Xtra News Community 2
September 23, 2018, 03:06:58 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to Xtra News Community 2 — please also join our XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP.
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links BITEBACK! XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP Staff List Login Register  

Panic at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as the bullshit pile rises up around Trump…


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Panic at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as the bullshit pile rises up around Trump…  (Read 35 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29034


Having fun in the hills!


« on: May 04, 2018, 06:40:01 pm »


from The Washington Post....

A sour smell of panic in the White House as the law closes in

There are several signs that the investigation of the president and the pushback
against it have entered a new, more acrimonious phase


By EUGENE ROBINSON | 8:19PM EDT — Thursday, May 03, 2018

Former New York mayor Rudy W. Giuliani and President-elect Donald J. Trump meet at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in November 2016. — Photograph: Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Former New York mayor Rudy W. Giuliani and President-elect Donald J. Trump meet at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in November 2016.
 — Photograph: Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


THAT UNPLEASANT ODOR wafting from the direction of the White House is the sour smell of panic, as the president's lies threaten to unravel — and the law closes in.

The new public face of President Trump's legal defense, Rudolph W. Giuliani, looked and sounded like a man in need of an intervention on Wednesday night as he went on Sean Hannity's Fox News show — the friendliest possible terrain — and revealed that what Trump has tried to make the nation believe about a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels is a total crock.

You will recall that last month, when asked aboard Air Force One if he knew about the payment, Trump emphatically said no. He added, “You'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney.” Trump gave the impression of having no idea where Cohen got the money to pay Daniels.

Not true, Giuliani told a puzzled Hannity: “That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation…. [It was] funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it.”

Just a suggestion, but if Giuliani wants to convince special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that there's nothing here to see, he probably should avoid using words like “funneled”.

In the Hannity interview, Giuliani said of the $130,000 payment that Trump “didn't know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. But he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this with my clients. I don't burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people.’’

That makes me curious about Giuliani's client list. But I digress.

Trump offered elaboration but not clarification on Thursday morning on Twitter. The original story — I know nothing, go ask Michael — morphed into a three-tweet exercise in trying to thread a needle with a hunk of rope:

“Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are … very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair, … despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair. Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll [sic] in this transaction.”

So many words, so much squirming, so little truth.

One thing, and only one thing, is clear from this orchestrated attempt to change the narrative about Daniels. Trump is worried that the payment — which prevented a potential scandal just days before the 2016 election — might constitute an illegal campaign donation if Cohen used his own funds, as he has claimed, and was not reimbursed.

Some experts say there may have been a violation even if Trump's carefully worded (for him) tweetstorm is true. But if Cohen's “retainer” was really an attempt to hide the payment and structure the reimbursement so as not to rouse suspicion among banking regulators, Trump and Cohen may be in more legal jeopardy from the new story than from the old.

Nice work, Rudy.

This latest development on the Daniels front is just one of several signs that the investigation of Trump and the pushback against it have entered a new, more acrimonious phase.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller probe, vowed this week that “the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted” by Republican House members who threaten to impeach him for not shutting Mueller down. It was revealed that Mueller has warned that he can serve the president with a grand jury subpoena if Trump does not agree to a voluntary interview. And the loudest voice on the president's legal team advocating a conciliatory approach, attorney Ty Cobb, announced on Wednesday that he is “retiring.” His replacement, Emmet Flood of the powerhouse Williams & Connolly firm, represented Bill Clinton in his battle against impeachment.

There is no reason to believe Mueller's investigation is anywhere near its end. But the ground rules have changed: From now on, it seems, biting and gouging are allowed.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Eugene Robinson writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture for The Washington Post, contributes to the PostPartisan blog, and hosts a weekly online chat with readers. In a three-decade career at The Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper's Style section.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Opinion | Giuliani's bombshell puts Trump on trial in two courts

 • VIDEO: Giuliani says Trump reimbursed Cohen for Stormy Daniels payment

 • Giuliani: Trump repaid attorney Cohen for Stormy Daniels settlement

 • Analysts: Giuliani's media blitz gives investigators new leads, new evidence

 • ‘I was going to get this over with’: Inside Giuliani's Stormy Daniels revelation

 • Joe Scarborough: Rudy Giuliani goes from ‘America’s Mayor’ to Trump's chump

 • Jennifer Rubin: Stormy Daniels already had a defamation claim against Trump. Now she has a splendid case.

 • Greg Sargent: Giuliani's other big admission may be even worse for Trump

 • Max Boot: Trump is a grifter, same as ever

 • Dana Milbank: The Trump team discovers facts are stubborn things


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-sour-smell-of-panic-in-the-white-house-as-the-law-closes-in/2018/05/03/73074804-4efb-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Social Buttons

Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29034


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 11:12:19 pm »


from The New York Times....

