It’s surely the dream of every red-blooded American kid to grow up and be sued by a porn star.
Remember a million years ago, when right-wing moralists assailed President Barack Obama for diminishing the dignity of the office by putting a foot against his desk and wearing a tan suit? Good times, good times.
We can’t begin to imagine what they would’ve said if Obama had been sued by a sex worker who got paid off to keep her lips zipped on the eve of his election. We can’t begin to imagine … oh what the heck, let’s just quote from the lawsuit filed recently against President Donald Trump:
“Mr. Trump, with the assistance of his attorney, Mr. Cohen, aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the presidential election.”
Thank you, Stormy Daniels! For awhile, I had reluctantly decided to write about chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, who quit his job while Trump was bragging about how everyone wants to work for him. But in the end, Stormy rode to the rescue. Because I know you’d rather read about a sex cover-up than a policy tiff about tariffs.
Nothing reveals Trump’s unparalleled sleaze more than the ever-burgeoning Stormy story. She wants a court to void the Oct. 28, 2016, hush agreement — the one where Trump is listed by an alias, “David Dennison” — because even though she signed it, and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen signed it, Trump himself did not sign it. The signature line above the notification “DD” was left blank.
In other words, Trump is such a loser than he can’t even follow through on muzzling an extramarital mistress.
The other fun fact, of course, is that Cohen paid off Stormy before the election with $130,000 of his own money, and has since reportedly complained to friends that Trump never bothered to reimburse him. Which means that hotel contractors aren’t the only people Trump stiffs.
What’s not fun, however, is the very real possibility that the cover-up maneuver may well have violated federal election law. That’s hardly shocking, given the fact that Team Trump is infested with confessed and credibly accused criminals (thank you, Robert Mueller).
The date of the hush agreement (11 days before the election) and the subsequent payoff to Stormy suggest that Cohen made an “in kind” campaign contribution in an amount that far exceeds what’s legally permitted. A campaign contribution is defined as “anything of value given, loaned or advanced to influence a federal election.” Plus, Cohen’s cover-up donation was made through a Delaware-based LLC set up for that express purpose.The law says that an individual can donate no more than $5,400, and it must be funneled through a political action committee, where it’s publicly recorded. Plus, an “in kind” contribution is defined in law as “an expenditure made by any person or entity in cooperation, consultation or consult with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign.”
So, the obvious question: Did Trump — excuse me, “David Dennison” — know about the hush agreement? Who among us actually believes he didn’t know what his own loyal lawyer was doing?
But the Trump slag heap is so high that it’s hard to focus on even the stinkiest refuse. A few congressmen have asked the FBI to investigate whether the Stormy payoff broke federal law, but the FBI appears to have its hands full trying to assist Mueller while fending off Trump’s relentless attacks on law enforcement’s independence.
Oh, how we pine for the days when Obama’s tan suit was deemed the height of disrespect for the presidency. Because one tiny provision in Stormy’s hush agreement caught my eye. It’s the subsection where she was compelled to “completely divest herself” of all communications accrued during her months-long affair with Trump, including any and all “still images.”
No, Stormy, no. Please spare us.
Republican Block Investigation into NRA’s Illegal Russian Donations
Late last week, the two Republican FEC commissioners blocked an investigation into whether Russians used the National Rifle Association (NRA) to pump millions of dollars into the effort to help Donald Trump get elected in 2016.
Early last year, McClatchy DC reported that the FBI was investigating whether Russian banker Alexander Torshin, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, had illegally donated large sums to the NRA to get Trump elected.
In March, the FEC launched a preliminary investigation into the matter. Now, however, the commission’s Republicans have blocked the agency from investigating further.
“This is an abandonment of the Commission’s basic duty to investigate wrongdoing, and is contrary to law,” commented FEC chairwoman Ellen Weintraub in a statement.
“All our lawyers had to do was pick up the phone, call the FBI, and ask: Are you, in fact, investigating the Respondents for the violations alleged? But when I suggested that the Commission instruct OGC to do so, the Republican commissioners refused,” Weintraub wrote. “We still do not know the answer to this foundational, eminently knowable, question.”
Her Republican colleagues rejected the accusations. Commissioner Caroline Hunter told Newsweek that Weintraub’s “statement is long on conjecture and short on the evidence and the law.”
“Some allegations are too serious to ignore,” Weintraub stated, “Too serious to simply take Respondents’ denials at face value. Too serious to play games with.”
By voice and vote, Communications Workers censure Trump’s racism
By voice and by vote, in statements from leaders and members and in a blistering resolution, the Communications Workers convention strongly censured GOP President Donald Trump’s racism.
