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

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
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 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


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


Thursday, May 03, 2018


No conspiracy. No conspiracy.

Tom Sullivan

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared last night on Fox News with Sean Hannity to defend the president, now his client. He did the kind of job we have come to expect from those in the employ of Donald J. Trump. Giuliani admitted what the president has heretofore forcefully denied. Trump knew about and in a series of payments repaid lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 in hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. There was no campaign finance violation, Giuliani insisted to a befuddled Hannity.

The New York Times:

“Some time after the campaign is over, they set up a reimbursement, $35,000 a month, out of his personal family account,” Mr. Giuliani said. He added that over all, Mr. Cohen was paid $460,000 or $470,000 from Mr. Trump through those payments, which also included money for “incidental expenses” that he had incurred on Mr. Trump’s behalf.
Those are some incidentals.

Cohen had previously claimed the money came out of his own pocket, financed by a home loan, the Times adds, leaving him open to a charge of violating campaign finance caps. Giuliani's statements, if true, take the heat off Cohen and put the focus on Trump. If made in furtherance of his campaign, Trump would have to declare the payments to the Federal Elections Commission as a campaign expenditure. Trump did not.
Paul S. Ryan, an official at the government watchdog group Common Cause, argued that “all the facts indicate that the payment was to influence the election.”

Mr. Ryan asserted that Mr. Giuliani’s admission could allow prosecutors to make the case that Mr. Trump “knowingly caused his campaign committee to file an incomplete disclosure report with the F.E.C.”
Twitter exploded. Election Law Blog's Rick Hasen elaborates on the campaign finance implications for Slate:
Although many campaign finance violations are handled just as fines, as Giuliani seemed to suggest in his Hannity interview Wednesday night, that’s not true for willful violations of campaign finance law, especially those implicating the public interest. Those can lead to criminal liability. If there was an unreported six-figure loan to the campaign to pay off someone who had an affair with a presidential candidate, with repayments facilitated through corporate resources, that seems like a serious enough violation to merit review by the Justice Department.

Ultimately, Giuliani offered two defenses for Trump on Hannity. One, as mentioned, is that the payments were not campaign-related.

The other is that Trump did not know the specifics of what Cohen was doing; just that Cohen was the fixer taking care of things just like Giuliani said he did for his clients. It is a defense that could well be corroborated or rejected based on what’s in the seized Cohen materials.
About those Cohen materials. As Giuliani was implicating his client on Fox, on MSNBC the New York Times's Michael Schmidt explained to Rachel Maddow just how difficult a client Trump's legal team has to defend. Asked whether Giuliani and the other new team members would be addressing the Cohen case in the Southern District of New York as well as the Mueller investigation, Schmidt replied [timestamp 3:12]:
"The thing about the New York case is that they don't know a lot about it. They are very unnerved about it because Michael Cohen and the president will not talk about it. They won't disclose what they think is in those documents."
Trump and his cronies are in charge of the Executive Branch of a superpower with nuclear weapons.

There is a scene in Tom Clancy's "Debt of Honor" that keeps coming to mind. It's the 1994 novel in which Clancy foresees a suicide attack on the United States using an airliner. Jack Ryan has this exchange with his Secret Service bodyguard:
"You mean to tell me that it's that screwed up?"
 "Paul, you think you're smart?" Jack asked. The question took the Secret Service man aback a little.
 "Yeah, I do. So?”
 "So why do you suppose that anybody else is smarter than you are? They're not, Paul," Ryan went on. "They have a different job, but it isn't about brains. It's about education and experience. Those people don't know crap about running a criminal investigation. Neither do I. Every tough job requires brains, Paul. But you can't know them all. Anyway; bottom line, okay? No, they're not any smarter than you, and maybe not as smart as you. It's just that it's their job to run the financial markets, and your job to do something else."
"Jesus," breathes the bodyguard.

* * * * * * * *

For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.