Damaging Moments for Trump, in an Unlikely Setting: Fox News

A statement by Rudolph W. Giuliani on “Hannity” was the latest agita-inducing
moment for President Trump to have played out on his favorite network.


By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM | 7:26PM EDT — Thursday, May 03, 2018

Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has joined President Trump's legal team, made a surprising disclosure on Sean Hannity's Fox News program about a $130,000 payment to an pornographic film actress. — Picture: Fox News Channel.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has joined President Trump's legal team, made a surprising disclosure on Sean Hannity's Fox News program
about a $130,000 payment to an pornographic film actress. — Picture: Fox News Channel.


THERE IS NO friendlier territory on television for Trump supporters than Sean Hannity's nightly hour on Fox News, where President Trump is forever the victim of a witch hunt and the liberal media is perennially bent on his destruction.

That safe-space bubble popped — in dramatic, headline-making fashion — on Wednesday night, when Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and current member of Mr. Trump's legal team, casually confirmed to the startled host that the president had personally repaid his lawyer the money he had laid out to make his problem with a pornographic actress go away.

“Oh,” Mr. Hannity replied, his usual bombast briefly escaping him. “I didn't know — he did?”




It was an off-message moment from the ultimate on-message show — and just the latest in a string of agita-inducing moments for Mr. Trump that have played out, improbably, on his favorite television network.

Mr. Giuliani's admission stunned Mr. Trump's closest advisers, many of whom — including the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders — learned about Mr. Trump's payment while watching “Hannity”. Even so, the candor may have been by design: Mr. Giuliani said the president's involvement showed that the payment had not violated campaign finance laws.

It was harder to locate the strategy behind Mr. Trump's swerving, stream-of-consciousness telephone interview last week on “Fox & Friends”. On live TV, the president seemed to stumble into acknowledging, for the first time, that he knew about his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, funneling $130,000 in hush money to an adult film actress who had claimed to have had an affair with the future president.

“He represents me, like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal,” Mr. Trump said, as the show's hosts listened politely.

The president went on to say that Mr. Cohen does “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work — prompting prosecutors to file a fresh brief saying that the comment had undermined the president's legal argument that documents seized from Mr. Cohen in a raid by prosecutors, were protected by attorney-client privilege.

On Thursday, “Fox & Friends” played host to another awkward and possibly significant exchange. Mr. Giuliani, back on the network less than 12 hours after his appearance on “Hannity” aired, mused that Mr. Cohen's efforts to quiet Ms. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had helped Mr. Trump's presidential bid.

“Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the, you know, last debate with Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Giuliani said.




Fair point — but problematic for Mr. Trump, whose legal team would be better off avoiding any suggestion that he had violated federal campaign finance laws that require the disclosure of spending meant to influence the electorate.

Michael Avenatti, the voluble lawyer representing Ms. Clifford, responded on Twitter by thanking “Fox & Friends” for “helping our case week in and week out.”

“You are truly THE BEST,” Mr. Avenatti wrote. “Where can we send the gift basket?”

Perhaps Mr. Trump and his defenders feel more relaxed when chatting with Fox News's stable of pundits, whose questions tend to be gentle. Those who know Mr. Trump well said that the president's meandering call to “Fox & Friendsresembled the way he talks in private.

Also, Mr. Trump and some of his closest allies choose to appear only on Fox News — meaning that any gaffes are bound to appear there, rather than on rival networks.

Still, other moments have scrambled the usual Fox News formula.

When the correspondent Ed Henry sat down in April with Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Pruitt was hoping for the interview to clear up a cloud of ethics problems hanging over his tenure. Instead, Mr. Henry pelted him with questions that Mr. Pruitt visibly struggled to answer.

Mr. Henry, though, belongs to the reporting side of Fox News, rather than its conservative commentariat. And the network's pundits have been less aggressive in their questioning when interviews go south.

On Wednesday night, Mr. Hannity did not press Mr. Giuliani for details about the president's reimbursing of Mr. Cohen, and the host even offered the former mayor a mulligan.

“But do you know the president didn't know about this?” Mr. Hannity asked, seeming to prompt Mr. Giuliani to correct his earlier statement.

“He didn't know about the specifics of it as far as I know,” Mr. Giuliani said. “But he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this.”

Later, Laura Ingraham, who follows Mr. Hannity at 10 p.m., seemed taken aback at what had transpired in the previous hour.

“God, if you go on ‘Hannity’ you better think it through, as the attorney for the president,” she said, her eyes wide in disbelief.

“I love Rudy,” she added, “but they better have an explanation for that. That's a problem.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• A version of this article appears in print on May 4, 2018, on Page B2 of the New York edition of The New York Times with the headline: “For Trump, Fox's Friendly Turf Proves to Be a Minefield”.

