Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The remarkable rise of Michael Avenatti

155 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I am convinced this is why Trump and his family are freaking out about the Cohen raid and the possibility he could flip. The SDNY is sitting on the mother lode of evidence and Rudy has given them the connection between purported legal fees and payments by Cohen to third parties.

    Presactly, Bungle. You start the fire, I'll bring the marshmallows.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh bloody dear:

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

    President Trump’s new lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani sought Friday to clean up a series of comments made during a whirlwind media tour meant to bolster the president’s standing regarding a payment to a porn star but that instead created new problems for his client.

    In a statement issued hours after Trump told reporters Giuliani was still getting up to speed on the facts, the former New York mayor said that a $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels by longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen would have happened regardless of whether Trump was on the presidential ballot the following month.

    “The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President’s family,” Giuliani said in the statement. “It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”

    On Wednesday, Giuliani revealed that the president had reimbursed Cohen for the settlement Cohen paid in October 2016 to keep Daniels from disclosing details of a sexual encounter she alleged she had with Trump a decade earlier.

    Giuliani has said that the details of the reimbursement showed that Trump paid back Cohen because it was a personal, not a campaign expense. But campaign finance law experts said Giuliani’s remarks did not rule out violations of campaign finance laws, and some of his statements may have actually provided new evidence for investigators.

    Appearing Thursday on the Fox News Channel, for instance, Giuliani asked viewers to imagine if Daniels had aired her allegations “on Oct. 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”

    “Cohen didn’t even ask,” Giuliani told viewers. “Cohen made it go away. He did his job.”

    In his statement, Giuliani also sought to make clear that he speaking in television interviews about his understanding of events in which Trump had been involved and not about what the president knew at the time. The distinction is important because if Giuliani 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.

    One close Trump adviser said Giuliani had “waived the privilege big time” with his appearance on “Fox & Friends” and description of his conversations with his client, the president.

    This adviser, who requested anonymnity to speak more candidly, said Giuliani’s misstatement came because he relied on Trump’s description of what happened, without independently researching the nature of the payments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Giuliani said he made @realDonaldTrump aware of paperwork that showed payments were actually reimbursements for Stormy.

    How could Giuliani show paperwork to Trump? The only paperwork, from Cohen's end of the transaction would have been scooped up by SDNY in the raid on Cohen. Way to get Cohen to flip, or what.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Trump gets that the media are for entertainment, not facts. In postmodern culture media success is proportional to the variety of perceptions it creates, because perception trumps reality. So Trump trumps the media.

    Thus this from a ThinkProgress reporter: "Trump repeatedly asserted that Giuliani simply didn’t know what he was talking about."

    “He started yesterday. He will get his facts straight,” Trump said while leaving the White House on his way to the NRA convention in Texas. “Virtually everything that’s been said has been said incorrectly.”

    Why bother briefing your new lawyer when anything he says wrong will generate a new headline? For a narcissist, this strategy works perfectly. He tosses out competing perceptions from the White House much as the Roman Emperor tossed out competing gladiators, lions & christians into the Coliseum to entertain the masses. And notice his "incorrectly" - tossed like bait to those few in the audience who still think the right answer is what matters. That tantalising possibility that this reality tv show might end up with the truth revealed. Subtle. Keeps the viewers hooked to the screen.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 176 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wait up: now Cohen has told someone that Giuliani’s version was bullshit and he’s pissed off.

    Given the age of some of these geezers (Guliani is 73, Trump is a 71 year old who has had a fairly louche life) it all sometimes sounds perilously like the confused and rancorous parish pump politics of a retirement village.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2193 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Doing his best to dig an even deeper hole, Giuliani says $130k payment to Stormy Daniels was “a nuisance payment”.

    “I never thought $130,000 was a real payment… people don't go away for $130,000."

    https://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/exclusive-rudy-giuliani-revelations-trump-stormy-daniels-case-54970086
    (quote starts around 3:40")

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Trump gets that the media are for entertainment, not facts

    Such a casual observation.
    So media outlets in the US are completely screwed? Is that what you're saying?
    Or is trump the ultimate postmodernist, just exploiting everything for what he can get out of it? Relativism serving his purpose?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to andin,

    Yeah, good question. And, despite writing it casually, I do observe a serious cultural context - which is that the coming generations currently seem more like Trump than like me.

    Macro pendulum swings in culture have great inertia and long periods, but the swing to extreme superficiality will produce the inevitable reaction back towards gritty realism eventually. Hegel may have intended his dialectic to apply only in philosophy & politics but we see cycles all through nature if we look carefully.

    So media culture in the USA is currently too polarised to be helpful but some media enterprises will be designed to navigate upstream against this flow - such as https://www.ecosophia.net/ Even if weeds take over a garden, in amongst that wild ecosystem you'll find useful plants.

    Yes to both of your final questions, but I don't see total selfishness in him. If that were the case he wouldn't be able to keep shuffling useful like-minded folk in from the US military/industrial establishment when others drop out. Put his anti-establishment stance to one side, because it is directed against the Washington political establishment. Just a microcosm. His team know he's a player for the entirety of the US establishment, to pull the Washington insiders back into line,and that's a deeper game.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 176 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    How does the pendulum swing back from polarised politics and fragmented world views? This does not seem like something that can self-correct.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1792 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    A nice round up of Giuliani Week

    Particular takeaway:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’ve said as a matter of fact on Hannity and BuzzFeed, you talked to the Washington Post about it.

