved in some fashion, but I’m trying not to speculate.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  12. My guess is they thought they beat the financial charges when Weisselberg took the fall.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  13. I have a prediction that I am certain will be borne out: Nearly everything said about this case will be from a tribal point of view and contain copious amounts of BS and spin. CNN will be little better than Fox.

    Present company excepted, of course.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  14. I want to see the charges, of course. I am also curious if anyone else is indicted. I suspect they could indict his children who are corporate officers. I think that would be a PR mistake, but they may be required to indict any remaining corporate officers they think are involved because of Limitations and other legal issues.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  15. It has been reported that Don Jr was involved in the first Cohen reimbursement payment.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  16. Here’s my prediction:

    Trump will say the money wasn’t to buy her silence about an affair but rather to pay for an abortion, and any future abortions she may desire. Lefty and college-educated white women’ heads will explode.

    Colonel Haiku (270820)

  17. I think the press will be reluctant to confuse people by bringing up Karen McDougal unless she has a major role in the indictments.

    James B. Shearer (4de1ea)

  18. The Daniels and McDougal payments show a pattern, James. The women claimed he had affairs with him 7-10 years prior to his campaign, but they were both going to go public with their stories. Trying to silence both of them with payoffs at a crucial time in the campaign is evidence the payments were made (in part or in whole) to protect the campaign. That makes the payments campaign finance violations unless they were reported as campaign donations, which they were not.

    Further, in the Daniels case, Cohen making the payment exceeded the individual donor maximum campaign donation amount, so it was illegal even if it had been reported.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  19. Cohen has lied so he won’t make a great witness about the Daniels’ transactions. The prosecution needs the McDougal charges and transactions to show a pattern. Reports indicate David Pecker cooperated, and did not lie, so he will be more credible. Using Pecker to show that this was happening with two if Trumps mistresses at the same time during the campaign will bolster Cohen’s testimony.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  20. Still, you may be right about what the press will say. They may choose sides based on their tribe but my feeling is that most of the anchors and pundits won’t iniltially understand this. I expect to see a lot of guest white collar defense lawyers opining on the charges.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  21. Since this is a FWIW post: Pecker reportedly bought McDougal’s story under the guise of publishing it, but he killed it. If that is true, she wasn’t being paid hush money. She was selling her story for money and other consideration.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  22. But reports say there was also an NDA and/or agreement that this story would be an exclusive, so she could not tell others even if the story was not published by Pecker.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  23. “Further, in the Daniels case, Cohen making the payment exceeded the individual donor maximum campaign donation amount, so it was illegal even if it had been reported.”

    But if Cohen is making the payment with Trump’s money he isn’t making a donation.

    James B. Shearer (4de1ea)

  24. When a guy named Pecker is a key material witness, it just plays to my most juvenile instincts!

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  25. Cohen took out a home equity loan to pay the hush money. He asked Trump to reimburse him and complained when that didn’t happen right away.

    IMO most of what happened with Cohen and Daniels probably isn’t a crime, James. It is only the campaign finance laws that make it criminal. The laws are designed to make campaign donations and payments transparent. If Trump used third parties to hide inconvenient payments from campaign reports (similar to what it was alleged John Edward’s did), then that can be a violation.

    And even that is usually handled like a traffic ticket with a fine. It is only when there are other felony crimes involved or a cover up that it can be serious.

    DRJ (00b52a)

  26. I bet Hillary Clinton sure wishes she hadn’t funded that damn dossier during the campaign. That could come back to haunt her.

    Colonel Haiku (270820)

  27. I wrote that people expect lies and cover ups over sexual affairs, but what Stormy Daniels brings that Karen McDougal does not, is the “ick” factor women and many men on any jury will have about her. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Melania is much more upset about the thought of Donald having sex with Stormy, then with Melania Stormy than she is about the same saga with Karen. Personally feel the same way. Melania seems nice, classy, loyal and I’ll admit that I’m 100% on her side over the Stormy choice, but am more forgiving about Ms. McDougal

    steveg (8de21e)

  28. Ugh. Stormy.

    Should read

    “I’ll go out on a limb and say that Melania is much more upset about the thought of Donald having sex with Stormy, then having sex with her (Melania)

    steveg (8de21e)

  29. My wife would kill me for an affair with McDougal and would not kill me for an affair with Daniels. She’d refuse to divorce me so she could torture me about it for the rest of my miserable life

    steveg (8de21e)

  30. Bragg Brings Out Pecker; McDougal Squeals

    nk (bb1548)

  31. Trump rises in polls after indictment desatan’s numbers sink. yahoo news.

    asset (b5bbf7)

  32. I also think that Karen McDougal is the more attractive and classier of the two. Where Stormy described her tryst with Trump as “the least impressive sex [she] ever had”, McDougal adhered to the Gold Digger’s Code, saying that Trump was a great lover and that she loved him.

    McDougal fits the role of the castoff lover. Stormy is blatantly no-better-than-she-should-be. And that tattoo — big turn off.

    nk (bb1548)

  33. From my vast experience of watching Law & Order, all the NDAs that Trump used to buy the silence of potential witnesses goes away in criminal trials, so that means Daniels and McDougal and several others will be set free, right?

    I’m guessing Melania is jealous of that, because she’s probably legally locked up by an NDA and pre-nup. Wait a minute, couldn’t Bragg call Melania as a witness if she waives spousal immunity? She is the woman scorned here.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  34. But reports say there was also an NDA and/or agreement that this story would be an exclusive, so she could not tell others even if the story was not published by Pecker.

    She was paid either way. I think she would have preferred to get the money and avoid the walk-of-shame.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  35. It is only the campaign finance laws that make it criminal. The laws are designed to make campaign donations and payments transparent.

    This is hardly the kind of thing that the campaign finance laws foresaw. Except to hide that Trump was a louse, which was already transparent, there was no currying of favor or other corruption that the laws are there to prevent.

    Judging by what goes on in the political world, all these laws do is make it a little bit harder to be corrupt, and define “ethics” to people who honestly are unaware that most other people abide by such rules.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  36. “Cohen took out a home equity loan to pay the hush money. He asked Trump to reimburse him and complained when that didn’t happen right away.”

    So Cohen loaned Trump the money. Still not a donation unless the terms of the loan were so generous as to be equivalent to a gift. I believe campaigns stiff businesses fairly often so there is probably some case law about this but I am not familiar with it.

    James B. Shearer (4de1ea)

  37. It is hard to see how DeSantis enters the race now. Doing so would seem disloyal to His Eminence. Not to mention threatening repercussions.

    “You come at the king, you best not miss.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  38. In ancient times, Greek warriors were fond of sporting αλήτης σφραγίδα… normally worn on the small of their backs to commemorate life back home.

    Colonel Haiku (270820)

  39. A campaign donation is a gift, James. They all have to be reported.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  40. There are other potential crimes, too. For instance, a home equity loan where the bank required the borrower to state what he was going to spend the money on, but then the borrower used it for something very different (like paying off his boss’ mistress) could be bank fraud. I don’t think that was the case with Cohen and his bank. Perhaps the bank didn’t care what he used the money for.