• Michael M. Grynbaum is a media correspondent for The New York Times, covering the intersection of business, culture and politics. Since starting at The N.Y. Times as an intern, he has served as City Hall bureau chief, Metro political writer, transportation reporter and economics writer during the 2008 financial crisis.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Giuliani May Have Exposed Trump to New Legal and Political Perils

 • Giuliani: The President's Attack Dog Who May Have Bitten Trump

 • Trump Says Payment to Stormy Daniels Did Not Violate Campaign Laws

 • The Trump Team’s Conflicting Statements About the Payment to Stormy Daniels


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/03/business/media/fox-news-trump-giuliani.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29034


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 02:56:54 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times....

Story shift poses risk for Trump — Giuliani's strategy is unclear

New legal strategy and Giuliani remarks on Stormy Daniels threaten to exacerbate president's troubles.

By NOAH BIERMAN, MICHAEL FINNEGAN and JOSEPH TANFANI | Friday, May 04, 2018

President Donald J. Trump turned his attention from the scandal to the National Day of Prayer, inviting faith leaders to his Rose Garden signing of an executive order creating a White House advisor on religious liberty. — Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
President Donald J. Trump turned his attention from the scandal to the National Day of Prayer, inviting faith leaders to his Rose Garden signing
of an executive order creating a White House advisor on religious liberty. — Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.


WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump and his new legal point man, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, are off to an explosive start together, admitting what Trump had only recently denied — that he reimbursed his personal lawyer for hush money paid to a porn actress before the election.

The question roiling Washington, ever since Giuliani disclosed the stunner late on Wednesday, is “Why?”

If the new version of events was meant to reduce Trump's legal liability, the success of the strategy seemed in doubt on Thursday. Some legal experts say Giuliani may even have made things worse, not only for the president but also for Michael Cohen, the lawyer who paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election to stay quiet about an alleged sexual liaison with Trump.

“What you see here is a real effort to cover this up, and the story keeps shifting,” said Larry Noble, former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

One central issue, legal experts say, is whether the payments amounted to a campaign expense — despite Trump and Giuliani's denials — to silence an alleged paramour of the candidate and avoid alienating voters. The non-disclosure agreement with Daniels came as the campaign already was contending with the furor over Trump's boasts suggesting sexual assault that were recorded as he prepared for an “Access Hollywood” television appearance a decade earlier.

By saying in tweets early on Thursday that he paid the legal settlement with Daniels, Trump may be trying to protect his attorney from charges that Cohen violated federal reporting requirements and limits on campaign donations. Trump associates worry whether Cohen, who is under FBI investigation in New York, will remain loyal to the president as prosecutors seek the lawyer's cooperation.

Yet Trump, by acknowledging he paid the money, is raising new political questions about his honesty and new legal questions about his own failure to comply with federal law and disclose the payments either on campaign finance filings or his personal financial disclosures.

Legal experts noted that if the $130,000 was intended as a campaign loan from Cohen to Trump, that should have been disclosed.

“Giuliani did not materially improve the president's position. But he may have materially made it worse,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor. “It's mystifying to me.”

Cohen's pre-election role in quashing a potential political problem, once a salacious sideline to the Justice Department's inquiry into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia and Trump's potential obstruction of the investigation, has taken on added significance with the recent developments.

Cohen's office, residence and hotel room were raided last month by the FBI, suggesting that federal agents could have evidence of payments from Trump. Giuliani and Trump may have been anticipating that, and trying to get ahead of any disclosure.

Last month, in his first public statement about Daniels, the president told reporters on Air Force One that he knew nothing of the payments. “You'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael's my attorney,” he said then.

Trump said last week on “Fox & Friends” that Cohen had represented him in the Daniels matter, though he gave no details. The White House has denied that Trump had a one-night stand with her in 2006, as she contends.

Beginning on Wednesday night on Fox News, Giuliani gave a series of interviews in which he conceded that Trump reimbursed Cohen through “retainer” payments of $35,000 apiece over several months, giving Cohen “a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes.”

Giuliani told The New York Times that the total paid to Cohen since the end of the campaign was between $460,000 and $470,000, but he did not account for the money spent beyond Daniels' $130,000, raising another question about the purpose of those payments.

Trump, in his tweets, called the non-disclosure agreement “a private contract between two parties,” unrelated to the campaign — the sort of thing “very common among celebrities and people of wealth.” He again denied he and Daniels had a sexual liaison and said he would pursue damages against her for “false and extortionist accusations.”

Giuliani denied in interviews that the payments were an effort to help Trump's campaign, insisting they were intended to protect his marriage and reputation from Daniels' allegations. Yet Giuliani undermined that argument by saying on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning, “Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the, you know, last debate with Hillary Clinton.”

“Cohen didn't even ask” Trump, Giuliani said. “Cohen made it go away. He did his job.”