    GIULIANI: I don’t know how you separate fact and opinion.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to linger,

    Time will tell, but consider those as consequences of a trend rather than stable states. So when folk start gravitating toward the big picture in preference to a focus on parts of it, a cultural shift will ensue. The USA seems in dire straits to us, culturally, but to them it may be just a structural adjustment to the end of empire. If you keep in mind that the empire was tacit rather than real, I mean!

    So making America great again is a task in which operating in a multipolar geopolitical context is the reality underlying Trump's nostalgic stance. That requires finesse, which Trump seems to lack. Does his recent success disprove that he lacks it? Maybe. I'll reserve judgment awhile. If his success in geopolitics isn't sustained, that'll suggest he's just another right-wing partisan.

    But in regard to your question, it's a basic survival skill for humans, whether to focus on the whole of what's happening around them or just what's being presented as sensory input. So the social trends of culture get primarily driven by holism, as the ecosystemic trends in nature are, and the polarities and fragmented world-views of local cultures are eventually sufficiently influenced by other parts of the world-system that they end up shifting - whether evolving or devolving...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 176 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    And Giuliani's own take

    Giuliani pleased with his media tour: ‘Everybody’s reacting to us now’

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    just a structural adjustment

    Tell that to the people who are falling thru the ever-widening gaps, it will be a real comfort to them<irony> huh!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to andin,

    Sympathy for the underdog seems often so widespread as to be a part of human nature. Then one notices that this huge crowd vastly outnumbers those who are ready, willing & able to translate that feeling into political action. Like more than a hundred to one, perhaps a thousand to one.

    Then look at all those refugees from south of the border, voting with their feet, trying to get in to join the falling through those cracks? As if all the other countries seem worse.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 176 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    HOLD THE DAMN PHONE.

    Avenatti has released a "Preliminary Report on Findings" that appears to show that the account from which Cohen paid Stormy Daniels' hush money was "replenished" by a Russian oligarch who is close to Putin.

    And that that AT&T secretly paid money into the same slush fund after Trump threatened to block its merger with Time Warner (the threats stopped after the payments).

    And that the CEO of Novartis appeared to buy a dinner meeting with President Trump with similar payments.

    There's no indication how Avenatti might have secured this information, and it's officially unproven, but AT&T and Novartis have already admitted making the payments and The Daily Beast has backed up the Russian payments angle.

    Josh Marshall sums it up:

    I said above that we didn’t have confirmation of the claims in Avenatti’s document. But over the last three or four hours Columbus Nova (the Vekselberg company), AT&T and Novartis have each confirmed the payments as described. So there’s no question that they happened. And these are only some of the pay-offs. They’ve also confirmed the dollar amounts. So while we still don’t know where or how Avenatti got this information he must have had access to one of Cohen’s ledgers, a bank statement or perhaps an investigative document. The details are simply too specific.

    The US corporate payments appear to be just garden variety corruption. In theory, maybe Cohen had an actual consulting firm filing all the requisite forms to do above board lobbying and we didn’t know about it. But I really, really doubt that. These payoffs won’t stand legal scrutiny. But the big revelation is Vekselberg’s money. Remember, we heard recently that he was the one who Mueller’s investigators stopped and questioned when he transited through a US airport. This is money, more or less directly from a top Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin, putting money directly into a shell company controlled by Donald Trump’s bag man and fixer. The collusion is real and high level. We’re finding the money trail.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    AT&T's responses to angry customers on Twitter have been priceless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    It looks like AT&T's AI needs an intervention, frankly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Did I say underdog? funny you went to that...

    slush fund eh!
    Intervention yes!
    Theres quite a few who need to be sat down and asked to account for their actions

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    HOLD THE DAMN PHONE.

    Avenatti has released a "Preliminary Report on Findings" that appears to show that the account from which Cohen paid Stormy Daniels' hush money was "replenished" by a Russian oligarch who is close to Putin.

    Saviour on a stick! As if Rudy wasn't bad enough.

    EDIT: Please tell me you downloaded that, because it's 404ing now!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    EDIT: Please tell me you downloaded that, because it’s 404ing now!

    I didn't!

    But somebody else did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And Avenatti has just posted a new link.

    Looks like he exceeded his Dropbox cap!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I didn't!

    But somebody else did.

    I thank you and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Oh, wait.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    In other related news the Senate Intelligence Committee has released its initial findings.

    o At least 18 states had election systems targeted by Russian-affiliated cyber actors in some fashion. Elements of the IC have varying levels of confidence about three additional states, for a possible total of at least 21. In addition, other states saw suspicious or malicious behavior the IC has been unable to attribute to Russia.
    o Almost all of the states that were targeted observed vulnerability scanning directed at their Secretary of State websites or voter registration infrastructure. Other scans were broader or less specific in their target.
    o In at least six states, the Russian-affiliated cyber actors went beyond scanning and conducted malicious access attempts on voting-related websites

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2893 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.