HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Thursday, April 12, 2018

 
Trump's campaign to threaten and silence women is coming unraveled

by digby




This article in Vox speculates that the Feds came across evidence of a campaign to threaten and pay hush money to people who had information about Trump's sexual issues

Three days after the FBI raided Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s office, one clear possibility of what they were looking for is beginning to emerge.

That possibility is this: investigators suspect there was a major, potentially illegal, off-the-books spending operation aimed at making problems for Donald Trump’s campaign go away — and they’re wondering what Trump himself knew about it, or even whether he orchestrated it.

Consider the following. Agents wanted information on Cohen’s payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels. They wanted information Cohen might have on a payment of $150,000 to Karen McDougal, shelled out by the National Enquirer’s parent company. They wanted information on a potential effort to prevent the release of Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” tape.

More broadly, the search warrant asked for Cohen’s communications with Trump himself, and other Trump associates, about “potential sources of negative publicity” before the election. It also asked for all communications between Cohen and two top National Enquirer figures, David Pecker and Dylan Howard.

Consider also the Washington Post’s report that Cohen is under investigation for “possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations,” along with the background information that raiding a lawyer’s office and targeting his communications with his client is an extremely serious matter unlikely to be carried out lightly.

Now recall, per Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, that Steve Bannon has bragged the Trump campaign “took care” of about “a hundred women.” (I’m assuming that number is hyperbole, but here’s what Bannon said.)

Bannon had previously bonded with [Marc] Kasowitz when the attorney had handled a series of near-death problems on the campaign, including dealing with a vast number of allegations and legal threats from an ever growing list of women accusing Trump of molesting and harassing them.

... “Look, Kasowitz has known him for twenty-five years. Kasowitz has gotten him out of all kinds of jams. Kasowitz on the campaign — what did we have, a hundred women? Kasowitz took care of all of them.”

We now know how two women — Daniels and McDougal — were taken care of by Trump’s allies: they were paid off with a combined $280,000. We’ve also learned of an earlier payment from the same media company that paid McDougal: $30,000 to hush up a former Trump building doorman who claimed he knew about a Trump love child.

Viewed together, all this looks a bit like a shadowy and very well-funded effort to hush up problems for Trump — one that certainly does not seem to have abided by campaign finance disclosure and contribution limit laws. And it leaves several more questions.

How many other, similar payments were there? For instance, the search warrant reportedly seemed to allude to efforts to prevent the Access Hollywood tape from coming out — if that happened, what did it entail?

Where exactly, was this money coming from? Solely Michael Cohen and American Media Inc., as claimed? Does it trace back to Trump himself, or companies controlled by him? The Trump campaign? Or could funds be coming from some other wealthy figure?

And if the funds aren’t coming from Trump, then why are others doing these extremely expensive favors for a billionaire presidential candidate? Were they looking to be repaid later on? Seeking “leverage” over him, as the Associated Press hypothetically suggests? None of the possibilities look good.

To be honest, I don't care much about Trump paying hush money for consensual affairs, per se. He's a sexual sleazebag, to be sure, but extra-marital affairs aren't matters of state, they are civil matters at best. If there were threats of violence or some kind of criminal payment scheme then they should have thought twice before doing it because when someone decides to run for president their life becomes an open book. Trump was able to flout that convention more than anyone in history but it was always going to be revealed one way or the other.

If he was paying off people to keep quiet he was tremendously vulnerable to blackmail. And considering the multiple accounts of sexual aggression and assault as well as his bragging on the subject, it's probable that he's silenced some women from coming forward with actual crimes.

Trump's treatment of women was an issue in the campaign but it came too late in the cycle to really stick and frankly, I don't think most people gave a damn. It was a bros vs hos elections and the bros, unsurprisingly, won. However, things have changed since then. The nation has had its consciousness raised about this behavior, some of which is attributable to the spectacle of a president being elected despite admitting to sexual assault and the ensuing #MeToo movement that exposed the ubiquitous nature of it.

We don't know how many women Trump's "fixer" has silenced either with money or threats or both. But we may find out now. Anyone with Trump's history and half a brain would have thought twice about running for president in the first place. He doesn't even have half. His ego takes up all nthe space where his brain should be.

.