President Donald J. Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.

It remained unclear exactly what Trump knew about Cohen's dealings with Daniels, and when. Giuliani, in his Thursday interview on Fox, said the president “didn't know the details of this” until “a couple weeks ago, maybe 10 days ago” — a timeline that could account for Trump's previous denial and failure to report the expenditures.

“But he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this,” Giuliani told Fox host Sean Hannity during Wednesday's interview.

Cohen has said he borrowed money to pay Daniels through a home equity line of credit, and his lawyer has said Cohen wasn't repaid. By spending personal funds, without reimbursement, he could be liable for violating the federal cap on campaign donations, which was $2,700 per candidate in 2016, and Trump's campaign could face trouble for failing to disclose them as contributions.

Federal enforcement, however, is notably lax and slow-moving. The FEC typically treats omissions in campaign disclosure reports as civil violations that sometimes result in fines.

But Trump's admission that he reimbursed Cohen could result in criminal charges if prosecutors believed the two men had a “knowing and willful intent” to conceal spending intended to influence the election, Noble said.

“What they did was pay $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to stop her from going public right before the election, because they were afraid it was going to hurt [Trump's] chances in the election,” Noble said.

Stephen Spaulding, a former FEC lawyer who is chief of strategy at the ethics watchdog group Common Cause, called Trump and Cohen's handling of the matter a textbook example of a potentially criminal coverup more serious than the underlying offense.

“Rudy Giuliani has only made the situation worse for both the president and Michael Cohen,” Spaulding said.

Common Cause has filed complaints with both the FEC and the Justice Department arguing that the payment to Daniels was an illegal campaign contribution.

Separately, another public-interest advocacy group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has filed a complaint to the Justice Department alleging that if the president knew he owed Cohen money, he violated federal law by failing to report the debt on his 2016 personal finance disclosure. Federal law requires officials to list outstanding liabilities over $10,000. Trump signed his report in June 2017, months after Giuliani said the president started to make monthly payments to Cohen.

“He had this six-figure debt that he is paying off in chunks month to month — that is exactly how a loan works,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the group. “If he knew that liability was there, that could be a potentially criminal false statement.”

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing Trump in Los Angeles federal court to void the non-disclosure agreement barring her from discussing her alleged one-night stand with Trump. She argues, among other things, that the pact is invalid because its purpose was to break federal law by hiding from voters a $130,000 payment made to influence the election.

Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said the revelations that Trump reimbursed Cohen expose the president to criminal liability for potential money laundering and fraud. “This is a bombshell,” Avenatti told CNN.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the new information caught her by surprise and she referred most questions about it to Giuliani.

The news about Trump's payments over a porn star made for an awkward Rose Garden celebration of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday. Trump signed a new order creating a religious liberty advisor, a move aimed at pleasing conservative evangelical supporters who have stuck with him through prior sexual allegations. Some were in the audience.

“Isn't it a glorious day?” Vice President Mike Pence said to the audience, proceeding to characterize the White House as a place of prayer, and reading a Bible verse.

Trump pointed to the crowd and raised his fists. “Our nation will be renewed by hard work, a lot of intelligence and prayer,” he said.


__________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Times staff writer Chris Megerian in Washington contributed to this report.

• Noah Bierman covers the White House in Washington, D.C. for the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, he worked for the Boston Globe in both Boston and Washington, covering Congress, politics and transportation in the immediate aftermath of the Big Dig. He has also reported on higher education, crime, politics and local government for the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post and the Duluth (Minnesota) News-Tribune. Bierman is a native of Miami who attended Duke University.

• Michael Finnegan is a Los Angeles Times politics writer. Since joining the L.A. Times in 2000, he has covered elections for mayor, governor and president, most recently the Donald Trump campaign. In 2011, Finnegan and fellow Los Angeles Times reporter Gale Holland won the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism for articles on rampant waste in the $6-billion rebuilding of Los Angeles community colleges. A Los Angeles native, Finnegan started newspaper work at the Hudson Dispatch in New Jersey. For seven years, he covered city and state politics at the New York Daily News. He plays piano on the side.

• Joseph Tanfani covers the Justice Department and Homeland Security in the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the L.A. Times in 2012, he worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was a reporter and investigations editor, and at the Miami Herald, the Press of Atlantic City and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

__________________________________________________________________________

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=7f1db8c6-6849-4a63-b649-6a52e0af096e
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29034


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 08:21:54 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Giuliani tries to clarify comments on Trump's reimbursement
of payment to porn star Stormy Daniels


The president's new attorney issued a statement after Trump said Giuliani was still learning the facts.