    My point is that there may be other charges about the Daniels payment and Trump. We have to wait and see.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  41. “A campaign donation is a gift, James. ..”

    You keep saying it was a campaign donation by Cohen but that doesn’t make it so. If Trump puts a campaign expense on a credit card that doesn’t constitute a campaign contribution by the credit card company.

    James B. Shearer (7ee481)

  42. Out of 30 counts, there are bound to be some good, bad, and ugly.
    Here is another thing average people don’t like. When the big charges fail and only a couple of nickel and dime charges stick. It looks like the jury felt out of 30 they had to find something to give when the jury horse trading session was going for much too long and they wanted to go home.
    Trumps nickname in prison might be ham, short for “ham sandwich”. David Pecker would simply be known by his surname with the appendage “li’l”

    OK, convoluted story so I could make a bad joke. Apologies all around

    steveg (8de21e)

  43. To be clear, it is legal to loan money or give gifts to federal elected officials/politicians. But if you make the loan or gift (in whole or in part) for the purpose of helping the politician’s campaign, then it is treated as a campaign donation that must be reported.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  44. First, Cohen said it was a payment made to help protect the campaign.

    Second, the affairs were from 7-10 years before the election. Payments were never made until the beginning of the general election campaign, and the only condition was their silence.

    Third, there are reports Trump and Oecker discussed payments to benefit Trumps campaign.

    If true, this is evidence that the purpose was campaign related. A jury might agree or it might not. But there is an argument that the payments would be campaign donations.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  45. Again, why not nominate people who don’t have a long history of openly reported trashiness?

    Or are those the only people who “can fight”?

    Simon Jester (61b6e2)

  46. In the case of Trumps credit card, presumably he would make the charge in exchange for an identifiable good or service — like a Quarter pounder at McDonalds. That would be a commercial transaction, not a campaign donation.

    But using a credit card to donate to Trumps campaign is a campaign donation.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  47. Over a goat. JVW, you might be interested in this story of California governmental overreach…against a 9-year old girl.

    A 9-year-old girl agreed to sell a goat for slaughter, but then decided she wanted to keep him instead.
    State law said, she doesn’t have to sell him.
    The buyer said, you don’t have to sell him.
    The state said, we’re takin that goat.

    It sounds too nuts to be true, but true it is.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  48. Oops, that shoulda been in the open thread.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  49. “In the case of Trumps credit card, presumably he would make the charge in exchange for an identifiable good or service — like a Quarter pounder at McDonalds. That would be a commercial transaction, not a campaign donation.”

    If Trump ordered 100 buckets of KFC chicken for a campaign rally and paid with a credit card this would be a commercial transaction for KFC and the credit card company but a campaign donation by Trump. I believe this is the case even if KFC and the credit card company know the chicken is for a campaign rally as long as the transaction is on ordinary commercial terms.

    James B. Shearer (32f20a)

  50. The candidate reports that as a donation, not KFC. Any candidate that spends more than $200 in personal funds on his/her campaign must report it.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  51. That is why I have repeatedly said that the purpose must be in whole or in part for the campaign.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  52. When Trump repaid Cohen, he would have to report it. He may claim that other people in his company, like the CFO Weisselberg, did that. I think that is Weisselberg said in his criminal case. But there may be evidence that shows Trump knew. We have to wait and see if this is one of the charges and what the evidence is.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  53. My wife would kill me for an affair with McDougal and would not kill me for an affair with Daniels.

    Um, could you explain this better, steveg? 🙂

    Patterico (91224a)

  54. Where’s Howard Stern when you need him!?!?

    Colonel Haiku (270820)

  55. It is hard to see how DeSantis enters the race now. Doing so would seem disloyal to His Eminence. Not to mention threatening repercussions.

    “You come at the king, you best not miss.”

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 4/1/2023 @ 3:11 pm

    LOL! The Florida legislature is getting ready to repeal the law that would require DeSantis to resign as governor before running for President.

    Great April Fools joke!

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  56. My wife would kill me for an affair with McDougal and would not kill me for an affair with Daniels.

    Um, could you explain this better, steveg? 🙂

    Patterico (91224a) — 4/1/2023 @ 5:39 pm

    Because an affair is forgivable, but bad taste isn’t? 😛

    norcal (7b2be1)

  57. Oops. That should be the other way around. McDougal is a real connection, while Daniels is a one-and-done.

    norcal (7b2be1)

  58. Let’s not be too hard on poor Stormy. Admire is not the word, but there is something to be said for a girl who when life hands her an orange she makes lemonade.

    nk (bb1548)

  59. Rip Murdock (f6813a) — 4/1/2023 @ 5:58 pm

    In fact, some believe no change in Florida law is needed.

    Nicholas Warren, an American Civil Liberties Union of Florida staff attorney who specializes in voting rights, says the law “limits people who ‘qualify’ for office – and you don’t ‘qualify’ to run for president in Florida.” (To oversimplify here, qualifying means that one is able to be placed on a ballot.)

    Warren wrote a Twitter thread (in his “personal capacity, not for work,” he said) in response to an October Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau story quoting former Jon Mills, a constitutional law expert who was dean of the University of Florida’s law school in 1999-2003 and was speaker of the Florida House in the late 1980s.

    Mills argues DeSantis has to resign under the state’s law, though he notes, “The question is when? What does qualification mean in terms of running for president? Does it mean you are the final nominee or is it when you qualify for the first primary state?”

    Warren disagrees. He explained that to get on the presidential primary ballot in Florida, candidates don’t “qualify” but rather political parties submit lists of people to be on the ballot. Those candidates don’t, for instance, pay a fee or gather signatures as others do.

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  60. “When Trump repaid Cohen, he would have to report it. ..”

    If Cohen made the payment on instructions from Trump I think Trump would have to report it at that time. If in fact the payment was a campaign expense.

    James B. Shearer (32f20a)

  61. Let’s not be too hard on poor Stormy. Admire is not the word, but there is something to be said for a girl who when life hands her an orange she makes lemonade.

    nk (bb1548) — 4/1/2023 @ 6:12 pm

    Was that a Trump reference? 😁

    norcal (7b2be1)

  62. Again, why not nominate people who don’t have a long history of openly reported trashiness?

    Americans did. He was elected, too: James Earl Carter, Jr., An individual of outstanding character, high morals, a faithful Christian soul wholly devoted to his wife and family and only ‘lusted in his heart.’ ‘Course his brother was a little trashy– but his presidency: a dumpster fire.

    DCSCA (7f2ca8)

  63. If Cohen made the payment on instructions from Trump I think Trump would have to report it at that time. If in fact the payment was a campaign expense.

    I agree. But Cohen was convicted of exceeding the $2,700 limit on personal contributions to a single candidate for an election.

    He was also convicted of violating the ban on corporations contributing directly to campaigns regarding the McDougal payment.