Trump’s “naked appeal to white supremacy” is “dividing the country in ways we haven’t seen in half a century and probably haven’t seen since the Civil War,” union President Chris Shelton declared during his keynote address on July 29 to the convention’s 2,000 delegates.
The blast at Trump was one of several highlights of opening day of the union convention, held in Las Vegas. Another was exhortations to build on past political momentum, and victories, in the run-up to the 2020 national election.
“It’s not just the president,” Shelton explained, after citing the need to beat Trump next year. “We also have to hold the (U.S.) House. And nationally, Senate races won’t be easy. But the road to a majority runs through North Carolina, Maine, Georgia, Arizona, and Colorado.”
Vulnerable GOP senators from those states, along with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kent., and 16 other Republican senators, are up next year. Democrats hold 45 Senate seats, plus two Democratic-leaning independents, and are defending 12. A five-seat Democratic gain would turn over the Senate.
“We must do everything we can to win the Senate and ask American politicians to serve the American people again.”
And the union’s women’s committee – whose report noted a dearth of women in top posts at CWA, in unions and in politics — pledged to put a woman in the White House and add so many women into top ranks that CWA would have to set up “a men’s committee” to tackle their problems.
But Trump’s racism, especially his vitriolic “go back where you came from” attacks against progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, Ayanna Pressley of Boston and Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis, were the focus of ire, and not just from Shelton.
“In times like these, we need to be united as a union and as a country,” said Diane Bailey of Local 4310 in Columbus, Ohio, during the brief discussion. “Division only works against us. We must not go backward; we can only move forward.”
“White nationalism is wrong. Racism is wrong,” declared Local 4123 President Charles Daniels of Pontiac, Mich. “The president of the United States telling four women of color to ‘go back where they came from’ is wrong.”
“We stand up to bullies and we have to stand up now because it is the president of the U.S., so it’s incumbent on us to say ‘no.’ As powerful as he is, it’s wrong,” Daniels said of Trump’s statements.
The resolution was in a similar vein.
After citing the Statue of Liberty’s poem by Emma Lazarus, the resolution said, “that is the America we believe in. Apparently, the president of the United States does not share that belief.”
The resolution says Trump’s attacks on the four first-year lawmakers, all women of color and all Democrats, are “offensive, demagogic, dangerous and racist.” Trump’s language “poses a particular danger to Omar, given the barely hidden networks of armed white supremacists whose hatred of Muslims hardly needs to be stoked by” Trump.
Omar and Tlaib are the first two Muslim American women ever elected to Congress. Omar is a refugee from the Somalian civil war. Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, and Pressley are native-born.
CWA not only denounced Trump but demands other unions, legislatures and community groups do so, too. Earlier in July, the National Education Association, the nation’s largest union, did so. But CWA also demanded Trump’s GOP colleagues to “denounce his un-American rhetoric.”
“All too many have been silent in this controversy,” it notes. As a matter of fact, the number of elected GOPers nationwide – senators, representatives, and governors – who have blasted Trump’s racism can be counted on fewer than the fingers of two hands.
Though the delegates censured Trump, impeaching him did not come up in either in the convention resolutions committee or on the floor. That seemingly runs counter to continuing grass-roots sentiment among rank-and-file Democrats. But the party’s leaders, in Congress and in organized labor, either oppose the move (Congress) or are silent so far (labor).
The union’s denunciation of Trump “is about his racism, not necessarily his policies,” one speaker said, attempting to reassure those CWA members, and other workers, who voted for Trump in 2016.
“Real leaders unite us so we can move forward, build unity around the American dream and fulfill the bold promise of the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free,’” quoted Shelton, a New Yorker and former New York Telephone lineman, whom delegates re-elected that afternoon by acclamation. They also re-elected Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, a News Guild member, by acclamation to the union’s #2 post.
Gallery: Inside Melania Trump’s Extreme Forced Plastic Surgery
Melania Trump has opted for some major cosmetic procedures to stay looking young for the President (especially because Donald Trump reportedly had a scalp reduction to correct balding, and maintains his complexion with heavy-handed spray tans).
There have been so many, despite denials, that it’s often questioned whether FLOTUS is actually Melania Trump, or perhaps a new model that Trump had imported. However, most insiders have claimed that Melania was forced to have these extreme treatments, so much that she looks nothing like the original.
- Republican Block Investigation into NRA’s Illegal Russian Donations
- By voice and vote, Communications Workers censure Trump’s racism
- FBI to Investigate Gilroy as Misogynistic Domestic Terrorism
- Inside Candace Owens’ $37,500 Reparation Check
- Gallery: Inside Melania Trump’s Extreme Forced Plastic Surgery