By DEVLIN BARRETT, JOSH DAWSEY and JOHN WAGNER | 9:22PM EDT — Friday, May 04, 2018

Rudolph W. Giuliani and President Donald J. Trump. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
Rudolph W. Giuliani and President Donald J. Trump. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

PRESIDENT TRUMP's lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani sought on Friday to clean up a series of comments he had made about a settlement with an adult-film actress who allegedly had a relationship with Trump, backtracking on his previous assertions about what the president knew and why the payment was made.

The cautious wording of the written statement released by Giuliani stood in sharp contrast to his previous two days of wide-ranging television and print interviews in which, according to legal experts, he exposed his client to greater legal risks and might have compromised his own attorney-client privilege with the president.

The former New York mayor startled White House officials and other members of Trump's legal team by announcing on Wednesday that the president had reimbursed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for a secret $130,000 payment he made in 2016 to actress Stormy Daniels. In several interviews, Giuliani also talked at length about how much Trump paid Cohen and when the reimbursements were made.

Some Trump advisers said they fear that Giuliani may have waived his right to assert that his conversations with the president are private — and that government or private lawyers pursuing lawsuits could now seek to interview him.

The drama instigated by the freewheeling former U.S. attorney — who signed on as Trump's lawyer just last month — is the latest crisis to hit the president's legal team, which has weathered numerous departures in recent months as it contends with the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference and a newly revealed separate criminal probe into Cohen.

The most recent shake-up came this week, with the news that Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer dealing with the special counsel, will be replaced by veteran white-collar defense attorney Emmet Flood.

Despite the fallout from his comments, Giuliani still appeared to be in good graces with the president, according to people familiar with his standing. The two men continued to confer privately about how to handle the Daniels matter, without consulting with the White House communications shop or the White House counsel's office.

In an interview on Friday with The Washington Post, Giuliani said Trump was not mad at him. “He says he loves me,” Giuliani said.

For his part, Trump told reporters on Friday that Giuliani, who joined the legal team on April 19th, “just started a day ago” and is “learning the subject matter.”

“He knows it's a witch hunt,” the president added. “He'll get his facts straight.”

But Giuliani's attempt at damage control will probably do little to mitigate the legal problems he has caused, legal experts said.

“The first rule is to shut up, which he is unable to do,” said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University. “False exculpatory statements often come back to bite.”

“Giuliani's barrage harmed his client,” he added. “He waived the privilege for communications with Trump on the subject of his public statements.”

One close Trump adviser agreed, saying Giuliani had “waived the privilege, big time,” with his public descriptions of his conversations with the president.

Trump initially did not appear concerned about Giuliani's revelations, telling him on Wednesday night that he was “very pleased” with his comments, as Giuliani told The Washington Post that night.

But on Friday morning, the two men had a long conversation, during which they decided that a clarification was needed, Giuliani said in an interview on Friday evening.

“We wanted to get everyone on the same page,” he said.

In the statement he released, Giuliani insisted that the settlement with Daniels to keep her from disclosing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 was made solely “to protect the President's family.”

“It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not,” he added in his statement.

That contrasted with comments he made earlier in the week, when he referred to the Daniels settlement in the context of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Appearing Thursday on Fox News Channel, for instance, Giuliani asked viewers to imagine if Daniels had aired her allegations “in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”

He added that Cohen “made it go away. He did his job.”

Campaign finance law experts said such remarks by Giuliani may have offered new potential evidence for federal prosecutors in Manhattan who are investigating Cohen.

In his statement, Giuliani also sought to make clear that he spoke in recent interviews about his understanding of events in which Trump had been involved — not about what the president knew at the time.

“My references to timing were not describing my understanding of the President's knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters,” he said.

The distinction is important because if Giuliani had publicly described a private conversation with the president, he might have inadvertently waived attorney-client privilege on that conversation — potentially opening the door for prosecutors to probe further into what was said, legal experts said.

In interviews earlier in the week, Giuliani indicated that he had conferred with the president before he divulged that Trump had reimbursed Cohen.

“He was well aware that at some point when I saw the opportunity, I was going to get this over with,” Giuliani told The Post on Wednesday night, adding that he had discussed the matter with Trump “probably four or five days ago.”

In a subsequent interview with NBC, Giuliani said he told Trump what Cohen had done on his behalf.

“I don't think the president realized he paid him back for that specific thing until we made him aware of the paperwork,” he said.

Giuliani said the president responded, “Oh my goodness, I guess that's what it was for.”

Giuliani's statements were based on a relatively short conversation he had with Trump about the Daniels matter, according to two people familiar with their discussions. Giuliani did not independently delve into the details of the case before he went on the air during Wednesday night, they said.

“Rudy followed the client's wishes without knowing all the facts,” one person said.

Giuliani disputed that, telling The Washington Post on Friday evening that his understanding of the case came from “co-counsel, from reading documents, from conversations I had.”

“It wasn't all from talking to the president,” he said.