    My guess is that Trump will be charged with violating campaign finance laws by:

    1. Failing to report the Cohen payment as a campaign expense; and

    2. Failing to report the National Enquirer payment as a campaign expense; and

    3. Covering up the Cohen payment by making it look like he was paying legal fees instead of reimbursing a campaign expense.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  64. @28, “I’ll go out on a limb and say that Melania is much more upset about the thought of Donald having sex with Stormy, then having sex with her (Melania)….My wife would kill me for an affair with McDougal”

    I think your wife should kill you for the confusion of your former comment

    AJ_Liberty (4cb472)

  65. 58… truth be told, Daniels is more a one and a bad case of gonorrhea.

    Colonel Haiku (270820)

  66. James,

    Thank you for your questions. These are my guesses, but your questions really helped me think this through to make those guesses.

    Now here is my prediction of Trumps response (assuming he doesn’t follow his attorneys advice to not discuss this):

    1. Trump will deny everything.

    2. As bits and pieces come out to rebut that (like his tweets, writings, interviews, and speeches) he will admit the least possible bits and pieces.

    3. When there is too much, he will admit he did it but claim it was not wrong. He will call it perfect.

    DRJ (2dfb5a)

  67. Specifically, I think Trump will say he never knew about the payments or he knew but they were made to keep Melania from finding out, not to protect the campaign. As for Cohen’s repayment, he will say he thought he was paying a legitimate legal bill, not reimbursing a payoff.

    DRJ (2dfb5a)

  68. “I agree. But Cohen was convicted of exceeding the $2,700 limit on personal contributions to a single candidate for an election.”

    “He was also convicted of violating the ban on corporations contributing directly to campaigns regarding the McDougal payment.”

    These “convictions” don’t mean much. They were the result of a plea deal not a jury trial. The defendant and the prosecution can agree to put any nonsense they want into a plea deal. That doesn’t mean the prosecution will be able to prove any of the alleged facts beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury with a defense lawyer trying to poke holes in their case.

    It’s like a real estate transaction between related parties (for example selling a house to a relative). It’s not an arms length transaction so the sales price may not be indicative of the market.

    James B. Shearer (32f20a)

  69. “Specifically, I think Trump will say he never knew about the payments or he knew but they were made to keep Melania from finding out, not to protect the campaign. As for Cohen’s repayment, he will say he thought he was paying a legitimate legal bill, not reimbursing a payoff.”

    Trump would be unwise to say anything. The prosecution has to prove he is guilty, he doesn’t have to prove he is innocent. He should let his lawyers speculate about various scenarios in which he is innocent. These scenarios may be mutually contradictory but the prosecution still has to disprove all of them beyond a reasonable doubt.

    James B. Shearer (32f20a)

  70. DRJ-

    Really appreciate your clear explanations of campaign finance laws, even if people don’t want to accept them.

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  71. Thank you, Rip. I am retired and never practiced campaign finance law so I am guessing, but I am trying to be as informed and careful as possible. I think it is important to try to be an informed citizen, as do most of the folks here.

    DRJ (2dfb5a)

  72. These “convictions” don’t mean much. They were the result of a plea deal not a jury trial. The defendant and the prosecution can agree to put any nonsense they want into a plea deal. That doesn’t mean the prosecution will be able to prove any of the alleged facts beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury with a defense lawyer trying to poke holes in their case.

    Except defendants need to admit to the crimes in front of a judge and convince him/her that are truly guilty.

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  73. James:

    The defendant and the prosecution can agree to put any nonsense they want into a plea deal.

    That is incorrect, but I don’t have the time or patience to start that dialogue again. I just had it with Kevin.

    DRJ (2dfb5a)

  74. DRJ (2dfb5a) — 4/1/2023 @ 8:05 pm

    Also it easy to do a little research to come up with the correct answers. Posters who make unfounded or highly speculative assertions without any supporting evidence when the correct facts can be easily found on the internet really annoy me.

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  75. He would be wise to not speak about any charges, James, but it is hard to imagine him doing that.

    DRJ (2dfb5a)

  76. I need to amend my 63 to correct three errors:

    My guess is that Trump will be charged with violating campaign finance laws by:

    1. Failing to report the Cohen payment as a campaign expense donation; and

    2. Failing to report the National Enquirer payment as a campaign expense donation; and

    3. Covering up the Cohen payment by making it look like he was paying legal fees instead of reimbursing a campaign expense Cohen.

    DRJ (2dfb5a)

  77. I think I’ll just stop now, before it gets worse

    steveg (8de21e)

  78. Over a goat

    Billy Budd was not available for comment.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  79. That is why I have repeatedly said that the purpose must be in whole or in part for the campaign.

    Beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  80. Daniels is a one-and-done.

    “Where every man has gone before”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  81. Failing to report the National Enquirer payment as a campaign expense; and

    They paid that to a third party. Not one dime flowed through the campaign or Trump’s funds, before or after. Why does Trump need to report (or in fact know about) such a transaction?

    Even if it benefited his campaign, third party expenditures are just that. OF course, if you can show that the payment was coordinated with Trump or his campaign, that would be different.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  82. As bits and pieces come out to rebut that (like his tweets, writings, interviews, and speeches)

    I have seen Trump deny, to a reporter who has just played a recorded speech, that he said what they just played.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  83. The silence on the exact charges is curious.
    There are people who think it is outrageous.
    People who think it did not go far enough.

    But somewhere, there is a DA who is looking at how to charge other presidents.

    Joe (978bb7)

  84. Thanks be to G*D for this new day. Birds are chirping outside which means I have not lost all my hearing -yet. The more I lose, the greater my appreciation for what remains. Being able to count my blessings on one hand adds to the clarity; the clarity children have in simplicity.

    I’ll go worship my Creator with a humble and contrite heart, and then I’ll make bold to ask for mercy on us all. For those who do not believe in G*D, have mercy on those around you. This is me, going first.

    felipe (77b190)

  85. God bless felipe.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  86. Joe:

    If I were Bragg, I would be concerned about how Trump would spin the indictment prior to his arraignment. He’s done a good job of it already. Better to hide the ball for a bit and get his say in. If Trump and Stormy Daniels have their way, this case is going to be just about them. That’s bad optics for the first ever indictment of an ex-president.

    Appalled (f76ab9)

  87. 23. James B. Shearer (4de1ea) — 4/1/2023 @ 11:37 am

    But if Cohen is making the payment with Trump’s money he isn’t making a donation.

    It is also illegal to make a loan to the campaign without good collateral.

    But Trump says e never approved the payment in advance. (and if he did why route it this way so that it costs him 3x as much?)\\If Cohen went ahead on his own, it’s an independent expenditure on his part.

    Bradley \Smith, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says the alleged crime by Trump could be making an illegal corporate campaign contribution (using his own fully owned corporation, which is this situation is no different than using his personal funds)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-indictment-is-a-perversion-of-campaign-finance-law-alvin-bragg-hush-money-business-records-daniels-bdb5942c

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  88. Appalled (f76ab9) — 4/2/2023 @ 6:20 am

    If Trump and Stormy Daniels have their way, this case is going to be just about them.