He also offered more details about the repayment arrangements, saying Trump had re­imbursed Cohen by paying him $35,000 a month in 2017 for legal work Cohen did the previous year.

“It was sort of a straight-out bill,” he said. “If he didn't pay it every month, he paid it many months.”

“The monthly bill was paying down the expenditures…. It was not a loan,” Giuliani added. “Some of it was for taxes, some of it was for incidental expenses, it covered things that might come up.”

Giuliani said he did not know whether the president knew the details of the work Cohen performed for him.

“I have not been able to determine that,” he said. “He trusted Michael a lot.”

He said the president's legal team recently asked a campaign finance lawyer to scrutinize the payment to Daniels, and the lawyer concluded that no laws were broken.

Several legal experts said Giuliani's expansive statements could spur a lawyer — either a prosecutor or an attorney involved in civil litigation — to seek to compel him to offer testimony about that discussion.

Michael Avenatti, an attorney for Daniels, said he was considering whether to try to seek testimony or other information from Giuliani in a civil case the actress has brought against Cohen and the president.

“We're still in the process of analyzing what he said, and we may very well make that argument, but we want to be thoughtful and strategic about it,” Avenatti said.

In his statement, Giuliani also said it was “undisputed” that Trump had the constitutional power to fire former FBI director James B. Comey, which he did last year. Trump's action is among those under scrutiny by Mueller as part of his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Giuliani appeared to be backing away from an assertion he made earlier this week that the president acted out of frustration that Comey wouldn't publicly state that the president was not under investigation by the FBI.

That statement raised concerns among some legal experts who said that Giuliani seemed to indicate Comey was fired over the Russia investigation — and that such an admission could further an obstruction-of-justice probe involving the president.

Inside the White House, there is sensitivity among counsel Donald McGahn and others about the Comey firing, an official said, and Giuliani's comments were seen as “not helpful.”

Senior White House staffers were caught off guard on Wednesday by Giuliani's first appearance on Fox News, when he disclosed that Trump had repaid Cohen. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Thursday that she had not learned about the repayment until seeing Giuliani on television.

On Friday, a person close to the White House said Giuliani was still not consulting with McGahn or Flood or the press office.

For his part, Trump told associates that he resented media coverage saying he had lied about the Daniels affair after Giuliani revealed the repayment and wanted a statement issued declaring that he had not lied, according to a senior administration official.

Trump's comments that Giuliani was a “great man” reminded several current and former officials of Trump's kiss of death: lavishly praising a subordinate just before the person is fired. But a person close to both men said Giuliani and Trump remained on good terms.

Trump also told reporters on Friday that if he could be treated fairly, he would “love to speak” to federal prosecutors investigating ties between his campaign and Russia. He said he would do so even over the objections of his lawyers — if he could be convinced that the Russia probe is not a “witch hunt.”

“I would love to speak. I would love to go,” Trump said. “Nothing I want to do more, because we did nothing wrong.”

But, he added, “I have to find that we're going to be treated fairly…. Right now, it's a pure witch hunt.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Carol D. Leonnig, Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Beth Reinhard contributed to this report.

• Devlin Barrett writes about national security and law enforcement for The Washington Post. He has previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and the New York Post, where he started as a copy boy.

• Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the paper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico, and New York City Hall and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for The Wall Street Journal.

• John Wagner is a national reporter who leads The Washington Post's new breaking political news team. He previously covered the Trump White House. During the 2016 presidential election, he focused on the Democratic campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. He also chronicled Maryland government for more than a decade.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump on Giuliani: ‘He'll get his facts straight’

 • VIDEO: Trump maligns special counsel investigators

 • Kellyanne Conway says she didn't know about payment to porn star while she ran Trump's campaign

 • Analysts: Giuliani's media blitz gives investigators new leads, new evidence

 • ‘The gloves may be coming off’: Shake-up of Trump legal team signals combative posture toward special counsel


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-hed-love-to-testify-in-russia-probe-if-treated-fairly/2018/05/04/e2915b48-4fa4-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29034


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 08:26:42 pm »


from The New York Times....

Trump Is Said to Know of Stormy Daniels Payment
Months Before He Denied It


How much the president knew about the $130,000 payment to the porn actress and who else
was aware of it have been at the center of a swirling controversy for the past 48 hours.


By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, MAGGIE HABERMAN, JIM RUTENBERG and MATT APUZZO | 10:09PM EDT — Friday, May 04, 2018

President Trump had denied in April that he knew of a $130,000 hush payment made to a pornographic film actress who claimed to have had an affair with him. — Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times.
President Trump had denied in April that he knew of a $130,000 hush payment made to a pornographic film actress who claimed to have had an affair with him.
 — Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times.


WASHINGTON — President Trump knew about a six-figure payment that Michael D. Cohen, his personal lawyer, made to a pornographic film actress several months before he denied any knowledge of it to reporters aboard Air Force One in April, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

How much Mr. Trump knew about the payment to Stephanie Clifford, the actress, and who else was aware of it have been at the center of a swirling controversy for the past 48 hours touched off by a television interview with Rudolph W. Giuliani, a new addition to the president's legal team. The interview was the first time a lawyer for the president had acknowledged that Mr. Trump had reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the payments to Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels.

It was not immediately clear when Mr. Trump learned of the payment, which Mr. Cohen made in October 2016, at a time when news media outlets were poised to pay her for her story about an alleged affair with Mr. Trump in 2006. But three people close to the matter said that Mr. Trump knew that Mr. Cohen had succeeded in keeping the allegations from becoming public at the time the president denied it.

Ms. Clifford signed a non-disclosure agreement, and accepted the payment just days before Mr. Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Trump has denied he had an affair with Ms. Clifford and insisted that the non-disclosure agreement was created to prevent any embarrassment to his family.

Mr. Giuliani said this week that the reimbursement to Mr. Cohen totaled $460,000 or $470,000, leaving it unclear what else the payments were for beyond the $130,000 that went to Ms. Clifford. One of the people familiar with the arrangement said that it was a $420,000 total over 12 months.

Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has known since last year the details of how Mr. Cohen was being reimbursed, which was mainly through payments of $35,000 per month from the trust that contains the president's personal fortune, according to two people with knowledge of the arrangement.

One person close to the Trump Organization said people with the company were aware that Mr. Cohen was still doing “legal work” for the president in 2017, but another person familiar with the situation said that Mr. Weisselberg did not know that Mr. Cohen had paid Ms. Clifford when the retainer agreement was struck and when the payments went through.

Mr. Weisselberg's knowledge of the retainer agreement could draw Mr. Trump's company deeper into the federal investigation of Mr. Cohen's activities, increasing the president's legal exposure in a wide-ranging case involving the lawyer often described as the president's “fixer” in New York City.

In interviews on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr. Giuliani insisted that the president had reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 hush payment — and then paid him another $330,000, if not more — which was in direct conflict with the longstanding assertion by Mr. Trump and the White House that he did not know about the hush money or where it came from.

In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Mr. Giuliani sought to clarify his statements by saying that he did not know whether Mr. Trump had known that some of the payments to Mr. Cohen had gone to Ms. Clifford. “It's not something I'm aware of, nor is it relevant to what I'm doing, the legal part,” Mr. Giuliani said.

Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that “politically,” it could be troublesome. “Politically, everything matters, but I don't see a problem here, at least not legally,” he said.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization declined to comment, and a spokeswoman for the organization did not respond to an email about Mr. Weisselberg.

The president has said that he would view any investigation into his finances or those of his family as “a violation,” though he was referring to the investigation into Russia by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III; the investigation into Mr. Cohen is being run by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

The payment to Ms. Clifford is a part of that investigation. The circumstances surrounding it had become all the murkier this week after Mr. Giuliani gave an explanation of how the funds to Ms. Clifford were accounted for that contradicted all those that came before it.


If Michael D. Cohen, the president's personal lawyer, made the payment primarily out of fear that the allegations would have harmed Mr. Trump's election prospects, then it would most likely be viewed as an illegal campaign expenditure. — Photograph: Jeenah Moon/The New York Times.
If Michael D. Cohen, the president's personal lawyer, made the payment primarily out of fear that the allegations would have harmed Mr. Trump's
election prospects, then it would most likely be viewed as an illegal campaign expenditure. — Photograph: Jeenah Moon/The New York Times.


After initially appearing to back Mr. Giuliani's assertions in a series of Twitter messages on Thursday, Mr. Trump reversed course on Friday, after a series of headlines suggesting that the president had lied about knowing of the hush payment. In remarks to reporters on Friday, Mr. Trump criticized Mr. Giuliani and said he would eventually “get his facts straight.”

“Virtually everything said has been said incorrectly, and it's been said wrong, or it's been covered wrong by the press,” Mr. Trump told reporters, though he excused Mr. Giuliani by explaining he had “just started a day ago.”

In a written statement later in the day, Mr. Giuliani said that he had not been “describing my understanding of the president's knowledge.” And he reversed a previous suggestion that the payment to Ms. Clifford was motivated by the election. Mr. Giuliani said on Friday that the payment was personal in nature and “would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.” Mr. Giuliani told The N.Y. Times that he had “confused” the two factors, but that it was irrelevant since Mr. Trump had repaid Mr. Cohen.

While some White House officials had insisted that Mr. Trump was pleased with Mr. Giuliani's performance on Fox News in an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, two people close to the president painted a different picture. They said that Mr. Trump was displeased with how Mr. Giuliani, a former New York mayor, conducted himself, and that he was also unhappy with Mr. Hannity, a commentator whose advice the president often seeks, in terms of the language he used to describe the payments to Ms. Clifford.