    It;s not eve about them

    It’s:\

    VIOLATION OF ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES IN THE FIRST DEGREE!!

    That’s all it amounts to.

    Upgraded to a felony by innovative legal reasoning.

    And it’s not even a crime.

    And he didn’t do it.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  89. “It is also illegal to make a loan to the campaign without good collateral.”

    I don’t think that is the rule. If Trump puts a campaign expense on a personal credit card I don’t think the credit card company is violating the law.

    James B. Shearer (32f20a)

  90. The defendant and the prosecution can agree to put any nonsense they want into a plea deal.

    Only the judge can stop it.

    It’s all supposed to be true, and also a crime, but in the real world, it doesn’t have to be

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  91. @ Appalled (f76ab9) — 4/2/2023 @ 6:20 am

    I do tend to agree with you. I think the silence on the language of the indictments indicate its a bookkeeping charge.
    They don’t want the Sunday spin to rehabilitate Trump.

    But I don’t know. I guess we will all find out Tuesday.

    Joe (978bb7)

  92. James B. Shearer (32f20a) — 4/2/2023 @ 7:23 am

    If Trump puts a campaign expense on a personal credit card I don’t think the credit card company is violating the law.

    I should have said arms length — in the normal course of business or things like that.

    Actually Trump was supposed to, and did, route expenses for the campaign through the campaign, even if these were tings he normally did.. He did that his airplane, office space etc.\\In the beginning.

    After the convention he was relying primarily on contributions.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  93. 52. DRJ (0abb72) — 4/1/2023 @ 5:14 pm

    But there may be evidence that shows Trump knew.

    Trump made out some of the monthly $35,000 checks to Cohen himself.

    Weisselberg and company may have decided that was more proper.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  94. And the falsification of business records has to be for purposes of fraud. Bradley Smith, I think, says there are two lines of cases and in one of them it’s only about money.

    Not defrauding the public or the FEC of truthful or complete information.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  95. Colonel Haiku (270820) — 4/1/2023 @ 10:36 am

    (joke)

    Trump will say the money wasn’t to buy her silence about an affair but rather to pay for an abortion, and any future abortions she may desire. Lefty and college-educated white women’ heads will explode.

    That was what Herschel \walker’s girlfriend said (she later did not have asecond abortion and eventually sued him for child support) but Herschel Walker said it was not specifically or at all for an abortion and the amounts did not match.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  96. . It does not explain why literally all of the reporting talks only about Daniels.

    Because that;s what Michael Cohen leaded guilty to, and the media isn’t thinking too much.

    Also, Trump did not, in the end, reimburse the National Enquirer and its parent company pleaded guilty to making an illegal corporate campaign contribution because their contract with Karen McDougal was a cover story (not to her though – she thought she was really going to get a column etc.)

    The National Enquirer had agreed to help his campaign, but it had been on close terms with Donald Trump for years.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  97. DRJ (0abb72) — 4/1/2023 @ 10:44 am

    . Trying to silence both of them with payoffs at a crucial time in the campaign is evidence the payments were made (in part or in whole) to protect the campaign.

    No, it’s evidence that that’s when these two women felt it would get the most attention. Trump, I believe, was not pro-active in seeking them out and if he had been he wold have sought to buy their silence back in the spring..

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  98. There was no NDA for Karen McDougal.

    The National Enquirer just bought the exclusive rights to her story, never intending to publish.

    This is called “Catch and Kill”

    The Enquirer did this too for other favored celebrities..

    We can speculate why

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  99. The falsification of business records would have to be based on this legal provision:

    An individual is “guilty of falsifying business records in the second degree when, with intent to defraud, he:

    ….

    omits to make a true entry in the business records of an enterprise in violation of a duty to do so which he knows to be imposed upon him by law or by the nature of his position; or

    The problem would be that the legal retaainer was fictional.

    But a lawyer is not required to state the true purpose of his charges in his bill. It’s not fraud on the part of the lawyer if the client understands. \Many legall expenses may be recorded falsely in certain records and that’s not been prosecuted.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  100. I think there’s no duty to record in business records the real reason for the lawyer’s bill.

    Because if attorney-client privilege.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  101. But a lawyer is not required to state the true purpose of his charges in his bill. It’s not fraud on the part of the lawyer if the client understands.

    Isn’t the fraud committed by the client if he enters an untrue description in his business records?

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  102. Weisselberg and company may have decided that was more proper.

    Given their subsequent convictions I wouldn’t rely on any decisions they made in the past.

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  103. Not one dime flowed through the campaign or Trump’s funds, before or after.

    In Hillary’s case, her campaign didn’t pay a dime to FusionGPS, yet somehow they were paid in exchange for services rendered. As I recall, her campaign she was fined $113k for that mischief.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  104. That was because the third-party payment was coordinated with people in Hillary’s campaign.

    But an external transaction that happens to benefit a campaign, without the suggestion or approval of the campaign or candidate, is NOT a donation to the candidate’s campaign. The National Enquirer bought McDougal’s story for a flat fee.

    To show it as an illegal contribution, you would have to show that Trump or his people encouraged Pecker to spike the story. If he just did it on his own, even because he supported Trump, it’s not a crime.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  105. How it plays out in the other party:

    In a city rocked by corruption, Ridley-Thomas’ conviction brings public tributes, not scorn

    The corruption cases that have upended Los Angeles city politics in recent years have been greeted by a familiar set of reactions: public disgust, condemnation from elected officials, urgent calls for reform.

    But in the days since a jury found former City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas guilty of bribery, conspiracy and fraud charges, some of the city’s political leaders have given a markedly different type of response, offering tributes instead of scorn.

    Mayor Karen Bass described Ridley-Thomas, a friend and ally for more than 40 years, as a “thought leader” who had made a huge impact on the city. Steve Soboroff, who sits on the Board of Police Commissioners, tweeted his appreciation for Ridley-Thomas’ work. State Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) issued a statement listing Ridley-Thomas’ accomplishments — omitting the fact that the veteran politician had just been convicted of multiple felony counts.

    “The Mark Ridley-Thomas I know is the tireless champion, the relentless advocate, the unstoppable force,” wrote former City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represented the Westside for nearly a decade.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  106. Kevin M (1ea396) — 4/2/2023 @ 9:20 am

    I was surprised he was convicted-it wasn’t your typical quid pro quo bribery scheme.

    Rip Murdock (f6813a)

  107. Thanks be to G*D for this new day. Birds are chirping outside which means I have not lost all my hearing -yet. The more I lose, the greater my appreciation for what remains. Being able to count my blessings on one hand adds to the clarity; the clarity children have in simplicity.

    I’ll go worship my Creator with a humble and contrite heart, and then I’ll make bold to ask for mercy on us all. For those who do not believe in G*D, have mercy on those around you. This is me, going first.

    What a wonderful comment to wake up to. May God bless you, felipe.

    Patterico (bf02d5)

  108. Ted Kennedy killed a woman. Did he go to jail? (We can keep going.)

    Remember episodes like that when someone talks about the “rule of law.”

    mikeybates (41a403)

  109. @108…

    Let’s not forget HRC’s email server in her house…the “rule of law” in the country is a joke. We are so FUBARed

    Horatio (56364c)

  110. That was because the third-party payment was coordinated with people in Hillary’s campaign.

    Yes, and there was no less coordination between Trump and Cohen and Daniels. Money was laundered for services rendered.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  111. Exactly the same!

    Colonel Haiku (26c1a7)

  112. But somewhere, there is a DA who is looking at how to charge other presidents.
    Joe (978bb7) — 4/2/2023 @ 5:30 am

    in this race to the bottom, my money is on nevertrump

    JF (a5e089)

  113. Yes, and there was no less coordination between Trump and Cohen and Daniels. Money was laundered for services rendered.

    Okay. So the rule of the law, right? When will charges be filed?

    mikeybates (41a403)

  114. But somewhere, there is a DA who is looking at how to charge other presidents.

    Joe (978bb7) — 4/2/2023 @ 5:30 am

    That’s not a good approach. hat DA won’t have good judgment.

    But I’d sure like to see Bill Clinton charged with the murder of the Branch Davidians in Waco 30 years ago. The evidence of a plot is there.

    I wrote in 1995:

    …..You know, Mr. President, there’s just one thing that’s bothering me.

    I am sure it really doesn’t matter, but I’m curious, it’s really
    nothing, but why exactly do you think the FBI rejected the water cannon
    plan at Waco in favor of tear gas? What they said could happen sounded
    like exactly what did happen, only what happened was worse.

    One second, also, could you tell me, I’m sure you have a good
    explanation, but what did you mean by this:

    <> – April 20, 1993.

    Why was it important for you to know the exact identities of who
    survived the fire and who did not before you could comment on it?

    Why would it matter if David Koresh or some other individuals had
    survived? I mean it’s not a question of nobody being around to
    contradict something you might say, is it. . .

    And then, you also said at the same press conference:

    <>

    Now, I’m just wondering, but if she told you no progress had been
    made, and they were ending it now, then what did you think she meant
    by telling you that April 19 was not going to be D-Day, as the Justice
    Department report says she told you.

    And if you were misled about the need, and the possibilities of things going wrong, why didn’t have someone look into what kind of mistakes were made – who went wrong and where they went wrong. The report did not look into it. And how were the military consulted and about what?

    Oh, I see, yes. The Davidians started the fire. They overheard them on
    the bugs. The day before even. Then why did the FBI go ahead?

    They were not listening to the tapes. I see.

    What do you think, by the way, could be the cause of some of the leaks,
    like that story of people in headquarters in Washington listening live
    to the bugs that appeared in the April 26, 1993 New York Times.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  115. Another excerpt:

    Now there’s another curious thing about Buford. I noticed this thing.

    Other people didn’t. Maybe I’m just this way. It would help me, I
    think, if you could satisfy my curiosity. Maybe it doesn’t matter, but
    it seems like there is some video footage of the raid, shot by TV station KWTX-TV Channel 10 in Waco.

    It shows two groups of four agents climbing ladders to reach a second floor roof. Once there, one group of agents break a second-floor window. Three go in, and the fourth apparently throws some kind of smoke grenade into the house after them. Shortly, the fourth man then fires a MP-5 machine-gun into the room.

    Originally, the BATF claimed that three men died in that room, and that
    is what the caption in the March 15, 1993 issue of Newsweek indicates.

    However, in the final Treasury Department report, the group that went
    to the “weapons” room (which wasn’t actually a weapons room, but that
    was the reason for sending them there) consisted of only three men, and
    all three survived, and one of them is Buford!!

    While Robert J. Williams is said to have died outside the room on the roof, and he was left for a long time that day to be photographed by television cameras, Todd McKeehan and Conway LaBleu are totally bereft of any place or cause of death.

    And there was a report in the New York Times of March 28, 1993, that
    only the team leaders had radios. Why do you suppose the three men, if
    this is what it looks like, did not have radios, but only Buford did?

    What do you think could be the explanation for all that?

    And also now, Buford’s been saying that one of the ATF agents killed
    on Feb. 28 was shot by friendly fire (National Review, April 4, 1994)
    And at the trial he said that he didn’t support the idea of staging a
    military style raid, although he also claimed it was impossible to arrest Koresh outside. Now why would he be going around like he was the one high ranking official most opposed to what happened? And if he is a
    friend of yours, wouldn’t he have told you, and wouldn’t you be concerned about that and wouldn’t some official report look into that
    possibility that one agent was killed by friendly fire?

    “Go away from me, Lt. Columbo, I’m too busy to keep answering stupid
    questions like that. Go ask somebody else. . .

    I didn’t put together the report. It was put together by impartial people who were not involved, and the Justice Department report was put together by a Republican, Edward Dennis, who worked in the Bush Administration, who couldn’t possibly be doing me any favors.”

    Okay, I won’t ask you why the Saudi Arabian Ambassador, who lives right
    across the street from Ft. Marcy Park made an unscheduled visit to the
    White House and saw you in July, 1993. I’ve been having a little trouble with the story about this being because you were so anxious to see that Saudi Arabia bought more airliners from companies in the United States.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  116. Yes, and there was no less coordination between Trump and Cohen and Daniels. Money was laundered for services rendered.

    I thought we were talking about the National Enquirer’s purchase and non-use of McDougal’s story, which as far as I know was unreimbursed by Trump. While Trump benefited, he did not instigate or authorize it*. Even if he found out later, and even if Pecker demabded payment LATER, the contribution was not coordinated with Trump or the campaign.

    ——-
    * prove otherwise and it’s a crime.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  117. @Joe, I’m eager to see the details of the charges. I don’t have an prediction on what they will be. The reporting on Trump’s legal troubles has generally been poor so I don’t really have any expectation. I agree with you that this may lead to more prosecutions of political leaders in the future. Which I’m OK with. If they broke the law, charge them. The accusations in this case aren’t that Trump is innocent of criminality and is being framed for political reasons, it’s that he’s being investigated because of who he is. The system has safeguards for the accused.

    Time123 (494b87)

  118. Obama’s campaign received millions in illegal foreign contributions. IIRC, they did not verify addresses given by donors. There’s a guy on trial now for funneling a couple million to Obama from a fugitive Malaysian financier, but the campaign claims to have known nothing about it.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  119. The accusations in this case aren’t that Trump is innocent of criminality and is being framed for political reasons, it’s that he’s being investigated because of who he is.

    I doubt there is anyone who would claim otherwise. But maybe there are some tools talking.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  120. LOL!

    Lawyers for former President Donald Trump urged a judge to deny a request by media outlets for cameras in a Manhattan courtroom where Trump is set to be arraigned on criminal charges Tuesday.

    “We submit that the media request should be denied because it will create a circus-like atmosphere at the arraignment, raise unique security concerns, and is inconsistent with President Trump’s presumption of innocence,” Trump’s lawyers said in their letter to Judge Juan Merchan.
    ………
    The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Trump, in its own letter to Merchan on Monday did not take a position on whether the judge should allow cameras in the courtroom.