The nature of the payments is significant because of campaign finance laws that regulate who may contribute to candidates and how much they can give.

If Mr. Cohen or others paid to silence Ms. Clifford primarily out of fear that a public airing of her story would have harmed Mr. Trump's election prospects — rather than to keep it from his family for personal reasons — then the payment would most likely be viewed as an illegal campaign expenditure. Mr. Giuliani told The New York Times on Friday that the issue was “primarily” about keeping Mr. Trump's wife, Melania, from being embarrassed by the claim, which Mr. Trump has maintained was false.

But if investigators determine that the hush payment was in effect a campaign expenditure, then how the funds were distributed could take on added legal significance. Mr. Cohen had been careful to say that neither the campaign nor the Trump Organization was involved in the deal or any effort to reimburse him.

Under campaign finance law, Mr. Trump would have been within his rights to pay Ms. Clifford himself as a way to protect his presidential prospects — though he would have had to have formally made note of it in his public campaign filings, which had no accounting of the payment. If he directed Mr. Cohen to pay it on his behalf, then that could qualify as an illegal, coordinated campaign expenditure, even if Mr. Trump later paid him back.

Any involvement by the Trump Organization would further complicate the legal picture, given that American election law is strictest of all when it comes to corporate involvement with political campaigns. Businesses are not allowed to donate directly to campaigns or to coordinate with them.

Ms. Clifford's lawyer, Michael J. Avenatti, has been arguing for months that Mr. Trump's company was more involved in the arrangement than Mr. Cohen had been letting on.

After filing a lawsuit on Ms. Clifford's behalf seeking to get out of the deal — which he has called invalid — Mr. Avenatti showed that Mr. Cohen had used his Trump Organization email at one point in arranging the payment. He also pointed to a secret document in California that a Trump Organization lawyer filed to force Ms. Clifford into arbitration this year.

At the time, the Trump Organization said that the lawyer, Jill A. Martin, who works in California, had acted in a personal capacity to help Mr. Cohen, who needed assistance with the initial arbitration filing from someone licensed in the state. The Trump Organization had said that “the company has had no involvement in the matter.”

In an interview, Mr. Avenatti said that any indication that still more executives at the Trump Organization knew about the effort to reimburse Mr. Cohen for the payment to Ms. Clifford could lead to further investigation of the Trump family business.

“There's no question it opens up another avenue of inquiry into the depths of the involvement of the Trump Organization,” he said.


__________________________________________________________________________

Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting to this story from New York.

• Michael D. Shear is a White House correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, where he covers President Trump, with a focus on domestic policy, the regulatory state and life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A veteran political correspondent, he covered Barack Obama's presidency, including the 2012 re-election campaign. Before coming to The N.Y. Times in 2010, he spent 18 years at The Washington Post, writing about local communities, school districts, state politics, the 2008 presidential campaign and the White House. A member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, Mr. Shear is a 1990 graduate of Claremont McKenna College and has a masters in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two teenage children.

• Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The New York Times in February 2015 as a campaign correspondent. Previously, Ms. Haberman worked as a political reporter at Politico from 2010 to 2015 and at other publications including the New York Post and New York Daily News. She was a finalist for the Mirror Awards, with Glenn Thrush, for What is Hillary Clinton Afraid of? which was published in 2014. Her hobbies include singing, and she is married with three children.

• Jim Rutenberg is a freelance media columnist and former political correspondent for The New York Times, for which he has written over 2,300 articles.

• Matt Apuzzo is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter based in Washington. He has covered law enforcement and security matters for more than a decade and is the co-author of the book Enemies Within. A graduate of Colby College, he joined The New York Times in 2014 after 11 years with the Associated Press. He teaches journalism at Georgetown University and once successfully argued a motion from the audience in federal court.

• A version of this article appears in print on Saturday, May 5, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition of The New York Times with the headline: “Trump's Denial On Hush Funds Is Contradicted”.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Don and Rudy, Disaster Twins

 • The Trump Team's Conflicting Statements About the Payment to Stormy Daniels

 • The Loyalists and Washington Insiders Fighting Trump's Legal Battles

 • Giuliani May Have Exposed Trump to New Legal and Political Perils

 • Trump Says Payment to Stormy Daniels Did Not Violate Campaign Laws

 • New Revelations Suggest a President Losing Control of His Narrative

 • Giuliani Appears to Veer Off Script. A Furor Follows.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/us/politics/trump-hush-payment-stormy-daniels.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Open XNC2 Smileys
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum

Buy traffic for your forum/website
traffic-masters
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy
Page created in 0.109 seconds with 11 queries.