    However, that letter from assistant DA Matthew Colangelo noted that New York state’s highest court has upheld the constitutionality of the law banning audiovisual coverage of most courtroom proceedings.

    And Colangelo added that “even if cameras are not categorically barred,” judges have the discretion to “control the conduct of judicial proceedings.”

    “It would thus be a defensible exercise of the Court’s discretion to exclude or restrict videography, photography, and radio coverage of the arraignment in the interest of avoiding potential prejudice to the defendant, maintaining an orderly proceeding, assuring the safety of the participants in the proceeding, or for other reasons within the Court’s broad authority to manage and control these proceedings,” the letter said.
    ……….

    Avoiding a “circus-like atmosphere”? Trump thrives on being a circus ringmaster.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  121. @118 republicans on the supreme court gutted campaign finance laws take it up with them.

    asset (fd6496)

  122. @116:

    Suppose that Trump did not instigate Cohen’s payment to Stormy*, but after the payment was made Cohen asked for the reimbursement from Trump, who grudgingly paid in installments.

    If so, and the reimbursement was made after an unauthorized and uncoordinated third party contribution, then it probably isn’t a crime. This would hinge on whether a candidates donation to a PAC that had supported him makes any election expenditure by that PAC an illegal contribution. I don’t think it does.

    ———–
    * I have not delved into this too deeply.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  123. You’re gonna take a walk in the rain
    And you’re gonna get wet

    You’re gonna eat a bowl of chow mein
    And be hungry real soon

    Are my sources correct?

    Yes, I know they’re correct.

    Colonel Haiku (26c1a7)

  124. That Was Then, This Is Now:

    “The facts are that he broke campaign finance laws and that he lied to cover it up,” Fox News’ Sean Hannity said.
    ………..
    The quote from Hannity, from June 3, 2011, refers to former presidential candidate and former senator John Edwards (D-NC), who was indicted that day on charges similar to those Trump now faces. …….
    ……..
    But when news broke that Trump was indicted for paying $130,000 in hush money in the closing days of a campaign and then falsifying business records to cover his tracks, Hannity had a much different response. …….
    ………
    From the outset of the Edwards investigation to the indictment and throughout the trial, Hannity expressed no objection to Edwards being prosecuted for this conduct. On the contrary, Hannity regularly endorsed the prosecutors’ theory that money spent to cover up an affair during a campaign should be considered an illegal campaign contribution.

    Numerous right-wing pundits who blasted Trump’s indictment were happy to see Edwards criminally charged for similar conduct. Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly tweeted that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who is leading the prosecution of Trump, should be “ashamed of himself.”
    ………..
    But in numerous appearances on the O’Reilly Factor during the Edwards’ investigation and trial, Kelly did not suggest any impropriety by prosecutors. In an April 26, 2012 appearance, while the trial was ongoing, Kelly said the case was “going pretty well for the prosecution” because “it doesn’t seem like a lot of the facts are in dispute.”

    O’Reilly, in reaction to the Trump indictment, called it “bad for the country” and a “political play.” He also expressed confidence that Trump’s lawyer “should be able to shred the case.” But at the conclusion of the Edwards trial, during the deliberations, O’Reilly declared the evidence against Edwards was “pretty damning.” Throughout the prosecution, O’Reilly repeatedly declared that Edwards was “guilty.”

    On Twitter, former Fox News contributor Kimberly Guilfoyle described the charges against Trump as a “sham indictment” because there was “no crime committed.” But Guilfoyle was an enthusiastic supporter of the prosecution of Edwards. ……..

    Today, the Wall Street Journal editorial page is full of columns trashing the decision to charge Trump. …….The paper, owned by Rupert Murdoch, took a different approach with the charges against John Edwards. It ran multiple columns emphasizing the righteousness of the charges against Edwards.
    ……..
    Similar arguments appear in multiple columns by James Taranto, who currently edits the paper’s op-ed page.
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  125. And the WaPo, owned by Jeff Bezos, has run many columns and news items about how much Trump deserves whatever he gets. As have most of the newspapers in the United States.

    It’s called a free press, and as always, that right belongs to those that own one.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  126. 116. Kevin M (1ea396) — 4/3/2023 @ 1:14 pm

    I thought we were talking about the National Enquirer’s purchase and non-use of McDougal’s story, which as far as I know was unreimbursed by Trump. While Trump benefited, he did not instigate or authorize it*. Even if he found out later, and even if Pecker demabded payment LATER, the contribution was not coordinated with Trump or the campaign.

    ——-
    * prove otherwise and it’s a crime.

    Michael Cohen has a tape, which his lawyer, Lanny Davis, partially disclosed to the press, abruptly stopping it, and maybe also degrading the quality in spots (in order to prove that Hope Hicks lied on Trump’s behalf on Nov 4, 2016, four days before the election when she said that they they had no knowledge at that time of Karen McDougal’s claim or the fact that the National Enquirer bought her story) in which Michael Cohen tries to persuade Donald Trump to buy the National Enquirer’s trove of stories about Trump that have been captured by the National Enquirer buying the exclusive rights to, on the grounds that David Pecker might one day no longer be in charge of the National Enquirer.

    Donald Trump interjects that David Pecker might be hit by a truck [sic the correct cliche is “hit by a bus”. ]

    Donald Trump wants to write a check and Michael Cohen tells him, no no, and that Weisselberg had figured out a way to pay.

    You can hear it for yourself maybe. I’m not sure how

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  127. https://www.vice.com/en/article/d3ey8m/heres-audio-of-donald-trump-and-michael-cohen-talking-about-paying-off-a-former-playboy-model

    On Nov. 4, 2016, just days before the election, Trump’s then-spokesperson Hope Hicks denied both McDougal’s allegations and the notion that American Media had bought her silence, saying, “We have no knowledge of the story,” and calling McDougal’s claims of an affair “totally untrue.”

    The newly released tape begins with Cohen informing Trump that the New York Times has been trying to unseal the court file from Trump’s divorce from his first wife, Ivana. Midway through, Trump shouts out to someone, “Get me a Coke, please!,” and then the conversation turns to McDougal.

    “I need to open up a company regarding the transfer of that info for our friend David,” Cohen says at the beginning of the discussion, in what appears to be a reference to Pecker. “I’ve spoken to [Trump Org executive] Alan Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up, with funding.”

    “It’s all the stuff,” Cohen continues. “Because you never know where that company, you never know where he’s gonna be —”

    “He might get hit by a truck,” Trump interjects.

    “Correct,” Cohen says. “I’m all over that. And I spoke to Alan about it, when it comes time for the financing, which will be —”

    “What financing?” Trump asks.

    The audio is muffled, but Trump seems to be saying the phrase, “Pay with cash.”

    “No, no, no, no, no,” Cohen responds. “I got… No, no, no.”

    Prosecutors have at least 11 other recordings Cohen made of meetings with Trump, according to court files. Trump waived attorney-client privilege on the tape obtained by CNN.

    By the way is there any recording of Trump agreeing in advance ti pay off Stormy Daniels, and if not, why not?

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/24/politics/michael-cohen-donald-trump-tape/index.html

    “I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker.

    When financing comes up again later in the conversation, Trump interrupts Cohen asking, “What financing?” according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, “We’ll have to pay,” Trump is heard saying “pay with cash” but the audio is muddled and it’s unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying. Cohen says, “no, no” but it is not clear what is said next.

    No payment was ever made from Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the President’s attorney, has said. Giuliani has previously acknowledged that the recorded discussion related to the buying the story rights.

    “There’s no indication of any crime being committed on this tape,” Giuliani said on Fox News Channel Tuesday night.

    Trump blasted Cohen over the disclosure Wednesday morning.

    “What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!” Trump tweeted.

    In New York State it is legal for one party to a conversation to tape it – not so in some other jurisdictions.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  128. “It’s all the stuff,” Cohen continues. “Because you never know where that company, you never know where he’s gonna be —”

    “He might get hit by a truck,” Trump interjects.

    After the election.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  129. @117

    @Joe, I’m eager to see the details of the charges. I don’t have an prediction on what they will be. The reporting on Trump’s legal troubles has generally been poor so I don’t really have any expectation. I agree with you that this may lead to more prosecutions of political leaders in the future. Which I’m OK with. If they broke the law, charge them. The accusations in this case aren’t that Trump is innocent of criminality and is being framed for political reasons, it’s that he’s being investigated because of who he is. The system has safeguards for the accused.

    Time123 (494b87) — 4/3/2023 @ 1:15 pm

    I would caution making any predictions until we truly know more about the exact charges.

    But, and I know this is me beating that dead horse, if the indictments bootstraps to federal election laws, Bragg has a real partisanship problem of applying the laws asymmetrically.

    Hillary Clinton, as resident of NY, literally did the same thing. And no, I’m not talking about her email server saga.

    Not figuratively.

    Not a-round-about way.

    The. Exact. Same. Thing.

    And that is, using her lawyers as a cutout to pay for the Steele Dossier.

    Now, that isn’t a defense of Trump nor should he be able to bring that up in court. That doesn’t, and shouldn’t matter.

    But as a practical political reality, what is normie Norm is going to understand from this? That there is a 2 tiers of justice?

    whembly (d116f3)

  130. https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-march-26-2023-n1303816

    ….JOE TACOPINA:

    So Chuck, as his lawyer, I want to dissect this case, because it’s a case that shouldn’t be brought and wouldn’t be brought if it were anyone other than Donald Trump, let’s be clear about that. Does anyone actually think – left, right, or in the middle – that anyone else would be prosecuted for making a civil settlement in a hush money case with personal funds? Of course not. No one’s ever been prosecuted for that. You know, the closest we’ve come is John Edwards back in the day, where a donor paid $900,000 for his mistress and the child to be, you know, housed somewhere. That case was openly dismissed by the Department of Justice after they couldn’t get a conviction. And that was with the donor. The distinction here is so vast, and it’s clear to anyone, whether you’re – again, if you’re a supporter of Donald Trump or a detractor, or don’t like anything about Donald Trump, we should all be concerned as citizens in this country about the weaponization of a prosecutor’s office. And that is what this is. I swear to you, in my 32 years as both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, I’ve never seen an abuse of discretion like this…

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  131. Also on Meet the Press Sunday March 26, 2023:

    CHUCK TODD:

    But again, what this investigation may end up being is about the, essentially the falsifying business records. Which by the way, this prosecutor has brought over 60 – this one and the previous one – has brought over 60 times over the last four years. This is not an unusual crime to charge somebody with —

    JOE TACOPINA:

    Oh no, oh no.

    CHUCK TODD:

    – in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. We have over 60 instances here, Mr. Tacopina.

    JOE TACOPINA:

    Oh, Chuck, you could not be — you couldn’t be more wrong when you make that statement. This, first of all, would be a case of first impression. Never in the history of this country has this been done before. And never in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has someone been charged with a crime for falsifying business records to pay hush money, as they call it, or it’s a confidential settlement, in legal jargon, regarding a personal matter. Never in the history of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. If there were a filing obligation, if he had taken a tax deduction, which he did not, that would be a crime. If, if he had used campaign funds, we’d have an argument here. This was a personal matter. And —

    CHUCK TODD:

    But they called it legal funds. They called it legal fees. They claimed it was to pay a legal retainer.

    JOE TACOPINA:

    They were in fact, they were in — no, they didn’t say legal retainer. It was legal fees that was invoiced by Michael Cohen, who arranged this on his own, with his own money initially, took out a loan, literally, resolved this without the president knowing, came back and then sent a bill in for four times the amount. Over the course of a year it was paid off as legal fees, as was the invoice. But what was he supposed to put in his personal ledger? Seriously, what would he personal ledger? “Payment for hush money to quiet an affair that I claim I never had so my family doesn’t get embarrassed.” Is that what he should put in his ledger? There’s no, nothing wrong with putting whatever you want in your ledger —

    CHUCK TODD:

    How about the truth?

    JOE TACOPINA:

    — filing obligation, Chuck, Chuck —

    CHUCK TODD:

    You keep saying, what should be in the ledger? Should it be the truth?

    JOE TACOPINA:

    — Chuck, would you ever put a four-paragraph sentence into a ledger? Chuck, you’re being, honestly, I think you’re being a little petty when you’re looking at this now. Because there is no filing obligation; you can put whatever you want in your own personal ledger. If there were a tax obligation, that would be one thing. If he had taken campaign funds, that would be something else. This, neither of these things happened here. So you have a situation where you’re looking at either, was it a tax deduction? Enh. They pulled it out of the grand jury because they thought initially it was — he was taking a deduction. He did not. And secondly, did he use campaign funds? If he did not, he used personal funds. And the test again is would he have made that payment regardless of the campaign? And the answer to that question is a resounding yes, by all accounts.

    CHUCK TODD:

    Alright, I do want to get you to respond to somebody who had a different point of view on this, and it was you a few years ago, let me play this sound and get you to respond.

    JOE TACOPINA:

    No.

    [BEGIN TAPE]

    JOE TACOPINA:

    Quite frankly, you know, Michael Cohen, again, has made statements that would give rise to suspicion for any prosecutor to say, ‘That doesn’t make sense that a lawyer took out a home equity loan, with his own money, paid somebody that he didn’t even know on behalf of a client, who, by the way, had to wherewithal and the money to afford $130,000, and by the way, didn’t tell the client about the settlement agreement.’ It’s an illegal agreement. It’s a fraud if that’s, in fact, the case.

    [END TAPE]

    Yes, it doesn’t make sense for Michael Cohen to spend $130,000 he couldn’t afford, but it also doesn’t also sense for Donald Trump to ask him to or tell him to ad the way Cohen tells it two peole do something that doesn’t make sense while if Cohen acted on his own only one person did something that doesn’t make sense. And it further doesn’t make sense if Cohen didn’t tape it, especially since Donald Trump was known not to pay bills he was legally obligated to pay – how much more so something that he was not legally obligated to and that Cohen could not sue him for.

    Now Cohen wants to explain this by saying he was Donald’s Trump “fixer” and they had a close working relationship but the question on cross examination would be: What the maximum amount of money besides this that you ever laid out for Donald Trump?

    And there’s another question: Wasn’t there another time he went ahead with something that Donald Trump told him not to bother. In the spring of 2016 Donald Trump gave up on getting his Moscow hotel, but Michael Cohen continued negotiating.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  132. https://www.vox.com/world/2018/11/29/18117910/cohen-trump-tower-moscow-mueller-testimony

    “So to be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump-Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen said during his opening statement. “He lied about it, because he never expected to win.”

    Trump never expected to win? Really?

    Cohen was a loose cannon/rogue elephant.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  133. The Broad Scope of “Intent to Defraud” in the New York Crime of Falsifying Business Records

    ……..(A)n important question is whether maintaining false business records to conceal hush money payments in a political campaign meets the “intent to defraud” element of the Falsifying Business Records statute, New York Penal Law § 175.05 and 175.10.

    ……… the jurisdiction in which this case will be brought – the First Department of New York – has settled law on the issue that defines “intent to defraud” in broad terms that cover the allegations in the Trump case. The most important expression of a contrary view was issued by a lower court in a different jurisdiction and on a basis that is demonstrably flawed.
    ………
    So, how does New York State law define the “intent to defraud” for the criminal offense of falsifying business records? A long line of New York state court cases supports an expansive conception with respect to § 175.00 crimes – namely, that intent can be established when a defendant acts “for the purpose of frustrating the State’s power” to “faithfully carry out its own law.” ……..

    On this standard, the law does not require prosecutors to show “pecuniary or potential pecuniary loss” to the government or otherwise. Indeed, New York Jurisprudence (Second Edition 2023) in a section titled, “Indictment or information charging falsification of business records,” states: “In an indictment for first degree falsification of business records, the grand jury presentation is not required to establish commercial or property loss.”

    ………New York state courts have found such intent in a wide range of cases including when a defendant: made covert contributions to a political campaign, covered up an alleged rape, misled the relatives of a patient about the individual’s treatment, operated a motor vehicle without a license, obtained credit cards through false documents but with no proof of intention to miss payments, frustrated the regulatory authorities of the New York City Transit Authority, and much more. We detail all these judicial opinions below.
    ………..
    Falsifying hush money payments as legal services frustrated New York State authorities’ more broadly. New York firms are required to “keep correct and complete books and records of account” for the purposes of state regulators and tax authorities, N.Y. Bus. Corp. Law § 624 (McKinney). Indeed, New York Tax Law allows for tax commissioners “to examine or to cause to have examined…any books, papers, records or memoranda” of a corporation “bearing upon the matters to be required in the return.” N.Y. Tax Law § 1096(b)(1) (McKinney). Thus any book or record kept by a private corporation is subject to public exposure, and New York law requires these books to be accurate.

    In short, the Manhattan DA’s case rests on firm legal footing.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  134. 126:

    So tF what?

    Consider:

    1. McDougal takes her story to the Enquirer, which pays her for the exclusive rights, necessitating an NDA.
    2. Later, Pecker decides to pike the story.
    3. Later still, Pecker tells Trump about the story and that he spiked it, and requests payment from Trump.
    4. Trump declines, and makes a comment about how Pecker could always get hit by a truck.

    I see no crime here.

    1. Trump did not ask McDougal to take the story to the Enquirer
    2. Trump did not ask Pecker to buy it.

    At this point, it is purely a 3rd-party activity, involving neither Trump nor his campaign. Even if Pecker later told Trump what he had done, that is no different than a PAC running a commercial without the prior knowledge of a candidate.

    Perhaps if Trump had paid Pecker for it and called it a campaign expense, there would be a problem, but he did not.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  135. *spike, not pike.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  136. I also expect Trump to challenge the tolling of the statute of limitations, noting that his whereabouts were known to the Secret Service at all times, and that he had returned to NY when indicted. There was no cause to toll the statute in this case.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  137. Reports now are that 34 felonies will be charged, all inflated from misdemeanors by the campaign donation charges.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  138. Sure there was Kevin. They want to get Trump by any means mecessary. That’s all that matters.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  139. Bill Clinton was sure that Republicans were to blame for the fallout from his shenanigans too.

    JRH (7359e9)

  140. Interesting comparison here, especially in how it reveals Hannity’s hypocrisy.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  141. This has all the hallmarks of the government doing another Tuskegee experiment where undesirables are abused and harmed by a malicious government.

    Yes, I am on the correct thread, on topic.

    nk (bb1548)

  142. There was a time in my life when the GOP faithful would have looked aghast at a candidate who was paying hush money to porn stars and playmates to cover up affairs. Sure there would be concerns about sidestepping campaign finance laws to quell a bimbo eruption, but it would be more about what it says about a 60-year old man cheating on his recently married model wife who just had his kid.

    Now, you can argue that there will always be hypocrisy and double standards. Few were demanding that Guiliani and Gingrich not run…and few stopped listening to Rush as he moved from wife to wife. Heck even Mark Sanford was allowed a comeback of sorts. Still, a party focused on conserving culture, institutions, standards, and moral propriety just can’t say no to Trump, even when there is an avid culture warrior like DeSantis without the personal scandal.

    So we have opportunity #8 to thank him for his service and move on, yet like the abused wife returning for more, the base can’t say no to the drama and conflict. This shouldn’t be about the tedious minutia of campaign finance and business reportings….this should be about the fundamental honesty, integrity, and wisdom of your Party’s leadership. Trump should have been impeached….or censured….or forced into political retirement. Having not done the right things, we are now forced to suffer through the awfulness of at least one legal proceeding…with Georgia, J6, and Maralago waiting in the wings.

    Moral authority. We hear often the case against Democrats based on some moral awfulness. But how much moral authority has been sacrificed (burned?) at Trump’s altar? Something about first taking the plank out of your eye…but we really don’t quote much of that anymore. The Sermon on the Mount doesn’t resonate with the tribe anymore. We want awful people….we don’t hide it…we celebrate its inevitability. Sad.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  143. There was a time when the Democrats rejected candidates for sexual escapades (Gary Hart and post-Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy), but somewhere along the line this changed, especially at the local level. Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, Barney Franks, and an older Ted Kennedy, and Hillary, too, by all accounts. And let’s not even start with Hollywood.

    Then there was Senator Bob Menendez, whose acceptance of campaign donations of money and perks (and perhaps other favors) would have made Trump blush, but whose trial ended in a hung jury which led to all charges being dropped.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  144. This has all the hallmarks of the government doing another Tuskegee experiment where undesirables are abused and harmed by a malicious government.

    Are you sure it isn’t more like the Scottsboro Boys?

    Kevin M (1ea396)


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